Next week two Maasai girls from Olbalbal will begin their high school studies at Digodigo Secondary School in the Sonja valley, some six hours drive from here. They have been selected by the Education Department from among the students just graduated from our local primary school. One new wrinkle this year in the tally of expenses to send a child to high school is the need to buy all the books for their various classes. In the past, the schools have provided the books. The reality is that there were no school books for the students. The teacher and one and that was it. Now each student has to find and buy his or her own books. The government has done away with tuition for high school but replaced that expense with others that make supporting a child in secondary school more expensive than ever. Many thanks to all of you out there who are helping me support these girls in school and also others that we continue to support.
Ndaiyo Lengitata has been raised by her aging mother without the benefit of a husband’s help. Her brother, of warrior age, has an alcohol problem and saps much of the family’s meager resources. Ndaiyo’s mother came to me a couple of weeks ago and talked about their situation. She explained that, although Ndaiyo wanted very much to continue her studies, she would be unable to send Ndaiyo to high school. Without help, Ndaiyo will be “sold” to a husband to satisfy the needs of her brother. I have agreed that we support her in high school.
Nakutamba Kapande graduated among the top three students here at Olbalbal with a solid “B” average. Both her mother and father are dead and she has been raised by her grandmother. She is a very clever girl and determined to continue with her education. Her grandmother has no resources at all and would be unable to help Nakutamba fulfill her dreams. After speaking with her grandmother and hearing her story, I have agreed to find the wherewithal to sent her to school at Digodigo.
I have been busy buying all their necessities for school at the local cattle market and at Karatu, the nearest town that is two hours away by car. Ndaiyo and Nakutaba are due at school on Saturday and my next challenge will be to find them transport to get to the school.