Community Service | Aga Khan Academies

Community Service

Community service is a major part of the student experience at the Academy. Both the curriculum and student life incorporate aspects of community service.

Service opportunities extend the educational experience beyond the classroom and help our students learn about the real-world applications of their studies.

Through community projects with local organisations and groups, our students gain a sense of the connections between their education and the world around them. Students can participate in a variety of structured community initiatives and internships to learn about their place in the world and how they can make a difference to the lives of people in their community.

By partnering with local agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), students learn first-hand about the work of the organisation, and make tangible contributions to the agencies' projects.

In addition, community engagement gives our students an understanding of broad concepts such as human rights, dignity and autonomy, while emphasising the ethos of leaving the world a better place.

The Aga Khan Academy Mombasa used the hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic to rethink and enhance its service learning programme. Although a part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, the Aga Khan Academies further developed and connected the IB's service learning programme with AKDN's approach to development. From being a standalone experience for residential students on Saturday mornings, which was voluntary for day students, the service learning programme has now been incorporated into the school's timetable, occurring on a weekly basis. Led by the service learning team, all Senior School Middle Years Programme (MYP) mentors have been inducted into the new model and all MYP students now participate in the programme. A handbook has also been developed and all service learning activities are explicitly linked to the curriculum to ensure the programme connects to classroom learning. At the culmination of their service initiatives, the MYP students showcase their projects to the Academy's community, and engage with the Academy's Primary Years Programme students as well as external community partners.  

Examples of service projects:

Coast Rural Support Programme: Tree planting at Mtaa community reservoir. The reservoir was created as a community project. The outreach project involved planting 700 indigenous seedlings around the reservoir.

East African Quality in Early Learning: Creation of the fun reading day initiative to promote early grade reading. Inspired by the common 1:10 ratio of students to books in local public primary schools, the first project was to collect books to establish a library at Ng’ombeni Primary School. Through a book drive and other community projects, students collected books and catalogued and prepared them for library use.

Our Junior School and Diploma Programme (DP) students visited the Ng’ombeni Primary School for group reading sessions. This project was then handed over to upcoming DP students to continue.

Education for Marginalised Children in Kenya (EMACK): Student’s council training workshop at Longo Primary School. Sarrah Sheikh came to know the Longo Primary School through her summer placement service. She went on to assist EMACK in establishing student leadership bodies, beginning with Longo Primary School. Topics covered went from effective leadership to communication tools, and the difference between prefects and elected student leaders. Three weeks after this project, the Kenyan government announced the phasing out of the prefect system and the introduction of elected student councils.

“I realised that what we take for granted is like a miracle for other people.”

Hafsia Parpia, DP student

Madrasa Resource Centre: School painting project at Mpirani Nursery School. After visiting a school in disrepair, the DP students decided that a bright place was needed for the students to learn. They mobilised their fellow students to create bright learning materials and to repaint the school.