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LA Chapter to Support Science Education in Kenya

VISPA_children_Hellen_and_some_staffDFB’s Los Angeles Chapter has selected its next project partner: VISPA, a school and orphanage in Kenya.  VISPA is home to over 40 children, many of whom were orphaned by the AIDS crisis.  The school provides an education to 400 students in the community, helping the next generation to fight disease and poverty.

VISPA is located in Nyanza province, in southwestern Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria.  With a population of over 4 million people, Nyanza is the poorest province in Kenya - poverty levels range from 65 to 80 percent in various locations. It also has the lowest life expectancy in Kenya (46 years compared to 64 years in the central province, where the capital city of Nairobi is located). Contributing to Nyanza's poor life-expectancy rates is the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in an AIDS-afflicted country. The high HIV/AIDS rate has had a particularly devastating effect on Nyanza's children.  Currently 250,000 out of the 900,000 orphans in Kenya live in Nyanza province.

VISPA heroically serves its community’s needs by simultaneously providing a home to orphaned children, along with an education for hundreds of local students, designed to give this generation the knowledge that will spare them the fates of their parents. One of the largest obstacles to decreasing the rate of HIV/AIDS contraction in the area - as well as preventing the transmission of many other diseases - is a lack of an understanding of the germ theory of disease.VISPA_boy_grins_-_editedA VISPA student at school

VISPA's staff includes 13 teachers, and science is already part of the curriculum.  But, without a science and computer lab, the students have no opportunity to experience modern science and technology directly.  Here’s where DFB comes in – over the next few months, we’ll be raising money for a $10,000 grant to VISPA that will provide the computers, furniture, and equipment for a science lab.

Our funding will cover 8-10 new netbook computers, 4 lab tables, 20 chairs, 20 lockers and 2 sets of lab equipment.  Each set will include a high quality dual-eyepiece compound microscope, 200 clean slides, 400 slide covers, 12 ccs of immersion oil, 50 preloaded 5-kingdom slides, 15 human tissue slides, and 10 well slides.  VISPA’s teaching staff is trained to use the lab equipment, including microscopes and computers, and the teachers are eager to incorporate the lab into their instruction.VISPA_New_School_1Inside a classroom at VISPA

Ideally, a the new resources will provide these rural students with the scientific foundation they need to one day change their community from one with limited access to electricity and running water, to one where modern technologies foster a new generation of sustainable and healthy development. 

Save the date of January 28, 2012 for the LA Chapter’s upcoming fundraiser for this project, or make a direct contribution toward the lab equipment now.

 

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