FUM General Board Approves Shepherd Boys Education Fund

Last week, the General Board of Friends United Meeting approved the establishment of the Shepherd Boys Education Fund. For several years, the Board received appeals from the directors of Turkana Friends Mission and Samburu Friends Mission to provide a response for boys who are exposed to the violence and recruitment of banditry gangs in their pastoralist communities. In these communities, banditry and cattle rustling are at an all-time high. This situation is compounded by the harsh reality of drought and climate change which have depleted much of the livestock. This violence hit close to home when a member of our Samburu Friends Mission board was murdered by bandits.Providing an education for vulnerable boys in these communities is an important response to this crisis. Modeled after the Girl Child Education program, the Shepherd Boys Scholarship will be available to sponsor vulnerable boys who are exposed to violence in Samburu, Turkana, and Mt. Elgon. FUM is currently pursuing a grant to initiate this fund, and expanding staffing capacity to oversee both the Girl Child and Shepherd Boys programs. Additionally, FUM is adding a strong mentoring aspect to these programs. Along with providing support for school fees, our aim is to identify youth during their pre-secondary programs and provide life skills and faith development opportunities through high school. Further, we envision alumni of our program are well equipped to serve as mentors for these youth.

March 19, 2024