In November 2013 I spent a month in Kenya working closely with an NGO called Expanding Opportunities to provide them with photos for their website, newsletters and social media. The organisation has a number of facets and I was able to focus on two of these, the children's home called JWHS, and the outreach work in Samburu to rescue young girls from forced marriages and help educate them at the local school.
Once the children's home in Nakuru was established, Expanding Opportunities began investigating how best to help the young girls in rural Kenya who are subjected to female genital mutilation and often forced into marriages to older men at a young age. Although the Kenyan constitution has banned these practises and states that each child has the right to education, in rural areas, communities live by ancient tradition rather than national law.
After much research, the resounding need that was discovered was education for these girls. As stated on their website, "Education builds knowledge, confidence, avenues of support and therefore weakens exploitation, poverty and dependency."
Expanding Opportunities partners with the fantastic work being done at a school in the heart of remote Samburuland in rural Kenya. Here there are teachers and headmaster, Kiboi Maina, are dedicated to protecting and empowering the girls who express an interest in attending school. By raising awareness about these girls, Expanding Opportunities helps to raise boarding fees and living allowances to keep these girls in school. Because of the nomadic pastoralist lifestyle which the Samburu people lead, boarding school is the only way for these girls to have a consistent education, and often the only way to ensure that they do not fall pregnant at a young age.
I have separated this blog in two parts, the first gives a brief view of the lifestyle and culture of the Samburu people, and the second section focusses on the Kipsing Primary School and the involvement of Expanding Opportunities with the community.
Kipsing Primary School
If you would like to get involved with this school or support any of the girls here, please get hold of them through this website: http://www.expandingopportunities.org/