The Samburu Scholarship Program is located in the semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya and supports the three communities of Ndonyo Wasin, Lerata and Sereolipi. The Samburu people living here are nomadic pastoralists and their way of life is thousands of years old. This is one of the most marginalized and poorest areas in Africa, lacking the most basic of amenities – clean water, roads, electricity, transport, telephone service, pre-natal and infant healthcare.

The program is run by the Sereolipi Nomadic Education Foundation. The goal of the Foundation is to get as many children of the nomadic families to come to school as possible. The number of children attending school in the area has increased from 130 in 2001 to just over 1,400 in 2017. The web site tells this story of how, against all odds, the people of Ndonyo Wasin, Lerata and Sereolipi in Northern Kenya, through hard work, resourcefulness and with a little help from the outside world, have begun to create significant, meaningful and measurable change in their lives.

The Samburu Scholarship Program was launched in January 2006 and is a simple but highly effective program to ensure that graduates of the three primary schools in the area are able to go on to secondary education. In Kenya this is either high school, which is for four years in Kenya, or technical school, which is for two years. If the students in high school do well then we usually support them in a two-year vocational college diploma.
Generous individuals in the U.S. or Europe pay $1250 each year to sponsor a student. The $1250 cover school fees ($550), school supplies and uniforms ($280), transport to and from school ($130), medical, tutoring and mentoring expenses ($260) that the child and his/her parents cannot afford.

This sponsorships are important because the average annual household income in the area is less than $250 a year. In order to send a child to secondary school, at least six cows have to be sold each year for four years. No families have 24 cows to sell, a problem further compounded by the frequent droughts that deplete the herds. Consequently, even if they qualify for secondary school, few students can even begin their studies and far fewer ever complete them. And those that do complete typically spend so much time absent from school trying to raise money for tuition that their grades suffer and they graduate with marks that don’t qualify them for a job.

If the graduates from Sereolipi and Ndonyo Wasin, Lerata and Sereolipi primary schools can go on to more advanced education they will be able to get good jobs. (In Kenya you need secondary school education even to be a cashier at the supermarket or an attendant at a gas station.) If they do well in secondary school they will be able to go on to a two-year course in teaching nursing, business studies, the Kenya Wildlife Service, etc. If they go to technical school they will graduate at the end of two years as a qualified mechanic, plumber, electrician etc. Ultimately this will boost the socio-economic structure of the community, preserve the Samburu culture, mitigate poverty and allow these people to be in control of their own destiny. It will also help these individual students achieve their own potential.

In 2006 we identified eight students from the school who had good enough grades to go on to secondary school. We were able to find sponsors for all these students in the first few months of the year and we sent them all off to school with funds for school fees, uniform, books, a calculator, blanket, soap, sundries and travel money.

In the next 4 years (2007 to 2010) we added an average of 14 students a year. In 2011 we added 33 students and we are now supporting 139 students in the program. We expect the number of students we add each year to continue to increase significantly over the next 4 years.

As part of their scholarship we provide the students with extra tutoring for them in their weakest subjects during the school holidays. They have a mentor who looks after their academic performance and we provide medical treatment when necessary. Also during the school holidays they do community work digging pits to burn garbage in, bringing water and gravel to the school building sites, helping older people with their firewood etc.

We thank each of the student sponsors for their immense generosity. This program will change the destiny of hundreds of children and it exists entirely because of you. Your gift is a gift that will literally last a lifetime.


Remedial Holiday Tuition E-Learning and communication  at Sereolipi Letter writing to Sponsors
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