The Samburu nomadic school initiative started in 2018 with a community engagement programme to pilot transferable Montessori schools in the Namunyak Conservancy area, in Northern Kenya.

The objectives of the Samburu Nomadic School Initiative are to:

  • Create a long-term sustainable model for educating children in the Samburu community, with the goal of preserving the magnificent cultural and natural heritage of the Samburu people and lands.
  • Ensure that agency for change is in the hands of the on-site population. The project is founded on the principle of ‘help me to do it by myself’. Change will not be imposed but the ‘inspiration for change’, ‘guidance for change’ and ‘tools for change’ will be provided by participants and stakeholders with the project.
  • Ensure that the children receive a quality Montessori education that supports individual development in the context of community.

Two experienced teachers from Corner of Hope moved to the remote region as mentor teachers, to support a team of newly trained Samburu teachers. Six members of the Samburu community have now undertaken the 3-6 National Certificate training and 2 more are currently in training. As part of continuous capacity enhancement, two teachers are also enrolled in the 3-6 in-service National Diploma training.

A team of six teachers (2 senior teachers from Corner of Hope and 4 Samburu teachers) is based in the Namunyak Conservancy, with tented classrooms in the Ntaparani and Tintil settlement areas, to work with the children and parents in moveable Montessori environments. All materials and the tents can be transported when the community decides to move to another settlement, or can be moved into a safe storage at the end of the term dates.

Plans are underway to establish a third school at Lengusaka, thus ensuring that more children will be able to attend school. Also, the new site will offer an opportunity for the new trainees (Hosea and Veronica) to join the team and undertake their field attachment. There will then be two teachers at each location with mentor teachers Judy and Terry rotating between locations. There are also plans to expand the school infrastructure through the construction of the Resource Centre in the nearby town of Sereolipi. The Samburu initiative is realized in partnership with the Sarara Foundation, where education is one of the core pillars to support the nomadic Samburu from birth to maturity.

School uniforms based on the traditional Samburu attire are under preparation and shelves are being made to accommodate more Montessori materials, thus offering the children a full range of Montessori materials. A food programme is also in place, thus allowing the children to have a healthy meal and more time in school.

Under the mentorship of Corner of Hope teachers Judy Mugambi and Terry Koskei, the Samburu Montessori school has continued to thrive and exhibit marked improvement in quality of teaching. The children within the settlement areas of Ntaparani and Tintil attend school on regular basis and there is huge community support towards the two schools.


Project Updates