Expanding Opportunities

Expanding Opportunities' mission is to increase self-sufficiency and cultural awareness through educational and charitable projects for people nationally and internationally. It is a broad mission designed to be clear enough to guide and flexible enough to respond to a variety of human need.
Jan 1, 2017

A Traditional Pastoralist Girl's Life

a  Pastoralist Girl
a Pastoralist Girl

The rooster crows, the cows murmur, donkeys bray, the morning birds begin their wake up calls. It is time to rise from the stiff skin bed in the corner of the wattle and daub home in the dry dusty bush. Sempela, a six year old girl rises and finds mother already at the fire. She fetches what water remains in the 20 liter plastic jerry can with the logo and emblem of a generous organization that gave them out last year, pour it into the aluminum pot and set it on the fire to boil for tea. Yesterday mother sold her bag of charcoal so today she will have tea with milk before heading off to school. She is one of the lucky girls whose parents allow her to go to school and have found a sponsor for her uniform and shoes. At the same time in the village other young girls are rising and fetching the water for their tea without milk. Others will not go to school like Sempela. They will stay at home, fetch water for the family, clean and scrub dishes and then go search for firewood and roots for the evening meal. Some girls, after milking their cow, carry some milk to the forest in a gourd for strength in the midday sun. Already the girls know how to run their household.

In a year or so, father will take his knife and with a small ceremony cut out one of her bottom teeth. It is an occasion each girl will remember for their lifetime. Sempela will fetch water for her mother, dress and walk the 2 miles to school.   As they live in a traditional village, it will l not be long before the girls may be “beaded” – given to a young man at least in his teens and possibly an older relative.   If a baby is produced from this relationship it is not accepted and in their tribe is taken to the forest and left. The girls know this and accept it as the role of a girl in their tribe.

At any time in the girl’s life a suitor may approach the father to have the girl in marriage. Peeking from the cooking fire the girl wonders as the arrangements are made, she is not consulted.

Girls will participate in a circumcision ceremony to graduate them to the status of women. This is most often a December group ceremony. The girls are cloistered together and trained how to be women. Then it is customary for them to be married into a polygamous home. From that moment, the woman’s lifetime job is to bring children for the husband, and work to maintain the household.

Sempela has learned a bit more in school about these traditional ceremonies. She has enjoyed learning to read and seek answers to her questions and discover different worlds and that she can have a different lifestyle if she chooses. She learns that FGM and EFM are illegal and that she has rights as a child in her country. She learns that education is the key that opens many new doors for her and eventually for her family. She becomes the advocate in her family for new ideas.  

 

Expanding Opportunities uses your generous donations to locate these “Sempelas” and support them in school.

Thank you.

Classroom
Classroom

Links:

Dec 20, 2016

Otieno Gets a B+

Otieno: looking good
Otieno: looking good

Otieno was 7 years old when he came to JWHS, our chidlren's home. Th school had alertd us to his situation. He was arriving in school with no shoes, having had no breakfast, and carrying no lunch.  They knew he was bright but in a difficult situation.  He was the only survivor of his family taken to live with his grantparents who were still raising their family along with other grandchilren in a two room mud house on a very sall retirement.

They requested that otieno come and stay with us if possible.  We accepted him into the home and have been blessed by this young person of wonderful character and excellent academics.  He has returned to JWHS from his boarding high school for the holidays after receiving a B+ on his final examinations.  In January he enters his last year of high school.  The exam he takes at the end of this year will dtermine if and where he can attend further education. 

He is determined to study hard and receive an A on his KCSE.  We would like to thank you donors for your part is raising this wonderful young man.  Without you donors we would not be able to assist these children and helpthem to grow into mature, responsible citizens.

Links:

Nov 28, 2016

Gordon Clem Academy completed its second year!

A Class at Gordon Clem Academy
A Class at Gordon Clem Academy

Gordon Clem Academy completed its second year!   Despite a myriad of challenges Gordon Clem Academy completed its second year. 

But there have been some fundamental problems in gaining sufficient funding to operate the Academy as planned. 

The Government of Kenya has put a halt to opening new public schools without significant clearance.  Gordon Clem Academy was in the process of registration as a public school but it was not completed prior to the halt. Therefore, the government are unable to supply teachers, books, food etc.

The people of the area cannot afford to pay school fees for the school to operate as a private school. 

Therefore we are searching for the way forward.  While we are doing that, we will deactivate this project and return with our new direction in the future. 

Thank you for your support to date.

A Class at Gordon Clem Academy
A Class at Gordon Clem Academy

Links:

 
   

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