Catherine is a teacher New Vision School in Engikaret. She says about her role:
“I am not working here because I receive a lot of money, or because I love this place–not at all. Physically, I would not choose to be here. What is making me love living here, it is because of what God is doing here, every day.”
Catherine began working in Engikaret when the first preschool opened ten years ago, and has lived in the same two small rooms with her growing family for all ten of them. Now the school has grown through grade seven and they are dreaming of having a secondary school someday.
One of the important benefits of this school is the prevention of child marriage–if a girl is enrolled in school, then legally she cannot be married. Without this school, it is culturally common for girls to be married off as young as seven or eight. But beyond this mission, the school is giving the opportunity of education to hundreds of Maasai children every year.
Catherine and the other teachers in Engikaret face many challenges: finding adequate water and electricity, food to feed the children who often get their only meal at school, and teaching students about God in an area with many tribal spiritual beliefs. But she has also seen many incredible changes–students that go on to college and lift their families out of poverty and a growing and healthy local church.
Catherine attended Loom’s Celebrating Children Workshop that we ran in Tanzania in 2016 and 2017. She points to the training she received from Loom as a turning point in how she approached their work among this vulnerable population.
Yes, a community like Engikaret needs a school building and enough classrooms to keep growing their school. Yet if the classrooms are not filled with teachers like Catherine then the best building is not worth much.
“I have never regretted it, I have enjoyed serving God here.” smiles Catherine.
“God has changed this community.”