Sara Juma Classes
There is no money to send Sara to secondary school, even though she loves school and is doing well. To make it worse, most of her family thinks that girls should stay at home to cook and clean. But with the help of her school friends and some inspiration from a book, Sara manages to change all this. [Excerpt from Sara]
The importance of education is just one of many themes discussed by adolescent children attending the SARA and JUMA program offered by TEMBO Trust. Based on the printed materials developed as part of the Sara Communication Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa, the SARA and JUMA program is held weekly in primary schools in and around Longido. Mary Laiser, Community Facilitator, has created a comprehensive curriculum focusing on the needs of local adolescents: puberty, health and hygiene, importance of education, HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation. Classes are held for boys and girls in Standard 6 once a week at the end of the school day. Using dance, music and drama, Mary has the students fully engaged in topics relevant to their world and the community.
Adult Literacy Classes
Each week, 15-20 women in three villages (Kimikouwa, Oldorko and Ranch) gather under a tree close to a traditional Maasai bomas for a Swahili literacy lesson. The language of communication in the home and village is Maasai and few of the women have any schooling experience, and so they have limited exposure to Swahili. For many of the women, the adult literacy program is the first time they have been in a learning environment, held a pencil or spent time looking at printed material.
Each adult literacy lesson includes a life skills class where our Community Facilitator, Mary Laiser, explores topics including healthy eating during pregnancy, the importance of girls’ education and female genital mutilation. Using drama and authentic teaching materials, Mary creates a dynamic and engaged informal learning environment.
After 3 years, TEMBO celebrates with the women in a colourful graduation ceremony. The women recognize that they can now write their name, count in Swahili and “tell the doctor where it hurts because I know the name of body parts.”
Grace, a tailoring instructor at the Longido Learning Centre has a dream: “In one year, it would be great if the local women could have the skills to make all of the school uniforms for the TEMBO girls.” This may sound like an unreachable goal but staff at the Longido Learning Centre (LIL) are moving forward to make this happen.
In November 2018, Learning in Longido (LIL) launched a new tailoring program for women. Twenty Maasai women from remote villages are learning how to sew, thanks to LIL’s acquisition of sewing machines and sewing supplies. The tailoring program run from 12-3 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and women from 4 remote villages (Ranch, Oltepesi, Kimikouwa and Oldorko) attend the classes. In just a few short months, they have learned how to operate the sewing machines, sew a pleated skirt and make simple shirts.