My name: Ndoyie Lonyori
My story: I come from a family of six children. My parents did not support my schooling and I was only allowed to complete primary education. My father was a drunkard, and he was killed by an elephant one night while intoxicated. After his death we became very poor; all his livestock was forcefully taken by his brothers leaving us with nothing. The few livestock my mother managed to acquire were sold off by her brother. I began to lose hope that I would ever get the opportunity to complete my education. My uncle tried to convince my mother to marry me off for a dowry to help the family; although she still hoped I could continue with my education, though she dare not argue with my uncle, as in the Maasai culture, a woman is submissive. I heard that Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) was offering scholarships to girls and I urged my mother to take me to their office. Unfortunately, I was not able to achieve the national required average in the exams I sat in order to secure a scholarship place. Instead, PWC placed me on a vocational skills programme where I was trained in dressmaking, design, and computer skills.
My thoughts on the project and hopes for the future: After completing my training, I hope to open my own dressmaking business where I will make unique African clothes. From the money I make, I will help my mother and siblings meet their basic needs, and break out of the cycle of poverty.