In this blog post we continue reporting on our 10 year anniversary survey of projects Classrooms for Africa has been involved in funding. Here we feature the Tirrim Schools - (Nomadic Nursery, Primary and High School) in the remote town of Korr, North Eastern Kenya.
The Tirrim Schools are an outreach of the Africa Inland Church, seeking to provide education based on a Christian worldview for children of the Rendille tribe, a semi-nomadic group who migrated south from Ethiopia many years ago. The area they live in is remote, semi-desert and subject to heat and wind storms. In 2008 Tirrim school leaders applied to Classrooms for Africa for help to fund a permanent cement structure in which to house the many nursery school students. These young students had no building in which to attend classes in a protected environment. They gathered for school under the thorn trees.
Although building in this remote area has many challenges because all building supplies have to be trucked in from Nairobi and structures need to be of steel and cement because of the climate, Classrooms for Africa donors provided funds for the construction of a large multipurpose hall for the Tirrim Nomadic Nursery Schoool. The large structure serves as classrooms, gathering place and weekly health clinic. In 2011 a wing of three classrooms was added to the building together with office, storage space and toilets. In 2013 a four-classroom block was built to help house students at the related Tirrim Primary School.
Today the Tirrim Schools offers education from Nursery through the high school grades and enrols 648 students. Currently the high school is in desperate need of classrooms for their students (see here for more information about this project).
FROM THE SURVEY:
The Tirrim School Director, David Gargule, reports that:
“ … enrolment and performance at the school has improved tremendously … the community has built more confidence by sending their children to school … the school has been rated the best in the entire Marsabit County. Graduates are accepted into the best schools in the country … former Tirrim Primary School students have returned to the school to serve as teachers and volunteers in the community…”
Tirrim Primary school has many stories of specific students who have benefitted from Classrooms of Africa support. Here is “Sylvia’s” story:
“…”Sylvia” is a class 3 pupil currently in Tirrim. She was married to an old man four times her age. Her mother who is a bread winner of the family decided to report the matter to the area chief and the girl was rescued after delivering a baby girl. Despite her age she agreed to join grade one in 2015. The school provided an opportunity for her to get her education as well as feeding her baby. She was sharing the food she got from school (her portion) with her young daughter who was under care of her grandmother. “Sylvia” is hardworking and an active pupil in school. Her vision is to become a nurse in future so as to care the poor Rendille women. She accepted her situation and coped up with the school environment. She is among the best students in her co-curriculum activities, especially athletics. It is through her education at school that made her become an active member of the church. She sings at the church with other pupils in our teens group in the church. Notably her young daughter who is currently at Tirrim Nursery School will be joining her in Tirrim Primary school next year. The suffering she went through has given her experience and therefore applied for her young daughter to be admitted at our school so she can be in a Christian school where education is Bible based which she personally testifies has transformed her life greatly…”
NOTE: Tirrim schools have given several girls a second chance to come back after early pregnancy and going against some cultural practices like FGM.