Samburu Friends Mission has twelve girls in the Girl Child Education scholarship programme.Some are girls rescued from early marriages or female genital mutilation while others are from needy families within the Samburu Friends community.The scholarship gives priority to girls affected by cultural norms, and others are children of pastors within the Samburu Friends community. The Girl-Child Education scholarship has brought smiles and well-being to these girls and their families, since they are able to complete secondary education and join colleges and universities in Kenya.At the beginning of this year, Samburu Friends Mission Director Daniel Lentirangoi and two other committee members (Damaris Letoole and Pamela Lolkitekui) organized a mentorship programme for the Samburu girls. The event had over twenty girls in attendance. The main purpose of the mentorship programme was to discuss and encourage the school performance of the girls, as well as to distribute reusable cloth sanitary pads that were handmade by USFW members in the US. Then Damaris and Pamela taught the girls about reproductive health and hygiene and how to use the sanitary pads. The girls were happy to receive the pads, and and were grateful to the USFW donors for their insightful gift.
In Samburu, most of these girls come from poor families that cannot afford to meet all their needs. So most girls can neither afford nor access sanitary towels for themselves. During menses, they would rather miss class, or if they attend, their concentration in class is low. The sanitary pads will give the girls peace of mind and cut the cost of monthly purchase of this item.Also in attendance for the mentorship program on 4 March were two girls who were beneficiaries of the Girl Child Education scholarships. These two girls, Ruth Letoole and Sakina Leadismo, who are now in university, gave the girls advice and encouraged the girls to study and be resourceful to the community.Ruth and Sakina are both pursuing a degree in education. They shared their experiences with the girls and encouraged the girls to be optimistic. The two girls look forward to finishing university, and they actively support access to education for other girls.Sakina recalled how she was rescued from early marriage after her primary education. Her parents could not afford school fees and the only alternative was to marry her off. The Girl Child Education Scholarship through Friends United Meeting came through for her at her point of need. In her speech she said, “The university is a wonderful place, and being an educated young girl has boosted my esteem. I have been able to interact with other girls from the rest of the country. That is something I had never envisioned for me.” She expressed her gratitude to the Samburu Friends Mission for organizing the mentoring event and bringing education to the needy families within the Samburu community.