At the age of 13, Ken Amimo was compelled to attend school for the first time in 2019. It was a significant moment in his life. Placed in class 5, his age didn’t align with his academic knowledge, lacking basic literacy skills. Despite this challenge, he persevered for a year before circumstances led him to drop out, returning to the familiar yet harsh environment of the streets.

Transformation through FCA Kenya’s “Back to School” project

In September 2022, Lokuto Primary School underwent a transformative change with the introduction of the FCA Kenya’s “Back to School” project, funded by UNICEF Kenya. Despite being in a densely populated urban center, the school had remarkably low enrollment, totaling only 138 learners from grades 1 to 8 at that time. To address this challenge, the school Enrolment Drive Committee (EDC) was established, focusing on back-to-school campaigns at the community level. Through the persuasive efforts of the EDC, Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Alfred Kioko, and the school’s teachers; Ken was convinced to leave his street life and rejoin the educational system at Lokuto Primary School.

Despite his age and the time spent out of school, Ken’s determination, coupled with support from teachers and fellow students, helped him reintegrate successfully. Ken lacked a uniform and learning materials upon his return, but fellow learners donated a school uniform, and teachers provided learning materials while encouraging him to stay in school. Upon re-entry in September 2022, Ken was placed in class 7 (the last class in the 8-4-4 system since he couldn’t fit in the new system). The Accelerated Education Program supported Ken through remedial lessons, aiding his preparation for the KCPE exams despite joining school late. The school feeding program ensured Ken had food at school, even though it was lacking at home. UNICEF’s supply of education kits and school bags further facilitated the re-enrollment process, ensuring Ken and his peers had the necessary tools to thrive academically. Additionally, mentorship sessions proved invaluable, offering emotional support and guidance to learners like Ken. As a result of these interventions, Ken not only sat for his KCPE exams but also aspires to attend a reputable secondary school, dreaming of becoming a pilot and shaping his future.

The impact of the “Back to School” program extended beyond Lokuto Primary School. Across 48 primary schools in Samburu Central and East sub-counties, FCA’s OOSC project successfully re-enrolled 4,380 out-of-school learners (2,468 boys and 1,912 girls) against a target of 3,900. Teachers, learners, Board of Management (BOM) members, and community members witnessed remarkable transformations due to the initiative. Increased school enrollments, improved facilities, mentorship sessions, provision of MHM kits/sanitary pads to adolescent girls, and the supply of learning materials contributed to the positive outcomes observed in these schools. 

This success story from Lokuto Primary School exemplifies the profound impact of the OOSC project, not only in individual lives but also in the broader educational landscape of Samburu Central and East sub-counties. 

The dedication of the School Enrolment Drive Committee, teachers, and the unwavering support from organizations like FCA and UNICEF have paved the way for a brighter future for these learners, ensuring that every child can access quality education and pursue their dreams.