Headed into our 13th year, we have several plans that build on our core strengths and also plan to adapt to some lessons to other programs that learned throughout the Covid years. Specifically:
- We will add a cohort of 10-12 students to receive full scholarships for secondary school. Completion of secondary school gives our students standing to pursue further education in the trades and vocations most relevant to Samburu’s economy, and problem-solving and critical thinking skills to apply to all aspects of their lives. Our evaluation work indicates that the most valuable outcome of our scholarships is creating opportunity; our scholarship recipients have the character and commitment to chase their dreams to do well for themselves and their community, and need the opportunity of secondary education to keep them on their path.
- We will continue to support groups of women via sales of their beadwork and provision of clean drinking water. The Covid years have been extremely tough, between a stubborn sharp decline in tourism and a persistent drought that has decimated livestock herds. As primary decision-makers and caregivers of their households, women have endured this hardship acutely; the situation is dire in many areas. As a result, we have balanced our historical approach of creating income-earning opportunities to elevate the women as entrepreneurs and small business operators, with periodic relief-based activities around providing food and similar support.
- We will continue our life skills workshops focused on academic preparation, early pregnancy prevention and reproductive health, and preparing for post-secondary jobs and education. These sessions complement our scholarship recipients’ formal academic learning to help keep them on a pathway to completing secondary school and leveraging their education for further opportunity.
- After a few years of our DIG entrepreneurship program, we have a program delivery model that is getting closer and closer to insuring thriving success! This upcoming year we will again support the start-up of small businesses via financial grants and business mentorship, and this year we will link the new businesses with our scholarship recipients to provide additional capacity to get the businesses launched successfully while providing valuable real-world lessons learned about the persistence and risk-taking needed for success.
We worked on developing these plans throughout the last quarter of 2022, and fortunately are able to implement them as we fully envisioned thanks to the generosity of our donors. Off we go into 2023!