“Education has changed since I first started at the school – there are now more and better teachers and more good standard classrooms.”
Lekashu is 14 years old and is the head boy at Maasai Academy, a remote primary school in the village of Olorte, Kenya. He joined Maasai Academy in the nursery and is now is class seven. He has attended Maasai Academy since it started as one of six initial students in 2009. Lekashu enjoys going to school and says his favourite subject is Maths as he finds it easy, but he finds Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya hard. He will soon be moving to a new classroom being constructed through funding from COCO.
Lekashu lives with his mother, father, his younger brother who is in class three at Maasai Academy, and his two younger sisters who attend the government primary. He has six older sisters who didn’t go to school and who are now married and no longer live in the family home. Neither of Lekashu’s parents went to school. Both of Lekashu’s parents are farmers and they keep animals as a source of income for the family. As another way of generating income, they sell products such as tea, sugar, maize and beans in the market.
He lives very close to the school and walks in everyday with his younger brother. Before he leaves for school it is Lekashu’s responsibility to milk the cows, and after school before he can relax at home, he needs to head out to find the cows who have been out grazing all day. His favourite thing to do at home for fun is to climb the cattle and sit on their backs; he says that he is not afraid as the cows know him well.
If he was not able to go to school Lekashu says he would have to spend all day out with the cows on the hills. Lekashu has two more years left at primary school, after which he hopes to go to secondary school, then university to train to become a pilot. The challenge to him achieving his dreams is being able to afford the school fees for secondary school.
Lekashu enjoys school because it gives him the opportunity to be creative, learn new skills and play different games. Lekashu thinks Maasai Academy is one of the best schools in the area as it has new classrooms and a new, flat sports field. But he thinks it could be improved by having a computer lab and a school bus for the students who walk a long distance to get to school, who are often tired from the journey when they arrive at school.