"NASERIAN" our new hope
Naserian means many blessings and we have been truly blessed in our opportunity to expand our project base to include a nursery facility and thus supporting the whole end to end educational journey
During one of our ladies’ bead making workshops we met Moinan Parorit or Susan, a Maasai lady, with 3 boys, striving for her independence. Prior to marriage Susan completed her primary education and hoped to continue into secondary, however her family had other plans for her, and it was not meant to be.
Instead she set up a voluntary run nursery facility in the local church on the border of Kuku and Kimana group ranches and is supported by local parents. Susan also volunteers as a health care worker providing help and guidance on women’s health issues.
The church as a venue was not ideal due to the religious activities taking priority and the lack of basic facilities or water supply. Through discussion with Susan we identified a need for a building which would primarily be used as a nursery school but could also provide a facility for “drop in sessions” with local health care workers and serve as a base for field trip workshops.
Two years ago, building a nursery out in the bush seemed all but a dream. Whilst our priority has been, and still is, our secondary educational bursaries. We could not ignore the appeal for help to build a lasting oasis for the nursery age children living out in the bush in the area where we work.
In 2017 we were lucky enough to be given a donation to facilitate the build and in January 2018 work commenced on the project. Our benefactor John Gordon, who in his spare time loves to build and renovate homes back in the UK has shared his passion for construction out in the bush in Kenya. In November 2017 John, together with our local representative and the builder, marked out and cleared the plot and with the help of locals pruned the trees and the scene was set for the build to go ahead.
The nursery building provides an essential educational resource to the local community. Giving children an “early start” into educational means they are ready to join mainstream primary education on time, in an area where often they don’t get to school until 7 or 8 years old.
Education is key to the development of the community and to promoting an optimistic mix of the traditional Maasai culture and lifestyle and the modern world.
Early years education increases life chances in the area, while rich in culture, is poor in finance and resources. The ability to read and write and understand their environment gives these children a clear head start and helps in the longer term to educate other children and families
This semi-arid savannah straddles the wildlife corridor between Amboseli and Tsavo presenting many challenges for the children and their families. The onset of climate change is already altering the rain patterns and environment and consequently access to drinking water and grazing for their cattle is becoming more unpredictable. Considering these challenges our social purpose continues to focus on ways we can contribute to the wellbeing of the environment and this unique society. We are more than words; we are about action!
At the beginning of May 2019, we visited the site to oversee the completion of a perimeter fence with a solid gate protecting the children from the wildlife and other intruders.
The project is in the final stages of completion and to comply with our ethics, safeguarding policy and capacity building strategy, our local Maasai representatives are now in the process of registering the nursery with the government and to employ a full-time nursery teacher. The long-term goal for this nursery will not only be to reflect our values, hopes and aspirations but also that it will be managed independently and facilitated by the local community it serves.