Leyopoko Lawrence Lmatirin




Lawrence comes from Ilakwen, a small village which is about 30 kilometers from the tiny village of Ndonyo Wasin which in turn is 30 miles from the main road. In 2003 when he was 3 years old a preschool opened up in near his home. The school was a large shady thorn tree with a blackboard propped against the tree trunk and the teacher was a warrior with 4 years of schooling. Lawrence’s father is one of the few people in north eastern Samburu who has some schooling but he was taken out of school when he was 13 years old to look after the family cows. He was one of the first parents in the area to send a child to the newly opened school and was adamant that Lawrence get a full education.
Lawrence loved learning in the preschool and has done extremely well in primary school. In his final KCPE exams he achieved marks of 327 and was 6th in class. Lawrence is very smart and very persistent and he says he attributes his success at school to his father’s encouragement and to working hard. Lawrence has two younger siblings at school. One is in class 2 and the other is in pre-school. When he is not studying, he enjoys reading and playing soccer. He is on the school’s soccer team as a mid-fielder. Last year he was the library prefect and he was secretary of the boys debating team.
Lawrence comes from a traditional nomadic family and they live in an extended manyatta with his father’s brothers and their wives and children; they share responsibility for the herding of the cows and goats which are their sole source of food. During the frequent droughts they travel up to 80 kilometers in search of grass and water. Recently Lawrence’s father has started working as a wild life ranger at Namunyak conservancy but his wages are very small and he could never afford the school fees for Lawrence to go to a good high school.


Lawrence Lmatirin Leyopoko Lawrence Lmatirin Leyopoko
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