Justus had told me about Rose, but meeting her was special. She is a very humble young lady whose goal and desire is to teach in her community and to give the same opportunity she had to the children of the Maasai Mara.
Rose is 19 and is from a local family and has a strong desire to teach. If she can do the two years at college and become a teacher she will be paid by the government to teach in her village. Rose’s school fees over two years including board is 200,000kes ($24 per week), and by passing her story on, encouraging other girls on the Maasai Mara who desire education
Justus has told me that the government have allocated an area for a school and the village has built a small one, but have no more money at present to continue with loo’s, etc,. When completed the kinder and primary children can be taught there and so the walking or boarding of children away from their families will stop. And more importantly the girls will be educated as well as the boys because at the moment boys have priority.
She proudly showed me the school building that the people of the villages close by had erected and I was surprised to find it had stone walls (brought down from the hillside above the school), and a tin roof and the twisted wooden poles that hold up the veranda roof that she had picked.
Rose said that there was room for 30 desks and each could seat 5 children, that is 150, very crowded I remarked. She said she could teach 30 children at the most so that they would pay attention, but there are so many children who want to learn and who would walk to school so they could be taught.
Justus has told me that he will sell a few sheep to pay for the bed, etc., for Rose’s room as the boarding charges only cover the bare room and meals, but both were very happy and grateful about Rose actually going to teacher training college.
Unfortunately Rose won’t be able to start the school until she has finished college in 2015 and I am not sure if the government will pay for a teacher there now. So there is an opportunity on the Maasai Mara! All that needs to be done is to obtain from the local committee and I am sure that won’t be a problem.
I am not sure if the pictures show it clearly, but the hill behind the school is quite steep and a lot of water must come down it. I am hoping to create a large swale and fertility pit near the base and it will help to feed a garden for the school. They have heaps of cow dung, (used for the roofs and walls of the houses) which can be used to help revitalise the soil; it is of a similar condition to that around Wilkesdale
There is no vegetation for mulch to be had as the animals eat most things that grow, so growing some green manure is the go, along with legumes and a different grain (if I can get the seed), may be Aramanath. It will add a variation to their diet of white rice and maize, although getting them to try different greens is going to be difficult. When at Wildebeest camp I suggested to Justus he try some nasturtiums leaves and flowers that were growing, he was horrified.
It would be good to put two 10,000ltr water tanks on the school building to catch the rain water so the children can drink good clean water. I am investigating bore water at the moment as that would benefit the whole village and many close by.
Justus has spoken about toilets for the school and I favour movable loo’s attached to the garden and becoming compost heaps and worm farms rather than long drops where it always smells with lots of flies. That is one I have noticed around the villages, because of the animals and their dung being stored, which is used to water proof the dwellings there are flies in abundance, they cover the little children until someone wipes them away and one is forever waving.