COVID-19 Response – Leaders of Learning

According to UNESCO, school closures have impacted 63 million teachers and 1.3 billion students globally, including 700 million in developing countries.  Schools in Kenya will be closed until at least September, by which time children will have been home for six months. It is becoming clear that this will result in learning losses, risks to child well-being, and longer-term impacts on many children’s opportunity to thrive and succeed.

In Kenya’s marginalized communities, there is a very real struggle for survival. COVID-19 has brought with it severe social, health and economic hardship, and these hit the poorest communities the hardest.  In these communities, more than 60% of families were unable to access public education before COVID-19, as a result of poverty and systemic exclusion. Marginalised by poverty, these are the same families excluded from a myriad of essential health and education services now.

This raises critical, urgent questions of ‘What happens next?’  When schools reopen, who will be left behind?  How many girls will be married or pregnant, never to return to school?  How many families will end up on the street, their children never to return to school?  How many children will have died from starvation? How many children will be so scarred by the trauma and anxiety of this season that learning never really resumes?


The Safaricom Foundation has partnered with Education NGO Dignitas to empower students in Kawangware and Dandora access e-learning tools as they keep up with their revision at home.

Not Forgotten

Dignitas has always worked with children in marginalized communities and in response to COVID-19, the Dignitas team is now working to ensure these children are not forgotten, but are given every opportunity to continue chasing future possibilities.  Through our Leaders of Learning program, Dignitas is working tirelessly to protect and promote the learning and well-being of these children.  Whilst everything else is disrupted, our vision to ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive and succeed remains core to our COVID-19 response.

In an effort to reach and protect these children, we immediately thought of our amazing community of School Leaders and Teacher Leaders.  Dignitas has trained over 1,000 educators, and have another 450 educators enrolled for 2020.  These School Leaders have already benefited from Dignitas training and coaching and they are also leaders who are rooted in, and passionate about the needs of their communities. This lays an ideal foundation for them to be further equipped to respond in these times of crisis as community champions.  Dignitas is remotely training and coaching these educators as Leaders of Learning who can work in household clusters to protect and promote children’s learning and well-being.

The Dignitas team pivoted quickly to develop digital training and coaching tools that would allow us to equip the Leaders of Learning from a safe distance.  Our customized Chat Bot and Whats App Communities of Practice have become vibrant places of learning, support and collaboration as the crisis has persisted.  Our team is currently supporting 300 Leaders of Learning and 30 Trainer of Trainers who are delivering well-being and learning support to 6000 households.

We are extremely grateful to those who have partnered with us to make this possible.  Please read our blog for the latest updates.  You can also support our COVID-19 response with donations, time or skills.