KALA is a consortium of women’s literacy and development projects in Nairobi’s poorest areas and rural Kenyan villages. Formed in 1990, KALA member groups focus on education, health, and income-generation as key components of grassroots development. The association provides technical assistance, training, a newsletter (“The Voice of Learners”), and aggressive advocacy for local programs in order to involve learners in the promotion of development and adult education in Kenya. KALA projects are non-governmental, freestanding, neighborhood or village-based efforts for impoverished and disenfranchised women.
This past year, KALA and ProLiteracy partnered with World Reader to pilot a digital literacy program which utilized e-reading tablets for adult learners to practice reading. Each e-reader contained 100 e-books with content that varied from being educational to pleasure reading e-books. The 25 tablets that were provided for the pilot also came with a solar powered charging station so that the virtual library can be used in rural communities without electricity. In the past learners used to write on books, which could get torn, dirty and lost. It would cost them money to replace the books and also to recall the lessons learnt. However, with the e-readers, learners are able to learn seamlessly, and access a variety of books in their local language.
"Use of e-readers has made me a digital learner. Now I can see the benefit of adult education as I can read all the books from one place.”
- Mrs. Joyce Mboya an adult learner from Bar Sauri Centre
“My name is Kariangel. I used to depend fully in my husband for survival because in our community, women are not independent due to cultural barriers. And this means everything a woman wants to do, she must consult her husband, who sometimes approves or disapproves his wife’s request whether it’s going to value the whole family or not.
However, after joining the literacy program, my life has drastically changed fully. I grow maize which I sell to the surrounding communities and my group which uses it to make maize mill. In that regard, I’m able to get finances to improve my livelihood and make changes in my life.
KALA has uplifted my life greatly and because of that, the challenges which I used to face, have almost ceased. I get enough profit which comes from my garden and also I enjoy a balance diet meal thus keeping myself and my family healthy. I thank KALA for empowering women in achieving the highest level of sustainability.”
- Adult Learner, in KALA’s literacy program