TRAININGFollowing the final shortlisting of each cohort of volunteers, Volunteer Graduate Assistants (VGAs) are taken through a week-long training in order to prepare them for the task ahead of being deployed to the counties. The training curriculum, which focused on supporting young struggling learners, national cohesion and personal and preofessional development, follows comprehensive research and analysis conducted by stakeholders such as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and leading professional development experts in areas such as Team building and Personal Branding.
Training includes sessions on: Introduction to means of assisting young struggling learners in Primary Schools (Read Aloud Sessions), the G-United brand and vision, National Values and how to put them into practice, Leadership & Entrepreneurship, the importance of Community Service, how to deal with transition and change, setting personal goals and networking. Volunteers also take part in community service for at least a day during the training period.
The first cohort training was conducted over a two-week period at Garissa University in Garissa County, while the second cohort Training took place in August 2016 at Thogoto Teachers' Training College in Kiambu County. Cohort 3 training was spread out in the following centers: Mosoriot Teachers' Training College in Uasin Gishu County, Meru Teachers' Training College in Meru County, Bondo Teachers' Training College in Siaya County, Shanzu Teachers' Training College in Mombasa County and Thogoto Teachers' Training College in Kiambu County. Cohort 4 Training was at Thogoto Teachers' Training College in Kiambu County, Kigari Teachers' Training College in Embu County and at the Kenya Education Management Institute in Parklands, Nairobi.
READ ALOUD SESSIONS & COMMUNITY SERVICETo help mitigate the learning challenges of primary school students, G-United volunteer graduate assistants identify learners who are lagging behind in class, with the help of class teachers, and aid in boosting the English and Kiswahili literacy skills of class 2 and 3 pupils using interactive educational activities that complement classroom learning. Volunteers support the work of teachers by identifying these learners and taking them through what we call remedial “camps” -- short, intensive periods of engagement that last fifteen days at a time. After each camp, learners are assessed again to gauge progress in learning level, and the groups are re-organized accordingly.
G-United volunteers are also tasked with initiating and implementing community engagement projects of their choice, incorporating an assessment of local community needs and aligning their plans and efforts within fields ranging from health, nutrition, environmental conservation, to technology and entrepreneurship. Over the past 4 cohorts, the programme has seen volunteers not only contribute to improved education outcomes, but also become agents of positive change within the communities they live in