Her dream and quest for education has finally come true. She is a 12yrs old girl who has been obliged to the cultural norms by her believe not to go against her culture. Esther Ngiilu from Kililio village in Kipsing at Oldonyiro Ward joins Kipsing primary school with support from Samburu Women Trust. This is after her parents reported her quest for school to Samburu Women Trust when they repeatedly found her around the school compound always alleging that she is looking for their lost goats and only to realize that Esther wanted to be in school. Like many other parents in the samburu community, Esthers’ parents believe in girls being a source of wealth, hence the reason why Esther has been home looking after their livestock as they keep her waiting for a suitor.
SWT met Esther back in 2012 while carrying out the Girl Child BEADING Research. Back then, Esther held tightly to her culture in that she resisted joining school saying that she cannot trade her culture for school since she could not see the importance of going to school.
Samburu Women Trust uses friendly approaches to eradicate retrogressive cultural practices against girls and women in the indigenous communities. One of this approaches is school and non-school Girls mentorship. It is through this program that Esther Ngiilu got the urge and the importance of education. Esther is one among many other young girls who have joined school as a result of the powerful girls mentorship that takes place every school holiday. Girls who attend the mentorship spread the message “importance of school and knowing child rights as a girl”.
Thanks to the commited mentors, Jacque Macharia, Jacinta Silakan, Angeline Leguuto, Mary Letimalo, Margaret Mirayon, Ann Resiano,Peter Lemasulani, Texas Learpanai, Sister Flora of Kipsing Mission, Fr Jeremy of Kipsing Mission, Fr Samal of Oldonyiro Mission and all the SWT staff, Jane Meriwas, John Leparsanti, Emily Lerosion, John Lekushula, Simon Lodopapit, Alice Mwangi, Bony Loltekui and Lucy Lemantile, all for their endless efforts in bringing a positive change to the indigenous communities especially to the girls and women in these communities.
As Esther arrives to Kipsing primary school. she is welcomed by girls in the school with great joy. She gives them a go ahead to remove her the traditional beads that have been keeping her into captive of being a herder at her elder brothers’ home, a task she has enjoyed doing since child hood. She is now a pupil at the school with a focus to fly over the Mountains so high in her education.
We all celebrate Esther as we encourage her in her new direction of life and we wish her all the best in pursuing her dream of becoming a journalist.
She promised her mother during her 1st day at school and as she hands the beads to her. “Mum, I will work hard and will be coming back to our community to take girls to school as I document them like I am being done for now, I promise”. Esther tells her mother with a smile on her face.
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