While the game of chess is our entry point for every child, the greater aspiration is to provide equal life opportunities for all. Children that enroll into the academy are often from marginalized and vulnerable households, often missing out of school terms or academic years all together in spite of the availability of Universal Primary Education. Basics like uniforms, scholarship materials, availability of a lunch meal. Our education intervention therefore has the following activities:
a. Chess training. Every child deserves to know the game of chess. By taking on the game of chess the child learns apply the principles of the game in life management, they learn abstract thinking, creativity and innovation skills. They learn to work in teams, to support each other and others excel to become coaches. Majority are able to compete in national or international games.
b. Scholarship and scholastic materials at various education levels.
i. Primary level: The coaches identify children with needs, pay home visits and assessments. The academy identifies sponsors to support the education of the child in selected primary schools. Parental/guardian consent is essential for this to work. The academy provides tuition, scholastic materials and sometimes, contributes to the health requirements of the child while at school.
ii. Vocational training. Children that complete primary school, lower or upper secondary school depending on availability of sponsorship, are enrolled for vocational studies. Here they acquire practical life skills.
iii. College sponsorship. SOM strives to get scholarship support for excelling children to enroll into college or university education. This requires tuition, travel, living expenses and communication bills.
iv. Primary and Vocational Institute construction project. There is a vision to start a complete primary and vocational school. Architectural drawings and artistic impressions have been made available. Various approval levels and financial requirements would be needed to make this vision a reality. In the first strategic plan, energy shall be invested in fundraising, planning for the running of the academy center and getting relevant approvals from the Ministry of Education and Sports- Primary and BTVET or National Council for Higher Education depending on the levels for vocational training.
c. Completing this construction would mean that SOM Chess Club House would be able to accommodate more learners and children. The Club House would be chess and vocational level training of children. The vocational section will prioritize computer based technology, robotics, programming and artificial intelligence.