This grant provides scholarships for four girls from the Pokot tribe to attend a higher education boarding school. These girls have been selected based on need and demonstate potential to pursue ambitious careers. They are from poor families. In rural Kenya, wealth is determined by the amount of livestock that you have. This can be goats, cows, or camels. For three of these students, their mothers are widowed and have either no goats or just a few goats.
The purpose of this grant is to provide for the continued education of four girls from the Pokot tribe in Kenya; two girls will be entering the 5th class and two older students will be entering Form 1 which is equivalent to 9th grade in the US. The girls are from remote villages 250 km away from the boarding school. In their village there are limited opportunities to pursue higher education. This grant covers the costs of their school & boarding fees, transportation to and from their villages, clothing, toiletries, medical check-ups, food, and family day visits.
Although many children attend primary schools, not all (especially girls) are able to attend higher (seconday education)--in the US this would be middle school and junior high school. It is considered a priviledge to pursue a higher edcuation because girls are often kept at home to help with domestic duties: collecting water, cooking, taking care of livestock, and caring for younger siblings.
It is not uncommon for a girl of 12 or 13 to be circumsized in preparation for marriage. This is a delicate and culturally sensitive issue. However, we had it was mutually agreed that educational scholarships would be given for these girls on the basis that their parents agreed not to have them circumcized. Even in isolated rurual communities parents realize the value and importance of education and they were very happy to allow their daughters to continue with their schooling.
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Below is an excerpt from a letter requesting sponsorship for young girls of the Pokot tribe. The request was sent to us by Father Mbinda who works with a Catholic Mission in a rural part of Kenya and does outreach in remote communities and with pastoral tribes.
Dear Ananda Foundation,
Greetings and God’s blessings from Kositei.
Chepar is a very nice girl who comes from a small village called “New Jerusalem." Her father was killed by fellow tribesmen in 2006 following alleged adultery. Celestine comes from a family that has been struggling to survive without anything, they have literally nothing not even the few goats associated with the poor. They survive on well wishers and food earned through casual labour done by both parents. The death of the father of Celestine was the dawn of doom to this much needed service. The children were left with their mother to look after all their needs. With the stigma left behind by the cause of the death of their father, not many people want to be associated with the family. Getting casual labour has become quite difficult and the family is left to mere survival. When I met Celestine first, she faced the future with hope. She wished to study until she saves the situation back home. She looked clever than her years! I have no doubts that given the chance, she can bring a grimmer of hope to their family again.
Cheyech comes from a small village called Silangwa near Chemolingot. Her father passed away in 2006 and the family was left at the mercy of the mother who has other mouths to feed and educate. Before the death of their father, the family was relatively stable and they were very much encouraging the children to go to school. Her mother is a house wife with no means of earning the livelihood for the children. Following the death of her father, many relatives from the extended family promised to help Cheyech and the other children through their education. I was the one officiating the burial and witnessed all these. As time passed, the relatives promises were not fulfilled, something which has stressed the mother till today. The children went without food, their health deteriorated and finally there was no way they could continue with their education. I came in and started supporting bits and pieces here and there. It is in this background that I presented Cheyech for your consideration. She is hard working and one day, she can bring the lost smile back to their family.
Hope you will find the above information helpful in order to process a grant for Cheyech and Chepar .
Kind regards, Father Mbinda
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Project Goals: To provide a higher education and an opportunity to qualify for a university track education to Pokot adolescent women.
- To provide a stimulating learning environment with opportunity to study different subjects
- To provide an opportunity to dream of a professional career
- To have opportunities to see a doctor and maintain good health & nutrition
- To recieve academic preparation for a college admission