During the recent teachers’ strike in Kenya that left children out of school for three weeks, our education team took advantage of the down time in our programming to provide intensive training for the new Education Coordinators and conduct strategic planning sessions. Our team has a lot to tackle in the near future. We will be expanding our outreach efforts in January to Mabera sublocation and working to increase the number of hours we offer outreach to schools. We will also be refining our lessons, developing a curriculum guide and focusing on professional development for our team. We will be mentoring our current staff to improve their capacity as managers, working to implement a qualitative measurement system to augment Uwezo and setting our school break outreach plans. All of this will be done in addition to conducting our regular outreach programs, planning lessons and attending leadership training sessions. Needless to say, we will be busy.

To successfully manage our team’s growth and that of our program, we are adding two senior level positions to our Kenyan team – a District Manager and a Training Manager. The District Manager will be responsible for strategy development, team management, maintaining relationships with the Ministry of Education and partners, coordinating and implementing scaling plans and managing the team’s budget. The District Manager will also liaise with our Monitoring and Evaluation team to track impact metrics. The Training Manager will research and develop our curriculum guide, drawing from lessons learned in the field and best practices demonstrated globally. She or he will train our education staff on literacy development best practices and create training materials to promote constant learning. The Training Manager will also shadow outreach and respond to needs through high impact training and materials.

Our Kenyan team has completed the interview process for the District Manager role and we are thrilled that Julius Ngombo has accepted our offer and will be joining our team in January. Julius comes to us with significant experience in literacy development and management. He received his Masters in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University as a Ford Foundation Fellow. Since then, he has worked as a Community Development Facilitator with the Aga Khan Foundation along the Kenyan coast. Julius has also served as a college lecturer, a Senior Supervisor for the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Head Teacher of several primary schools throughout Kenya as well as a Community Development Project Manager. With over 25 years of experience, we are fortunate to have him join our team and look forward to partnering with him to further our team’s goals.

We are in the final phase of the Training Manager interviews and are eager to round out our team with this hire. The interview process has been a great learning opportunity for our team in Kenya. They have seen candidates with a wide array of experiences, backgrounds and leadership styles. We are grateful for all the talented applicants who have expressed interest in joining our team. This step in our team’s development will increase our capacity and help us strengthen our program offerings, our team and our ability to positively impact literacy levels throughout Kenya.