Working to End the Cycle of Violence in the Tribal Lands of Eastern Africa

SHALOM REACHING OUT TO NEEDY SCHOOLS IN SAMBURU COUNTY, KENYA: MARTI, MORIJO AND BARSALOI

“With this support from Shalom our story moves from desperation to hope”. (Ms. Rose Losike, Principal Morijo Mixed Secondary School)

Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR) focuses primarily on building authentic relationships with community leaders and elders, while also responding to felt needs within the community to strengthen the opportunities for development, particularly inter-religious and inter-ethnic education. In the month of May 2019, Shalom delivered vital educational needs to Morijo Mixed Secondary School, Morijo Mixed Primary School and Barsaloi Shepherd Schools.

Samburu, Turkana and Pokot pupils from Morijo Primary School preparing to build a future of peace

For many years, the persistent inter-ethnic conflict between the Samburu, Turkana and Pokot communities living in the larger Samburu County have resulted in the loss of many lives, destruction of both social and economic properties.  Compounded by the loss of hundreds of livestock, insecurity in the connector roads, disruption of learning and even closure of schools, these communities have been marginalized from mainstream development. They lack general infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads and communication network.  Most of the schools have lacked physical structures to a point where pupils at different levels share classrooms and sometimes learn under the tree.

Shalom-SCCRR is on the ground working with these communities and in particular helping schools to offer a good education to the young people from all ethnic backgrounds in the area.  In a visit to Marti Secondary School the head teacher, Mr. Lokolong stated:

Our students have a place for learning… we have standard classrooms and a modern kitchen with a store with the help of Shalom.  As Marti community, we are very grateful, we are thankful… to Shalom and all who support their work.”

Present during the delivery were: Fr. Oliver, Country Director, Shalom; Paul Leshimpiro, Member of County Assembly (MCA); Ms. Rose Losike, headteacher of the school.

Shalom delivered solar units and laboratory equipment to Morijo Mixed Secondary School in May. According to Ms. Rose Losike, the Principal, the solar units will help the students to study in the evening and early morning. Solar energy will allow the laboratory equipment to operate in the school.

She spoke at the presentation of equipment saying We were a school offering science subjects with no laboratory equipment – just an empty room. Now with this support from Shalom our story moves from desperation to hope. This re-writes the future of the young people of Morijo and other adjacent villages (Marti/Malaso) who have been marginalized and have experienced conflict that has negatively impacted them.”

Morijo Secondary School is an inter-ethnic school, hosting students from Samburu, Turkana and Pokot communities therefore providing an environment for inter-ethnic schooling. Shalom has established a peace club in the school. During this visit, 65 peace club members, and 2 peace club patrons were trained on skills for conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Three more peace clubs from the other schools were also engaged with similar training. In total 15 peace club patrons and 215 peace club members trained in the skills to transform their communities. The seeds of a new culture of peaceful co-existence is being planted by these young people in their schools and villages. 

Morijo Primary School received textbooks for class 4 – 8. Before delivery of the textbooks, pupil to textbook ratio was 5:1. The school hosts pupils from three ethnic communities that is Samburu, Turkana and Pokot.

Fr. Oliver handing over textbooks to Morijo Primary school. Others present Mr,Leshimpiro (MCA), Mr.Lekasuyan, (retired area Chief), Mr. Leshoe (Deputy Headteacher and Fr. Dominic, Morijo Catholic Parish.

The school is seen as a symbol for a developing peace, and co-existence that has begun with the pupils. This is a result of Shalom’s support with materials for enhancing academic performance, and peace education aimed at developing a culture of peace starting with the young generation from the three communities.

In Barsaloi, Shalom delivered solar units to facilitate evening learning for the Lchekuti (a school for shepherds). The young shepherds both girls and boys can only learn in the evening because during the day the boys attend to the animals while the girls perform domestic chores. Now with new solar systems, they have an opportunity to attend class.

Young nomadic boys and girls in their class room in Barsaloi

These newly initiated projects means over 1,298 girls and boys will have access to quality education and begin to actualize their full potential. The voice of these young people trained and supported by Shalom-SCCRR should not be underestimated, they will be future leaders of their community, generating a powerful movement of hope, creating a peace that will end the killing, maiming and displacement of their families.  Shalom-SCCRR with the help of many people worldwide is committed to these students and to their future as young peacebuilders.

Written by:

Arthur Magero, BA, MA, Project Officer  (Team Leader, Samburu County)

Francis Mwangi, BA, MA, Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning Officer

Kennedy Akoko, BA, MA, Project Officer

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