Khumusalaba

Khumusalaba – this little village in Kenya´s  west  isn’t  much  different from other similar  villages around:  A large crossing, with lots of tiny shops at the street side, warped shacks, people steadily on the road – by bicycle and on foot or with wheel-barrows. The green of the hilly scenery is broken forth by dusty red roads…..

The mud huts of the Luhya, an indigenous tribe who mainly settles in this area, can be found here. Goats, cattle and chicken stroll around the huts looking for something to eat. The tiny estates are surrounded by small Shambas (Swahilis for: fields).

Life is simple. - People make their living by what they cultivate on their fields. Their staple food is maize which is prepared in lots of variations, usually cooked on open fireplaces.

On the floor there are bastmats to sleep on. Only a few own furnishings.  A lot of children are raised by their grand – parents because AIDS had made them orphans. Unemployment, violence in the families, alcohol and absence of great rainy seasons the last years, are the main problems. There are almost no possibilities to earn s.th. in addition, except for some women who are doing the washing for others or cultivating the fields of some better off families for a starvation wage.  But these 70 cent to 1 EUR isn’t  enough to feed a whole family, not to mention school - fees.
Men try to make better life conditions in trading with what women harvest on their own fields. This small range of goods is offered in those shacks at the road crossing.

The old ones live from hand to mouth.  There’s no way for them to get an even so tiny work. So they often live on what they find in the rubbish or even have nothing to eat for days.This circuit of poverty only can be broken by further schooling and education.
State run Primary Schools don’t require school - fees, but children must wear school- uniforms and have to bring special schooling material.  But this most families hardly can afford.

Additional to that most of the existing Primary Schools in the area are hopeless overcrowded – sometimes more than 100 pupils in each class. Also instruction materials are a rare thing and teachers aren’t paid regularly.
With the establishing of Emukhunzulu Education Centre in this small village, chances for education have increased and for lots of indigent pupils it was made possible to attend a school.

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