SEANET: Invigorating Communities with E-Learning Gardens in Kenya
SEANET was a WAFA finalist in 2014. Their project has been operating in Kenya since 2001, with the aim of creating a better learning environment both practically and digitally.
THE PROJECT IN ACTION
Food and water insecurity has often been an issue for sub-Saharan countries. Among other issues, poorly nourished school children can have reduced learning capacity. In Kenya, the previous school curriculum was largely theoretical and did not prepare the students for their future livelihoods. This left many pupils uninterested in school, and in some cases hopeless, due to large-scale unemployment in the country.
SEANET’s strategy harnessed the power of the internet, with an E-learning approach for facilitating access to innovative techniques. This improved technology has paved the way for the cultivation of new school gardens, providing much-needed nutrition for the students. Moreover, the gardens are used as an instrument for teaching entrepreneurship, production and food processing skills. From this small demonstration plot, the revolution of the community has begun.
SEANET’s results have been concrete and widespread: 11 E-garden schools have been set-up in the counties of Laikipia and Nyeri, on the Western side of Mt. Kenya. Over four-thousand students have benefitted directly from them, by learning cultivation techniques and from the food and water they provide. There were further benefits too: several water tanks have been erected, holding of a total 168,500 liters; Over eleven thousand square feet of greenhouses have been built and an almost 26 thousand square foot drip system with 3 water pumps has been installed. The results are positive and predictable: community nutrition has improved, and pupils have acquired useful skills, fundamental for the future sustainable development of the country.
Apart from the direct impact the project has had on education, SEANET has improved the community lifestyle. In fact, 190 workers, around 4000 parents and 5000 neighbors (who attend field days and PTA meetings) have been positively affected by this innovative system.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
SEANET is aiming for a long-term restoration of the community, and helping to extend social awareness: “We have established Camp Mahon Social Enterprise (www.campmahon.seanetkenya.org) where students come to camp and practice livelihood skills and get entrepreneurship training.