Without some education already in the Emburbul community, our progress there would have been difficult if not impossible. However one young man from Emburbul was sponsored in boarding schools for about 7 years by his American patron, Ben Parks, and this young man found a girl friend who was also educated and willing to help. A few others became educated on their own through secondary level. Consequently, with such an enthusiastic team of Maasai and patrons, we have made great progress.
Current and proposed educational areas of focus:
Education of women, adolescent girls, and traditional birth attendants in women’s rights, the biology of reproduction, the menstrual and fertility cycle, women, mother and child health, and family planning
Over the summer of 2016 we sent 10 midwives and two groups of 9 mothers with babies to FAME medical clinic – 70km away – for training. Each of the 3 trips had expenditures of around $500. The knowledge from the FAME training was spread by word-of-mouth and consequently 13 women from Emburbul and 10 women from nearby villages walked 4 miles to Nainokanoka and got subdermal implants (good for 3 years) at the NGO Marie Stopes’ mobile clinic in August. Marie Stopes will return every 3-4 months. Maasai Harmonial co-founder and patron Karen Pitts funded the transportation and accomodation for this training.
Enhancing the educational experience at the village ‘nursery’ school for both girls and boys
Currently the village school is in poor shape, with the roof caving in. There is only one book. Here a volunteer teacher teaches ages 5-7, and it is here that the children learn Swahili.
Ways to rebuild the school are being sought. The Seventh-Day Adventists have a program called the One Day School in which a school is built in one day. $15,000 would be needed for this school.
Possibly the cost would be less if only the roof, its support structure, and framework for doors and windows were built, leaving the walls to the villagers. Engineers Without Borders and Rotary International are also possibilities.
It may be feasible to add solar photovoltaic panels to the roof, and batteries to store electricity so that people could use the school at night. Perhaps there could be education for adults and married girls, as well as bead coop meetings in the school. Many villagers do not know Swahili, so here would be a good place to learn. Other classes could include small business management and alternate livelihoods.
We have heard that the government will supply a teacher if a school is built, but then there is the problem of accomodations for the teacher.
College and private boarding schools
Maasai Harmonial co-founders and patrons Ben Parks and Karen Pitts are sponsoring a young woman in health college and a young man in veterinary school. As funds become available, other young people may be sent to business college or bee-keeping school. The cost for college is less than $1000, but there are also accommodation, pocket money and field trips.
Karen Pitts is sending three young girls to private English boarding school. Cost is about $1000 per year for each girl. These schools teach in English, so the girls are immersed in it at an early age.
To sponsor a child in English boarding school, or a young woman or man in college, you can send money directly to the school. We would put you into contact with a good school and we would help you chose the child or young man or woman you hope to sponsor.
Free public boarding school for ages 9-13
Recently the people of Emburbul decided to send youth ages 10-13 to a free public boarding school 4 miles away. Ben Parks and Karen Pitts have purchased school uniforms for all girl attendees and some for boys who cannot afford them. The cost of a uniform is about $25.
Children 8-9 are not allowed to attend the free boarding school, and this is a gap for which we must find a solution. They can go to a school 4 miles away, but that is 8 miles round trip each day. Many parents do not allow their children to attend school for that reason. Perhaps enlarging the scope of the nursery school would be the answer.
Only one girl graduated from primary school this year. She must pass the National exam to get into high school. Some kind of tutuoring program may be needed to help these youth to pass the exam.
Another solution would be to send the girl to private boarding school for her last years of primary school (ages 11-13) and through high school. The cost of boarding school is about $1000 per year per girl.
We are also looking for incentives for families to keep girls in school through secondary school. Giving the family a goat for keeping girls above age 11 in school is one idea. Boys may also need incentives.
Secondary school for girls failing the national exam
About 45% of students who have completed primary school, fail the national exam, disqualifying them for secondary school. Girls who don’t go on to secondary school are usually married off. The Pastoral Womens Council, an organization promoting women’s empowerment, runs a school which failed girls can attend. Maasai Harmonial co-founders and patrons Ben Parks and Karen Pitts have sponsored three of these girls, ages 15 and 16, in Emanyata secondary school. They have just started in early January. The cost of sponsoring these girls is $500 annual tuition plus $100 expenses.
A number of projects may be designed to help Emburbul livelihoods and also its educational efforts. A reward system may be devised to encourage certain students who study in specific areas of knowledge that would help these projects.
Women need education in livelihoods such as bead work. They will need courses in money management, community-based
loan programs, and marketing. We hope to find an NGO who will provide this education.
A smartphone project is being prepared to allow students and their designated ‘buddies’ to share a smartphone. These phones would be loaded with educational apps and videos. Internet and social media would be turned off until students reached a certain age. Smartphones run about $100.
Education for women and adolescent mothers
Women and adolescent mothers also need education, and we are looking at ways to accomplish that. Perhaps the village nursery school building could be used for such a purpose.
The NGO Marie Stopes provides programs that empower youth. We are looking into it.
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