With local partners, we set up shepherd classes (special classes that run from 5pm to 9pm) that target bright children, especially young girls, who are forced to herd and perform other duties during the
day. The shepherd students get a meal, and a local solar lamp for use at school and at home. We then help the mothers of the students set up alternative income projects from money they would have otherwise spent on kerosene, which eventually helps the shepherds transform into regular classes.
For many parents in Pastoralist communities such as Samburu and Turkana, education can not be a priority. The need of education arises only after the basic needs of survival are fulfilled. In doing so children are required to work during the day in the field to help their parents for earning livelihood, obviously at the cost of their education. The shepherd classes which takes place in the evening, have given children who herd during the day a chance to become literate.
We educate the community where these girls come from, set up shepherd classes (special evening classes), provide stipend for teachers, provide meal for the shepherd students, provide sporting equipment, provide learning materials, provide solar lanterns, install solar systems on the classes, and work with the students and their mothers to set up alternative income projects.Our emphasis is on advancing Mathematics, Science and Technology skills for girls since they are most affected.
After provision of solar lamps, we train the communities on innovative financial sustainability, that enables them to save what was being spent on kerosene, to start alternative income generating ventures. with these alternative ventures, improved lighting and alternative access to education, the children are given a chance to show their potential and eventually can be integrated into the regular school to achieve their dream goals. This intends to help all girls attain universal education.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Information about the project on our website
Our volunteer visiting the shepherd students
CNN tribute showing the shepherds