Bright children in marginalized pastoralist communities are denied a chance to attend normal day school and are required culturally to perform family chores such as herding domestic animals. Girls are even more affected since they have extra responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning. These children are only left with night time for study, in darkness, in dangerous areas inhabited by wild animals. We are working with local community partners to set up special evening classes called ‘shepherd classes’. Boys who are denied a chance to attend school in this area become bandits and involved in violence related to pasture. Girls are so much more affected
Here are the options that the girls in these marginalized communities face:
HOW WE SUPPORT THESE KNOWLEDGE WARRIORS
We educate the community, set up shepherd classes, provide stipend for teachers, provide meal for the shepherd students, provide sporting equipment, provide learning materials, provide solar lanterns, install solar systems on the classes, and work with the students and their mothers to set up alternative income projects.Our emphasis is on advancing Mathematics, Science and Technology skills for girls since they are most affected.
SDFA-Kenya worked together with its local partners has set up shepherd classes (these are special classes that run from 5pm to 9pm). These classes target the children, especially bright young girls, who have to herd during the day. The centers provide a meal to the children attending these classes. They also get quality education that opens opportunity for them to get into the regular system for further education assuring them of a livelihood, especially in wake of increased droughts and conflicts that threaten their way of life.
Since most people in these villages rely on kerosene lanterns as their only source of lighting, SDFA-Kenya provides locally made ‘MwangaBora’ solar lanterns to the students attending the shepherd classes. SDFA-Kenya then conducts regular trainings on innovative financial sustainability, which enables the community set up income generating projects from the money saved after they start using ‘MwangaBora’ solar lamps. With alternative source of income, the families eventually allow their children to start attending regular schools.
With improved lighting and access to alternative education, the students are given a chance to show their potential and eventually can be integrated into the regular school.
Some of the shepherd students with our Executive Director in Baragoi, Northern Kenya
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