My name is Lucy, and I am a revolutionary figure in my community. At just 5 years old, my father noticed me doing arithmetic in the dirt, and even though I was one of 18 children, he decided to give up his status in the community so I could go to school. I fought for my education and then fought the men in my village to let me build a school. As a woman, the odds of successfully running a school in Maasai Mara were slim, but I became an icon for women and children throughout my entire community.
Growing up in a Maasai community, education for girls was not considered a priority. But I was determined to break the mold and empower fellow women from this captivity of being domesticated at home. I started a beadwork organization of 30 ladies aimed at making more money for sustainability. For those of us who could go to school, we had to walk 7-10 kilometers each day, causing many to drop out of school early or due to early marriages. Dealing with poverty and watching my friends struggle was heartbreaking.
After graduating high school, I became a teacher, but I noticed that the public schools were lacking resources and FGM curriculum. So I decided to start my own school, Olbolet Siana Hills Academy, with just 5 students and 1 teacher in a small, muddy classroom. It was not easy starting a school as a woman, but with the help of the community and organizations like Humans for Education, we have been able to grow and expand.
Humans for Education has been a vital partner in my journey towards empowering my community. They have helped us to build a farm that will sustain our school and enable me to do community-wide FGM training. With their support, I have been able to undergo rigorous vetting, training, and extra educational programs until we succeeded.
Thanks to Humans for Education, we have been able to improve our school and make it stronger. We now have 86 students, 6 teachers, 6 classrooms, a kitchen, and an office. But their support goes beyond just the physical infrastructure. They have also helped us to develop a more sustainable and long-term strategy for educating our students, even in the face of economic hardship.
Together, with Humans for Education, we are working towards our 12-month goal of educating 136 students, our 24-month goal of educating 186 students, and our 3-year goal of educating 236 students. We are also aiming to support 150 women-owned businesses, including beading, selling of foods, tailoring, and selling of milk, to make these women financially sustainable and in a better position to cater to their life needs.
Together, we are making a difference and empowering the next generation of leaders.