Nagirasia Lengima, a 16 year old girl who lives in Marsabit, Kenya, dropped out of school at a young age. She didn’t think school was of any use, and spent her days looking after the family’s goats, doing household chores and looking after her two children. This is not unusual in Marsabit, where less than 15% of girls over the age of six have ever attended school. Today, thanks to your generous support she attends classes on a daily basis, knowledge is now very important to her. Nagirasia has learned a great deal since reenrolling in school. She has learned to read and write and to speak Kiswahili. Now she wants to continue learning and someday dreams of getting a job or owning her own business. Through the Mobile Non Formal Education program, Nagirasia’s dreams can become a reality.
This is the Mobile Non-Formal Education (MNFE) Center in Kutura, Marsabit County, a village close to the Kenya-Ethiopia border and home to approximately 950 pastoralists. The girls come from nomadic families who roam the plains in Marsabit County in search of pasture.
Adeso launched the ambitious Mobile Non-Formal Education (MNFE) project in 2014 to bring education to pastoralists who have been denied access to education because of their nomadic lifestyle. For generations, Kutura residents have depended on cattle, sheep, and goats to earn a living. Since animals need water and pasture to thrive, communities have to move in search of these precious elements forcing the children to drop out of school.
To ensure there is no conflict between livelihood activities and education, the project provides flexible learning schedules, with classes taking place when pupils are free including at night. Girls like Nagirasia start their lessons as early as 6am and tend to the goats during the day while others catch up with the day’s lessons at night. When that happens, the teacher lights the tent with a solar lamp that he recharges during the day.
To provide even more flexibility, annual school terms are not based on calendar months like regular schools. Instead, the calendar is determined by rainfall patterns with learning taking place mainly during wet seasons when laboor demand on children is low and movement is minimal, thereby allowing more teacher-pupil contact time.
The program accommodates girls who dropped out at different levels and is capable of handling multi-grade pupils with training and support provided by Adeso.
During the sensitization and recruitment that was conducted in August 2014, close to 300 young women and men showed up to enroll. This was an opportunity of a lifetime for many. There are more than 100 pupils in the MNFE center, the majority are girls. This is particularly encouraging considering that girls in this region have for a long time been excluded from mainstream education.
The contributions of GlobalGiving donors to the Mobile Non-Formal Education project are critical – your donations bring school supplies, trained educators, tents, and hope to girls like Nagirasia. To provide more opportunities for girls like Nagirasia, please consider making a contribution to continue to provide a better future for children so often neglected.
Adeso is consolidating our GlobalGiving projects to reduce burden, and to ensure that we spend as much of our time advancing development and educational opportunities to vulnerable communities in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan.
To streamline our work, Adeso will close off this GlobalGiving project, and continue to provide updated content on our Mobile Non-Formal Education program in Kenya at the following links:
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The past month has seen tremendous progress in our Mobile Non-Formal Education program. We have recruited students from a wide array of communities, including pure pastoralists and semi-nomadic households. In August and September, we identified four members for the Community Education Councils in the villages and communes of Elgade, Rage, Kargi, Korr, Laisamis, and Jaidesa. The four members (two men, two women in each community) will support the MNFE work by identify girls and boys to participate, and ensuring strong community investment in their childrens' education.
In our discussions with young people and their parents, we are working to increase community engagement and support. We are also ensuring that the communities have backup infrastructure available for classes if our tents are damaged due to harsh local conditions. Now children and learning, the communities are more engaged, and young people in one of Kenya's poorest regions are going to have a new array of opportunities in life.
Keep checking in with Adeso on GlobalGiving, follow us on our social media at http://twitter.com/AdesoAfrica and http://facebook.com/AdesoAfrica, and visit our website at http://www.adesoafrica.org for updates on this and all of our development and humanitarian work in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan!
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