Meet our first Simba Scholars!
The Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) has awarded its first six Simba Scholarships to pastoralist children in the area. Simba Scholarships are four-year scholarships to secondary boarding schools and cover all costs including books, uniforms and mattresses.
Unlike in the Serengeti area, area villagers see few tangible benefits from living just outside Ruaha National Park but suffer the consequences—namely livestock lost to lions and hyaenas. To address this, RCP surveyed area residents about what benefits they would like to see. Better access to education was one of the most commonly named priorities.
RCP created Simba Scholarships to fill that need. Because primary education is free but secondary education isn’t, many pastoralist children—whose families often exist on less than $2 per day—are forced to drop out of school. Also, the pastoralists’ semi-nomadic lifestyle on the furthest edges of communities makes attending school difficult. For these reasons, the Simba Scholarships are awarded to pastoralist children who show need but also a desire to continue their education.
The Simba Scholars begin their secondary education at Idodi Secondary School in mid-February.
Meet our first three Simba Scholars:
Isaya Kuyesa is a Maasai boy from Tungamalenga village. He comes from a poor pastoralist family with five children – he is the third and has one sister and three brothers. He enjoys playing football (soccer) and reading.
Herieth Charles is a Sukuma girl who lives in Idodi village. She likes reading and wants to be a nurse when she grows up. Her father died a few years ago, which always leaves the wives and children very vulnerable. Her father had several wives and other children, and when he died the other wives took all the cattle and abandoned Herieth’s mother and her four children. Herieth lives in the centre of the village but is usually alone there, which is not a great situation for a young woman, so it is great that she will be boarding at secondary school from now on.
Grace Nchachi is a Maasai girl from Idodi village. Her interests are reading and netball. Her father has three wives and seven children, and she is the child of the first wife and has a brother and a sister as well as four half-siblings.
Check back here soon for bios for the other three Simba Scholars