Schooling for Children
New school supplies being handed out to students
by their teacher.
The Samburu consider schooling essential to their children’s
futures. They will do anything to make it possible for their children
to attend class. Most families struggle just to provide themselves
with enough food for survival and no funds are available for their
15 years ago Tribal Advancement funded the education
Lenaimado so she could become a teacher. She
is a very intelligent young woman and, with 3 years training in Nairobi,
Sarah earned her teaching certificate. Tribal Advancement also funded
1 year of health training for her. A small primary school exists
near their tribal lands and Sarah is now one of their teachers. Tribal
Advancement continues to provide books, pens, pencils and
hundreds of families
who cannot afford school costs.
Secondary School Funding
An Education Committee exists within the tribe. They
meet with families seeking
secondary education for their children and carefully decide which students
will receive school fee assistance. The decision is determined by the
attitude and grades of the student. When these students have choices
in their study
curriculum most choose environmental, agricultural, veterinary, and
health studies along with accounting.
Tribal Advancement is currently sending 18 students to secondary
school in distant trading towns where they have boarding schools.
As these young students gain higher education, employment and
income, they share their knowledge and are committed to developing
their tribal people
that greatly assist in overall advancement.
Literacy and Education for Adults
In the early years when I returned for a month to work with
the Samburu, I joined their planning groups and observed
that only young boys and young men were chosen by the Samburu
to attend secondary school. At that time, the tribal
men were the decision makers and felt that with the limited
education funds available only males should receive secondary
schooling. However, this changed rapidly as women gained
basic literacy and micro-credit loans, and they created
income that supported their families. This impressed
the men who now join the women in choosing equal numbers
of boys and girls to receive secondary education.
The Samburu now recognize that literacy
and math skills are essential so they can successfully integrate
tribal tradition with western
culture. When I first started working with the Samburu, we
immediately began basic literacy
trainings among the Samburu women who eagerly gathered in
groups at their manyattas. Since that time, men and women
continue to consistently meet with Sarah Lenaimado,
who teaches them basic literacy, math, general health,
and reproductive health.
Goat being vaccinated by one of the Samburu veterinarians.
The life and death of the Samburu depend on the animals they keep for
food. The health, and wealth, of the tribe is calculated by the number
of cows and goats they have, so keeping their animals healthy is
of utmost importance. In 2002, Tribal Advancement
paid for 4 young Samburu
men to gain
veterinary training and a veterinary fund was set up with medicines
for treating the sick cattle, goats and camels. The outcomes have
successful and large numbers of Samburu families are very grateful
that their livestock have been saved over the years.