The Samburu are nomadic pastoralists and their way of life is thousands of years old. Traditionally their sole source of food is their their animals—cows, goats and camels—and they migrate frequently in search of water and pasture for them.
A child that went to school would be able to get a wage paying job so they could send money home to mitigate poverty, particularly in times of drought. They would speak English and Kiswahili and be able to communicate with the outside world and able to access resources. and allow them to be in control of their own destiny. And they could return as much needed nurses, teachers and community workers who knew the community, spoke their language and would serve the community better.
Recently, the very first students who started school at the Thorn Tree kindergartens in 2002 have begun to graduate from trade school and college. These students were the first person in their families to ever go to school. There are 32 of them now with another hundred or more right behind them. They all have jobs and send part of their wages home. They have a great sense of duty and responsibility and they are very proud to be able to do this. Many are helping to put their younger siblings through school.