Kaira: active, courageous, undaunted, solution-oriented, wise
Kaira is Maasai, but lives in Arusha, a three-hour drive from his Boma ...
His father has four wives and 34 children, of whom Kaira is the third. Among the Maasai, wealth has so far been shown in the number of cattle and goats. And the number of children. Boys as young as four years old are sent out all day to tend goats.
Without food, without water.
And then came Kaira. He doesn't know where the thought came from, but he wanted to go to school. Goat herding and school cannot be reconciled, but as everyone knows: where there is a will, there is a way.
He was only seven when he was allowed to walk as many miles back and forth to school every day. When he was fourteen and finished this school, his time to herd cattle had come - said his father. But Kaira wanted to continue learning and ran away. With nothing packed but his intentions, he made his way to Arusha. He journeyed for four days, taking detours so no one would find him, even sleeping in a tree for fear of hyenas. He slept for another four days high on the roofs of Arusha, eating discarded banana peels, until he found the right authorities and finally got access to a public school and boarding school.
He had nothing. When he washed his clothes, he had to wait until they were dry again, he had spare clothes to change into. You can imagine how marginalized and teased he was in the school community. He was the only one who didn't go home on vacation, partly because of lack of resources, but also out of fear that he would never come back. In exchange for his labor he was allowed to sleep in a classroom when the boarding school was closed for the holidays. He planted trees and helped out with whatever had to be done. He also helped a neighboring family who gave him food in return. Later he hired himself out as a porter to Kilimanjaro during the holidays, a badly paid, back-breaking job. He did everything to be able to buy books and notebooks and, at the end, new clothes.
When he was 21 years old and finished school, he returned home for the seven-year circumcision ceremony to become a grown man, a "warrior". Circumcision is the entry into the world of full responsibility for the community and only those who pass the ritual without batting an eyelid have something to say in the future.
It should be mentioned that the reunion with one who was believed to be dead was celebrated with a big party of its own.
And there, where Kaira returned to his roots, he felt his calling. What did he learn for if not to serve his community?
The tradition of female genital mutilation is to end, however ancient it may be! Fewer children "wealth" would be a relief. And education is Kaira's way to achieve his goal! Because how should you do something differently or differently if you can't and don't know anything else?
He still has few possessions, but that doesn't stop him. The children learn Swahili in the shade of an acacia tree. The official language of Tanzania is a requirement for later school attendance. He started with ten children, and now there are around seventy from the age of three. If they can herd goats, they can also learn, is Kaira's announcement! He is allowed to set up a classroom in his grandmother's boma so that rain is no longer an obstacle to teaching, and he also has a water pipe laid. He pays two resident "teachers" who speak both Maa and Swahili $ 100 per month.
He begins to support particularly gifted children by enabling them to continue their studies in boarding schools. The expenses per boarding school child per year are around $ 1000, which adds up. - The corona crisis has also had a major impact on tourism and thus Kaira's income as a certified guide! And so your donations come just in time to pay outstanding salaries, school fees and materials and to secure the future of the children and to protect the girls from mutilation and early marriage.