An introductory blog post on category – Maasai Boma Schools
Under this category you will learn about the primary school ADEA helped to establish in Rombo, Kenya. I was introduced to this community of Maasai by my dear Maasai friend, Tipape Loomu, who I met while he was studying in Nairobi. The establishment of this school was in response to a plea from parents and grandparents whose nomadic life as pastoralists (herders of cows, sheep and goats) was irreparably disrupted by the establishment game reserves on their traditional lands. These reserves are the Amboseli Game reserve to the north of Rombo at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the Tsavo West and East Parks to the east of Rombo. The loss of grazing lands and natural springs resulted in the overgrazing of the plains, and to the subsequent severe reduction of herd size due to starvation for the Maasai of Rombo. The drought of 2006-2009 decimated the remaining cattle populations. Parents saw that their traditional lifestyle was not possible for their children, so, for the first time for many, they desired formal schooling for their children in the hope it would improve their futures.
In these blogs you’ll learn about the children and the teachers, our efforts to make the curriculum and school culturally respectful to Maasai traditions, our work with the mothers to produce beaded items to raise money, our gain and loss of a school in Lamongo due to election politics, and our founding of a new campus on in Esukukota, Also, I’ll tell of aspects of their culture, community, traditions, eating habits, fashion sense, and more that I experienced while living with them, and enjoying them as friends and colleagues.
The map is to help readers gain a sense of this community’s location, on the eastern face of Mt. Kilimanjaro, below the Mawenzi peak (there are three). Overall the Maasai people occupy the plains of southern Kenya and north Tanzania, stretching from Lake Victoria in the west to Kilimanjaro in the east. Not all Maasai in East Africa are suffering the same oppression as those of Rombo. Though some communities are also being displaced and facing hardship, the challenges of the Maasai of Rombo with whom I work are unique because they are hemmed in by a mighty mountain to the west, former grazing lands that are now off limits to the north and east, and a boarder with Tanzania to the south and west.
Thank you – Asante Sana – Ashe Oleng
Douglas – Kupikita – Oloikurrkurr
Reminder: The foundational purpose to these blogs is to invite financial support that will allow ADEA to keep our team paid, and our programs going and improving. Please consider a one time or monthly gifts.