It is yet another bright year for us here at Save the Elephants Grassroots Education Program, and in this month of February, we have enrolled eleven students in our scholarship program. The students, who comprise six girls and five boys, have joined various top National and County schools in Samburu, Nakuru and Nairobi Counties. All these children, are just part of the many that we interviewed, who hail from very destitute families, but performed very well in the national exams that they sat for late last year.
This is a new dawn for these bright and highly motivated children here in Samburu, whose dreams are being nurtured in schools and through this Elephant Scholarship Program, which is very well steered by the overwhelming support from our wonderful donors.
In line with the STE’s wider mission, the education program endevours to secure a future for elephants, through passing the benefits of conservation to the local residents, who live around the Samburu-Isiolo conservation area. We believe that through provision of education to these young minds, we change the attitudes, give them alternative means of earning a living and most importantly, providing them with platforms of saving the elephants, as they explore various careers, both locally and globally.
Having grown in Northern Kenya, these children have been faced with a myriad of challenges that range from walking long distances to school to sleeping hungry in times of lack. In addition, they hail from areas where the culture advocates for Female Genital Mutilation, the early marriage of the girls (as early as nine years of age), and for the boys, they have to become warriors and take up roles of herding, raiding other communities and taking care of young families in adulthood. Therefore, by taking these girls and boys to boarding schools, the Elephant Scholarship Program ensures that none of them is trapped into these outdated practices.
To date, the scholarship programme has benefitted over 120 students, currently we have 2 students in primary school, 31 in high school and 14 in various institutions of higher learning