Since 2009, 232 girls in grades 4-8 have received life-altering education and leadership training through the Kakenya Center for Excellence boarding school.
Kakenya learned from her own family experience the impact of agricultural and livestock training on a family’s ability to effectively feed themselves and educate their children. Unlike other parts of Maasai land, Enoosaen is blessed with regular rainy seasons that allow the community to practice subsistence farming. Small farms normally allow families to adequately feed themselves and this lessens the burden for women who would have to look for food elsewhere.
Currently, Enoosaen is faced with a challenge that is threatening the practice of subsistence farming in the community. Construction of the Transmara sugar cane factory continues next to Kakenya Center, and much of the land in the community has been turned into large-scale sugar cane farms.
The commercial farming will prevent women from accessing land for growing food crops, and the funds earned from large plantations end up in the hands of men rather than women. Recognizing how important subsistence farming is for women to be able to feed their families, we believe in training our girls with agricultural skills so that they can in turn train their mothers. Eventually, they will be able to use these skills to feed their own families.
The school’s garden, which we started planting in September 2010, will become a training and demonstration project for the girls and the entire community. It also helps us provide our students with fresh, healthy meals. This has become even more essential with rising food costs across Eastern Africa due to widespread drought.