In pastoralist Maasai communities of the Monduli, Ngorongoro and Longido districts, illiteracy rates are approximately 75% and women are the worst affected. School attendance rates are very low compared to the national average and only 30% of girls attend secondary school. Girls are more likely to drop out at the transition from primary to secondary school when many are forced into marriage. Since the inception of ENCO a number of girls and boys from the pastoralist communities has been supported to attend secondary schools, colleges and Universities because their parents could not support their education expenses. The organization helped them with tuition fees, accommodation costs, food, transport and learning materials. A total of twenty-four young men and ladies were supported and most of the are not employed in various sectors. Three of them are working in various ENCO’s projects.
Through its Education Access Program, ENCO started the Engaruka English Medium Pre-Primary School in February 2018. The school’s Phase I construction (two classrooms, bathrooms, and three offices) was funded primarily through a $70,000 grant from the TX Foundation of Taiwan. Additional support for construction, furnishings, and operating expenses was provided by the Maasai Education Foundation. Additional construction of required infrastructures, water projects, electricity and operation costs has been possible through various donors mainly The Maasai Education Foundation (MEF), Boutique Safari and individual friends. The school provides quality English-based education to pastoralist Maasai children and prepare the children to pass the national secondary school entrance exams. The school and its approach are very niche in that it provides an English language-based primary school education to Maasai youth. The school serve as a safe home and rescue center for the most vulnerable girls who for different reasons are denied their rights for education in expense of exchange for dowry and child labor.
Since July 2016 ENCO started lobbying two government villages to give us a land for school construction, for eight months none of the villages was able to approve us a land. Due to long process and lots of bureaucracy from village Authorities, our family couldn’t bear the cost of losing our first potential donors, The TX foundation (Tsu Xing meaning ‘kindness walking) by then hence we decided to donates 34.7 acres of land to start the construction of the school in April 2017. The land survey was done to allow other legal procedures of approving the construction for the school from the district engineer. ENCO women’s groups and neighboring families especially women secured a short-term income generating activity by collecting rocks, gravels and sand for the construction. Ground breaking ceremony was attended by hundreds of community members, TX foundation president Mr. Jaffe Hsieh, and his wife Ms. Liza Lin (The founder) and Ms Adenike Adeyanju, the TX Regional Coordinator. Local dignitaries and officials as well as community members, different media companies including our famous TV broadcasting (ITV), and students who will attend the school next January when classes start also attended. This TX foundation building consists of two classrooms, three office rooms, five washrooms and three bathrooms was constructed in four months. The official Opening ceremony was attended by the donors the TX – Foundation, education partners, government official, expected students and many more community members.
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