Development Assistance for Rural Education
We (Kitonga and Emma) started DARE in 2006 with the objective of helping rural communities in northern Kenya manage their own development. People here have the talent and vision to lift themselves out of poverty. What they often lack are the skills and knowledge to compete in a quickly modernizing world.
We are closely connected with the communities we work in so our development projects always start from the ground up, assisting people to develop their own ideas and tailoring the support we give to each unique set of circumstances.
Both of us are northern Kenya specialists who have an intimate knowledge of the land, the people, the wonders and the problems of the place. We are passionate about the north of Kenya and the need for the people here to have access to good quality education.
DARE could not function though without the help and support of a network of people who are equally committed to the people and needs of northern Kenya. DARE is a small organization and those that support it with funds and time, effort and love, invariably also become friends of each other and of the communities and people we work with.
Northern Kenya is a dramatically beautiful, arid environment but it is deeply marginalized. There are very few of the basic resources that many in the rest of the county (let alone the rest of the world) take for granted.
Most of the people who live here traditionally practice nomadic pastoralism; a harsh way of life but one that is well suited to this environment. However, a combination of population increase, competition for scarce natural resources, and climate change is making this traditional livelihood less and less viable. With each drought more people become permanently locked into aid dependence.
Education, even for children of school age, is scarce here and often of a very poor quality. The opportunity for adults to learn new skills is almost non-existent. Adults need access to ideas, and training in new skills, so that they can adapt to meet the many new challenges they face.
The children of northern Kenya desperately need access to a much better quality of education. Without this these children will grow up to find themselves out competed for jobs in their own country and there will be little prospect of them developing the skills needed to lead their communities out of poverty. We hope to show through our work at Olng’arua School, and elsewhere, that even schools with limited financial support can deliver a better quality of education that encompasses so much more than just basic literacy.