With literacy levels standing at 26.2% in Marsabit County, PACIDA in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and other like minded actors supports education interventions in a bid to boost the literacy levels . PACIDA values education and we aim at increasing the retention rate of learners in school in order to improve educational outcomes and life chances. Every child deserves a chance. We promote inclusive education, which has been internationally recognized as a philosophy for attaining equity, justice and quality education for all children and Iman Ayisha of Kalacha Nomadic Girls’ is privileged to have benefited from our interventions.
“I used to see people go to school, and each time I kept wondering how their lives would be after they finished school. I was sure though, that I would remain hopeless miserable girl. They looked dapper in their uniforms,” she says holding her chin. She continues to say, “sitting at the ‘fora’, a local name for grazing lands, I always desired to go to school but there was no one to take me. No one in my family knew the benefits of education.
After all, I had to look after our herds of cattle as I was the eldest in my family. I was a herds-girl,” she shakes her head in disbelief. I can’t believe I could have missed out on all the knowledge that I am acquiring from school.Ayisha Iman, a soft spoken 12-year old girl in the 7th grade at Kalacha Nomadic Girls whose command of English is impeccable. She’s not just a pretty face. She wears many masks, one outstanding one being her outstanding progressive performance. Since she joined school, she has always topped in her class, says Mr. Sora, the school’s Headteacher and a much disciplined girl to top it all up. “I am very indebted to PACIDA for having conducted the schools enrollment drives and challenged my parents to take me to school and that’s how I found myself realizing my dreams here, otherwise I would still be languishing and basking in the desert sun wretchedly,” adds Ayisha. “I have also immensely benefited from PACIDA’s food assistance programme especially whenever there is looming drought, they come in handy to aid us. The mattress am sleeping on is branded with PACIDA and Caritas Germany logo, am grateful, my mother though is more grateful, and before I forget, they supplied each of the girls in puberty with enough sanitary towels that lasted us an entire term,” says Iman breaking into a warm smile.
She says her younger siblings, 10-year old brother and 6-year old sister who are in the village, still taking care of animals and believes one day they will get an opportunity to go to school. Her great exceptional performance in class has been a motivation for her parents to keep her in school. Her siblings, she says are intrigued by school life and are quiet inquisitive on matters education, and each time she promises them that one day, they will have to go to school. “Whenever schools are on recess, I give them the basic education, even my mother is now eager to be taught by me. I am hopeful that my siblings will not permanently stay out of school, they must be career people. If all goes well, I want to reach the highest level of education and become a doctor, she adds with a lot of conviction in her voice.