Blog

The Road to Pan e Più

Posted on 03/27/2017 at 10:48AM

Written by Adam Cianciara, Aiducator.

Aiducation is excited to introduce our new Aiducator Adam Cianciara who started to work with the Aiducation Headquarters last month. Adam is responsible for building and maintaining good working relationship with Aiducation’s current and prospect partners and donors. He also takes care of the students’ profiles as well as their progress reports. He holds Ph.D. degree in Social Sciences from University of Wroclaw and CAS in Development and Cooperation from ETH Zurich. We asked him to introduce himself and share his first impressions of this new task with us.

“While in a cozy Italian bistro, Pan e Più, on a grey day in winter, a couple of Aidumakers, AiduAmbassadors and Aiducators had an occasion to meet our Kenyan AiduAlumni Bryna, together with Osman and Lynda. It was after this evening in February, when I decided to combine two stories in a blog post – mine and Bryna’s.


Tags: Switzerland, Background story


3 years of collaboration with Pathways Philippines: Where are we now?

Posted on 03/12/2017 at 11:12PM

The original report was written by Aiducation Ambassador Yves von Ballmoos and summarized by Kerstin Hockmann, Aiducation Communications.

Systematically reviewing the performance of a business can be a valuable way to remind yourself and others of the strengths of a team and to spot areas that offer opportunities for improvement. From 16th to 20th January, Yves von Ballmoos, Ambassador of Aiducation, visited our Partner Organization Pathways in the Philippines and had a close look at their workflow processes and operational efficiency. The five-day visit was dedicated to analyzing its current state, identifying problems and working jointly with the Pathways team on optimization options. “A highly professional, motivated, tolerant, open and capable Pathways team warmly welcomed me”, Yves shared after his return to Switzerland, where the Aiducation headquarters is located. “This amazed me even more as everybody knew about my mission to change their processes.” Although the suggested improvement actions will mean a profound impact on Pathways’ business management, we believe that the team has the right attitude towards change – and this provides the best possible base for a sustainable partnership with Aiducation for today and in the future.

Our motivation for this analysis

Pathways to Higher Education was established 15 years ago as a social involvement program attached to and supported by Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Driven by its values – integrity, commitment to excellence, love for learning, solidarity and service to society – Pathways elaborated a highly professional screening process and various educational programs for high school and college students.

Due to the partnership with Aiducation, Pathways was able to grow remarkably during the last three years. In order to meet their own, very high standards, the workload continuously increased. This led to a high fluctuation on the staff side and Pathways’ incapability to further grow and meet the expectations of Aiducation.


Key Pathways team members were actively involved in the analysis of current state.

The organization’s strengths and weaknesses


Tags: Philippines


Joseph’s life of impact: Setting the pace for the future

Posted on 02/28/2017 at 11:54AM

Interview: Kerstin Hockmann, Communications Aiducation International. Edited by Simona Cushman.

The Swissair Staff Foundation has been supporting Aiducation with almost 100 scholarships since 2009. One of these students is Joseph, a passionate young Kenyan who finished High School with excellent grades in 2011. Joseph recently completed his university degree in Community Health and Development and he is working on a Women’s Empowerment Program. Joseph is passionate about sustainable development and impacting the lives of others.

Joseph, can you please tell us about your family and yourself? Where were you born, how did you grow up?


Tags: AiduTalent, AiduAlumni, Kenya


Where are we on our road to achieve inclusive and quality education for everybody by 2030?

Posted on 02/28/2017 at 11:32AM

Written by Nora Leonardi, Aiducator.

UNESCO reports on the progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which is to ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality primary and secondary education for all girls and boys by 2030. Today only 14% of adolescents complete secondary school in low-income countries and among the poorest this drops to 2%. If current trends continue, SDG4 – which lies at the very heart of sustainable development — will only be reached a full 50 years later. The time to act is now!

The Millenium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015 was missed: In 2013, 59 million children still remained out of school. In 2015, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which focused on education, to close the gap. Free, inclusive and equitable quality primary and secondary education for all was to be reached by 2030.

Recently, UNESCO published a report on the current status and made a prognosis for the future. It is not an uplifting story: If the current trend continue, children will universally complete primary, lower secondary and upper secondary school only by 2042, 2059 and 2084, respectively. This means we are a full 50 years behind schedule.


Tags: Background story


10 years of Aiducation: Keep Running, Obrein

Posted on 01/31/2017 at 01:03PM

Jointly written by Obrein Telly, AiduAlumnus, and Kerstin Hockmann, Aiducation Communications.

Exactly ten years ago, Obrein’s story started with the day he was donated an Aiducaton scholarship, a most positive example of Aiducation’s impact. His energy and desire to change Kenya for the better are truly exceptional and have already made a difference to communities in Kenya. “Aiducation has contributed a lot to my life”, he shares. “You can only give back what you have. Aiducation gave me something, and that’s what I am giving back.” Since he has been passionate to enable justice for a long time, it is no surprise that he started to study law at University of Nairobi five years ago. To celebrate his successful graduation at the end of last year, we are looking back at his major milestones as an AiduTalent.


Celebrating his graduation with Matthias Meier, CEO Aiducation International Switzerland.

In 2006 Obrein, whose parents supported a family of eight with occasional jobs, graduated from Mirembe Primary School as the best student in the district. Only a few months later, he was donated an Aiducation scholarship that enabled him to attend Nakuru Boys High School, one of the biggest secondary schools in Kenya.

In 2009, Obrein, who himself was without means, showed during the course of secondary school how important his country is for him. He mobilized 65 teachers and 500 students to raise about 33,000 Kenyan Shillings (400 USD) for fellow countrymen of a completely different ethnical background who were suffering from a famine. The story was featured in one of the major newspapers in Kenya.

During the last two years of secondary school, Obrein led a student organization that analyzed the use of dried cow dung for heating purposes to battle climate change. For his dedication to this cause, he was invited to attend a Change-Makers Conference in London.

In 2010, Obrein completed high school with a „plain A“ and was again one of the best graduates in Kenya.


A role model for positive impact: Obrein Telly.

In 2011, Obrein interned at the Royal Society of Africa in London, an internship- that had been organized by Aiducation Internation UK.

In the same year, immediately after high school, he co-founded the Aiduation Alumnus network and is still actively engaged in the Alumni activities as the President of the Aidualumni Network Kenya. As a president, his responsibility is to see the actualization of the ‘make Kenya a better place ‘ vision through leadership training and mentorship. He sees the alumni group as a powerful network of young minds that are empowered to provide solutions to Kenya’s socio-economic and political environment and possibly also to the world.

Also in 2011, Obrein volunteered as a coordinator of “Realizing Your Potential Academy” in Malindi. His duties included setting up a team to help run the academy and mentoring the Aidufellows at the academy. Since then, he has always provided support to all academies Aiducation has organized. In particular, he attended the Swiss Re start-Up academy in 2014 as a mentor and facilitated the first session on pitching, together with his AiduAlumna Lynda Kalu. Obrein also supports Aiducation as an errand boy in Nairobi. His activities include visiting schools, logistically supporting mentorship academies in Nairobi and recruiting young talents for Aiducation International scholarships.

In 2013, he was selected from a pool of about 10,000 influential young people to attend the One Young World Youth Leadership Conference in South Africa. This was just after he had returned from Suwon Korea where he was attending the Eco-mobility conference as winner of the UN-Habitat blogging competition. In both events, he was keen to promote actions against climate change and how the world could foster cooperation to address its most pressing needs.

From 2012 to 2016, Obrein studied law in Nairobi. His career objective: „To pursue a life of excellence where I facilitate positive change in all my undertakings while promoting fairness and fidelity to the Law.” During this time, he was the secretary general of Students of Law and Diplomacy where he worked hard to highlight the inter-link between law and diplomacy. He was also coordinator of KUZA, a mentorship program for law students, where his duties included inviting lawyers and advocates to share their experiences in the legal realm. Outside school, Obrein visited both primary and secondary schools to motivate students and share his experiences. At the same time he was strongly involved with CAPSAY and K-CAT, two organizations galvanizing youth engagement on climate change solutions.

Once Obrein completed his university education, he participated in various volunteer jobs, including work with “Volunteer Service Overseas”, a program funded by the British government through the International Citizen Service to alleviate poverty in the world. He also volunteered with the US embassy on the piloting of plea bargaining in Kenyan Courts.


First aid training at a primary school im Kimana.

In 2016, he was one of the trainers of a Masaai Community on water and sanitation. In the one-day workshop, along with a team of other youths, he convinced the 100 community members to attend the water and sanitation program. He also raised funds to build classrooms for the community’s children who used to study outdoors and under a tree. Although the amount of money was not sufficient to build a concrete building, the children can now do their studies in tin rooms.


Water and sanitation training in Rombo Manyatta.


Tags: AiduTalent, AiduAlumni, Impact, Kenya