‘Equipping the next generation with quality education’
Since independence, Kenya’s ASAL districts have exhibited lower education access, participation, completion and achievement rates. This area is dominantly occupied by nomadic pastoral people. Although the education limitations in these areas have attracted various actions, national governments interventions have been inappropriate for the socio‐economic and geographic realities of this region; and inadequate to mitigate the historical deprivation the region has experienced.
Due to their nomadic lifestyle, pastoralists hardly have a place they would consider their permanent home. Families move from one place to another in search of water and pasture for their livestock, thus making it a big challenge to the traditional schooling structure. Children are also forced to accompany their families on these nomadic expeditions, several months at a time and cover hundreds of kilometers in cruel jungles, hence unable to attend traditional schools. Parents, being mostly illiterate, are also not in a position to support the formal education of their children while in transit. Therefore, the only inheritance that parents can pass on to their children is livestock – their only asset.
Further, the vulnerability of the Kenyan youth coupled with proximity of the North Eastern region to Somalia where they are easily lured to join the dreaded Al-Shabaab makes them an easy target for violent extremism. Targeting such vulnerable youth through out-of-class vocational training programmes helps a great deal in countering the extent and impacts of extremism in the country.
RRDO’s efforts in the education sector in the region targets both basic education as well as vocational training for youth particularly from Garissa county. The organization has continued to support the development of education infrastructure including construction of classrooms, staffroom as well as teachers’ houses. To promote retention of children in schools, RRDO has continued to partner with organizations such as WFP to provide school programme meals for school going children. Further, in order to benefit the nomadic families with education, RRDO, with support from UNICEF and the Aga Khan Foundation has been supporting different communities with mobile schools across Garissa county. In addition, under the World Bank funded KDRDIP project, RRDO will be sponsoring needy and bright students to transition to colleges and universities