Reducing Illiteracy Levels in Turkana

Turkana is the second largest County by land mass in Kenya and considered one of the poorest with the adult literacy rate at 20%. Lifeskills Promoters (LISP) funded by GIZ implemented an “Integrated Life Skills for Functional Literacy and Household Economic Strengthening Project” in Turkana County. The project was Christened Tuinue Jamii (Kiswahili for ‘Let us uplift households’). The functional literacy programme targeted 1,500 youth (aged 18-35 years) and adults living within Turkana South and Turkana East Sub Counties. Household Economic Strengthening (HES) on the other hand targeted 750 Households to be empowered through Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) and other income generating activities.

The Functional Literacy training included both basic literacy and numeracy training integrated with practical skills such as bead making, basic business and entrepreneurial skills, agribusiness, health and household management through income generation projects. The program trained adults and youth to meet independently the reading and writing demands placed on them. It stressed the acquisition of appropriate verbal, cognitive, and computational skills to accomplish practical ends in culturally specific settings.


HES (House Hold Economic strengthening:

A sustainability measure was put in place i.e. in the wake of project exit field agents and groups were introduced to Private Service provider (PSP) model where the groups pay a fee to the field agents to continue offering extension services, guiding them and providing necessary and beneficial linkages to the groups. It should be noted that despite the short period of implementation, some field agents and SILC groups already started implementing the PSP Model.