UPDATE – 01/2013
The January 2013 trip undertaken by the Hartmann Dadas in conjunction with Coaching the Global Village was focused on the Samburu area and in particular two women’s villages (Umoja and Unity) and Lorubae Primary School. During the twelve day trip, Karen Hartmann Canino and Hartmann Dada board members Mary Grigsby and Susan Amador worked at Lorubae Primary, both women’s villages and interacted with the local high school recipients from the Samburu Youth Education Fund.
Umoja Uaso and Unity Women’s Villages
During our visit in in January 2012, we found that the women of the villages derive their livelihood from sales of their beadwork. Our group included Susan Amador, M.F.A. metal smith and local college teacher, Karen Hartmann Canino a local Fort Collins artist and retired primary teacher, and Mary Grigsby a 20 year elementary school teacher. The plan was to bring tools to them and begin a dialogue with them of what we might want to offer to help. From Karen’s previous trips and Mary’s teaching experience. We also planned what we thought would be necessary to assist the school in achieving their school goals. ( photo of school goals).
Jewelry Work with the Women
We brought them metal circle cutters, hole punches, pliers, hand shears and supplies (wire, beads, fasteners, earring wires). "Meeting the women was a warm and joy-filled occasion! I found the language barrier to be of no consequence to my happy surprise! After demonstrating the capabilities of the tools and a woven beaded bracelet project they were off and running. When we returned the next day they had made several and had incorporated their traditional patterns. They thanked us for a skill that would give them a new product to sell" -Susan Amador (two photos-Susan with the women and jewelry)
We brought soccer balls, playground balls, jump ropes, volleyballs and simple card games so we could interact with the children. We also taught them clapping hand games. (picture of Mary and Children). "The children were so fun to be with. They had NO concept of sharing when we started with them. By the end of our visit they were having fun sharing the balls, playing catch and kicking the balls and playing the card games. They loved seeing us show up to their village every day." -Mary Grigsby
Lorubae Primary School
This is the local primary school serving the area, in particular the women’s villages. We talked with Bonface Isigi and Priscilla Lengila who are the Headmasters of the school. In touring the school grounds we saw their solar water pump, the girls dormitory including a new septic system, water storage tanks and the school facilities.
The girls dormitory was brand new to serve 50 girls from the local community. These girls are between the ages of 10 and 13 and are at risk for a number of atrocities that plague young girls in this part of Africa: arranged marriages, female genital mutilation, and sexual assault to name a few. Isigi told us in order for the dormitory to open on time they were still in need of mosquito netting and food. We were able to help them with that. (picture of dormitory and girls) We were very happy to hear that a week after we left the girls had moved in!
We knew there was a need for school supplies especially for the lower primary (Pre-K to 2nd). The teachers were having a difficult time teaching the children to read. To help with this we brought: easy readers books, pencils, pens, paper, flash cards, alphabet cards and letters. All were put to use immediately. We also brought supplies to paint two blackboards and one white board. "That was a wonderful afternoon. We had to sand the plywood to start and were working hard on it. All of a sudden we had a crowd of children watching. They immediately asked if they could help. Our work was done! The children had so much fun getting involved and sanded their little hearts out. The job took a quarter of the time. We were able to paint the boards that day and provided concrete nails so they were hung the next day." -Mary Grigsby (insert photo of the children sanding here)
Samburu High School Scholarship Recipients
On our second day we had the privilege of being invited to the assembly of students who were the past and current scholarship recipients of the Samburu Education fund. We listened to their powerful testimonies and heard how proud they were to receive these scholarships and how they were going to change their communities when finished with their schooling.
The Samburu Education Fund was started in December 2010 by Brett Bruyere and Adam Beh. Their mission is to provide educational opportunities to Samburu youth through financial support of secondary education. The ultimate goal is to "create a critical mass of leaders with skills and knowledge to improve and make a difference in their community". There are close to fifty students who have received scholarships so far. For more information go to http://www.samburuyouth.org.
To return to this Samburu area, in particular the Lorubae Primary School and the two women’s villages. We want to expand the dialogue with them. There are tentative plans to go to the Likipia area to visit a Masai primary school and a Masai women’s village where we want to begin a dialogue.