Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family, said Kofi Annan. Education is a human necessity that has been valued to play a role in a human’s life. the community of Lewa understood this need when it decided to implement the Adult Literacy Programme in the community in the year 2004. Since then, the classes have grown and the communities have embraced the importance of education to each individual in the society.
Lewa adult literacy programme began in 2004 with 60 learners in one center. They have since grown to 9 centers with a total of 421 learners and a tailoring school with 38 learners. The Lewa Adult Literacy programme came forth due to the need for empowering the community surrounding the Lewa Conservancy. The initiative kicked off to promote the residents in the area get the knowledge of reading and learning. The programme has 3 levels where the basic level, intermediate and advanced. They learn to read and write simple sentences and simple maths.
The literacy programme has seen growth in the attitude towards the communities around the conservancy because more of its residents are empowered. Through the education received, the students get to understand the benefits of preserving wildlife, the students, in turn, end up spreading the word to their local villages. From graduation from level 3, the residents then graduate to tailoring classes and entrepreneurship classes. The tailoring classes began in 2016 and they have since grown to make several types of clothes. After graduating from tailoring classes, they learn entrepreneurship which helps them make livelihoods from the education they got.
— Nettumaite (@wewe_mimi) April 16, 2019
Silver gains its lusture after going through intense heat to refine it. Equally, the Adult literacy programme is without a lack or two.
Due to limited resources, centers have officially employed 3 teachers, yet the learners are many. The centers have been forced to invite volunteers from the communities to come in and help in the teaching. The volunteers just get appreciated for their time and service.
Adult literacy centers have been developed from the existing primary schools. They have been lent 1-2 classrooms where they conduct their studies once a week. The programme needs permanent structures that they own where the students would come in for more lessons. This would empower them to be viable to sit for the national exams; KCPE and KCSE.
The cultural settings among the Maasai’s would not let the men and women sit in the same classes. This has challenged the centers to request for more funding in order to build more classes. the more classes would equally encourage more students to attend the schools.
What keeps the students going on is free education and stationary they are offered. They defy all odds and make a point to attend school.
The students have turned to be Wildlife ambassadors because they benefit from the Lewa Conservancy. They have learned to co-habit with the wild animals, report any intrusion and this has largely reduced poaching and human-wildlife conflict.
The Lewa Conservancy has clearly shown that wildlife and the environment can’t exist independently. It’s involvement to the communities is what has brought about the success of the conservancy. With less poaching cases, the rhinos and elephants are safer.