For over 50 years, more than 5,100 Volunteers have served the people of Kenya. Since the program’s evacuation in 2014 the Kenyan government has been steadfast in its desire to have Peace Corps Volunteers return to the country. Education priorities are highlighted in Kenya’s strategic plans and reinforced in its national Millennium Development Goals. Our Kenyan partners value the experience and Peace Corps Volunteers’ abilities to engage in community level roles, and believe that with their Kenyan counterparts, their work aligns with Kenya Vision 2030.
The Deaf Education Program will be located in Western Kenya, a region with specific needs that align with Peace Corps Volunteer’s experience in Deaf Education, both at the primary and secondary education level. Recently, the Kenyan primary education syllabus was translated into Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) and KSL was declared an examinable subject, requiring a specific teacher to student ratio be achieved.
Peace Corps Volunteers working in Deaf Education will work to enhance teacher skills to teach and prepare deaf children for the national examinations. The purpose of the Deaf Education project in Kenya is to support Kenyan Deaf students and youth and to encourage their participation in learning and becoming independent productive members of their communities and families.
The project has three goals:
1. To build the capacity of teachers by expanding their range of educational approaches
2. To increase the academic achievement of students by improving problem solving and critical thinking skills while improving student enrollment and completion
3. To develop the life skills of students by inspiring them to become responsible, productive citizens who encourage gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention
Volunteers work with education offices, schools, and local teachers, focusing on methodology, individualized instruction, classroom management and resource development for teachers of students with special needs. Volunteers also work with parents and the community to develop projects to raise public awareness and understanding of people with disabilities. The Deaf Education program in Kenya places candidates in special schools for the deaf (both primary and secondary) to teach using the standard national curriculum. If teaching at the primary level, PCVs may also work to increase student achievement in literacy and numeracy. The language of instruction will be in Kenyan Sign Language.
As with all Volunteer positions, flexibility and a positive attitude will be important for this project. Volunteers may be asked to teach a variety of subjects aside from the one which they were invited to teach. Volunteers will teach in the classroom and do activities to build capacity among their counterparts and co-teachers. Activities might also include the broader community and things like math competitions, science fairs, camps and clubs, and school improvement projects.
Peace Corps Kenya promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in Kenya and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.
Corporal punishment is illegal in Kenya. While the government has regulations regarding corporal punishment, these rules are not always followed or enforced at the local level. Volunteers will often encounter different levels of corporal punishment. Many Volunteers find this aspect of life very challenging, particularly when as it is necessary to develop good working relationships with colleagues. Peace Corps Kenya encourages open dialogue between Volunteers and their colleagues, and exploring culturally appropriate and acceptable alternatives to corporal punishment.
Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check