Enabling Educational Opportunities
Africa is a hot and desolate country - almost every inch blanketed with thorns of every size and yet, somehow, the magic oozes out of every ancient rock and puffy animal shaped cloud in the endless cobalt sky. You can't describe it properly - it's a feeling that seeps into your very soul, and I have been hooked for the last 17 years.
Five years ago I was traveling in the Northern Frontier on a camel/walking safari with my cousin Dianne Forsyth and friend, Helen Douglas-Dufresne, of the Milgis Trust/Northern Frontiers Camel Safari's. We walk by a palm frond covered shelter created by the local village that stands as their school.
Nearby they are several colorful “mommas” festooned in their daily decoration of beads, each with a baby tied to their back and one or more at their feet. This young children begin screaming! Even in this day and age they are screaming because Dianne and I are the first white people they have ever seen! An older child shyly approaches to touch my hand to see if my color will rub off on them. The Chief of this local village is present by chance. We introduce ourselves and our work partnering with local communities and learn the community dreams of having a proper school. The seed is planted….
In September 2018 I had the privilege of visiting the village and the school. Due to illness, I was left to trek the 10 miles alone with Lemagas, one of Helen's top Samburu guides and Ndoto, the safari dog. Lemagas was on a mission this morning so this wasn't a leisurely stroll! Upon arrivel
I found the kids waiting patiently for our arrive - all sitting around one huge table - which was supplied by the government. The government, however, does not pay for our teacher. Until he completes his degree WDCP supports him and his assistant.
It is so fun to see the kids (all 37 of them) wearing my high school and college colors of purple and gold. Bright and cheery, the smiles subdued as they still don't know what to think of me. Every square inch of space in the small classroom is filled with parents that have come to say thank you. The joy on their faces is amazing.
I brought book bags made out of colorful "katanga" fabric, sewn by one of our graduates in tailoring and a load of exercise books and other school supplies. Through it all, the focus remains on empowering student, and belief that each child deserves a chance for a brighter future.