Career guidance for under resourced schools in Kenya
Ramani Life Group is a community-based organization registered in Kenya in 2016 to offer career guidance in under-resourced secondary schools. The mission of Ramani Life Group is: “To inspire students from under-resourced secondary schools by collaborating with teachers and parents; and mobilizing resources, to transform their lives and communities.”
Ramani was conceived by 2015 Tutu Fellow Uduak Amimo, a journalist and television presenter, who was the founder, and current chairperson. She had observed that well-off schools and, therefore, well-off students had the means and access to accomplished professionals to mentor them and offer them career guidance. Students from needy schools, however, had no such access to professional role models.
A social entrepreneurship Fellowship in late 2014 in Puerto Rico, the Global Social Impact House offered by the University of Pennsylvania, helped turn Uduak’s idea of serving students in marginalized schools into a community project. Ramani held its pilot career day in 2015 at Gitugu Secondary School, Kangema Murang’ a County. This initial career day was attended by students and their parents, at the request of the headteacher. As part of her Tutu Fellowship experience in 2015, Uduak then teamed up with two other Fellows from her cohort, Fred Murimi Ngari, and Merab Olang, to register the project as a community-based organization.
The original idea was to target remote, under-served areas of Kenya, which are usually overlooked by and are out-of-the reach. The schools were first identified by word of mouth from locals and then selected after a scoping visit to ensure alignment with Ramani’s values. During the visit, students would also be asked for their career/professional interests, and the Fellows would do their best to identify volunteers in those areas. Donations for the schools was a way of celebrating and inculcating our African value system of guests showing up with gifts. Donations are capped at KES 100, 000 (approximately USD 1,000) per school, and Ramani raises the funds through the generous donations of individuals and corporates.
Gifts are learning materials and so far the organisation has donated laptops, projectors, mathematical log tables, geometrical sets, calculators, and textbooks. Ramani has also held sessions for teachers and parents, providing them with access to resource people such as education leaders and psychologists. Since it was begun in 2015, Ramani Life Group has impacted the lives of around 3,900 students, in 13 schools and eight counties across Kenya.