|Progetto Amici Padre Aldo Vettori||
On the road to Morijo
The Morijo mission is located in a plateau at over 2,000 msl. (Morijo 2070, Porrò 2450), in the northern region of Kenya (Rift Valley Province, Samburu District, Diocese of Maralal), about 40 km from Maralal, 200 km from Lake Turkana.
A dry wind and healthy makes the mild climate in all seasons (the average annual temperature ranges from 15 at night to 25 during the day). The lines of communication are not very easy, because the streets of clay often become impassable during the rainy season (March-May) and can be flown only by off-road machines.
Economic activities in Morijo
The main economic activity remains the traditional farming of livestock (cows, camels, goats and sheep), while agriculture is mainly subsistence. The government tries to encourage sedentary, dividing the territory into "Group ranch (farming communities), of variable extension (from 8 to 10 km ²), which are given in usufruct to a group of families (about 300) which will raise livestock and cultivate the fields.
The management is entrusted to a committee formed by the elderly (according to the custom of Africa), which establishes the manner of exploitation of pastures, but above all must pay a part of the utilities (dispensaries, schools, shops, etc..) which are considered state-owned.
The more fortunate families can hardly afford to sell more than two or three cows a year, the proceeds may not be sufficient to maintain the often many members of the household.
Education and schools
A classroom of Primary school
The Kenyan school system provides, in addition to asylum, two kinds of studies, before they can enter university. The "Primary" (which corresponds to our primary and secondary schools) and the "Secondary" (the Upper School). The mission has a load of 15 "Nursery" (Asylum, one for each community) and 9 Primary (6 until the eighth year and 3 until the fourth): it provides, namely, construction of buildings, food , the uniforms and school pupils.
But sometimes there are no spaces in which to play the lessons (this is the case of 3 Nursery where children are forced to stay outside) and if there are, they are often dilapidated, or at risk, because it made for many years and with perishable materials, such as wood and mud.
In addition, the classrooms, crammed boys (the Primary Morija of more than 250 students and only 8 teachers) they rarely have blackboards and desks in order to carry out the lessons in a comfortable environment.
The mission together with the "Morijo Community Dispensary" provides many services to the population useful addition to the above-mentioned dispensary, there is also a carpentry workshop, a mill and an ambulance that is used to assist pregnant women or to vaccinate children. However, it often operates in boundary conditions and the human and economic resources are sometimes barely sufficient to meet the needs of a growing community that needs spiritual and material help.
Peace meeting between several tribu
The mission serves a very large territory (about 1600 km ²), in which about 25,000 people live, belonging to the tribes of Samburu and Turkana, strongly linked to their traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. These communities are gerontocratical, guided by the Council of Elders. The number of inhabitants of Morijo-Porrò, but not always easy to measure and because the population is mainly devoted to semi-nomadism and because in the last two years has waged a bloody and ruinous tribal fighting.
Groups of real predators, in fact, make frequent incursions into neighboring territories, in order to raid cattle, killing and being killed, triggering a chain reaction of revenge and retaliation that never end.
Children health care
In Morijo highland are almost entirely absent malaria and other tropical diseases, but the population still lives in health conditions are often precarious. The biggest problem remains the lack of drinking water. Women are often forced to collect rainwater (sometimes from puddles or marshes), which, if not properly boiled and filtered, causes dysentery, intestinal infections, etc.., Too frequent causes of deaths, especially among children.
The government health services are almost always inefficient or totally unable to deal with the situation.
If it is true that one can find a dispensary state approximately every 20 km, it is also equally true that almost always it is not efficient structures since, often, lack of sanitary material and almost always lack of medicines. People who still do not rely on the dispensary of the mission, which can offer help and assistance to large numbers of sick, even though we are often unable to meet the real needs of a community so large.
In a primary school of the mission
The mission therefore work in the reality of extreme poverty but the people have shown to possess significant human resources, capital which is already bearing fruit and that gives hope for a future of great development for this area.
The Samburu, in fact, is proud to assume the responsibility to implement any project useful to society. That is why we wanted to build a committee (The Dispensary Morijo Community), formed by representatives of the sixteen communities in the area, which handles some activities such as operation and maintenance of drinking water wells, and the dispensary transporting materials and animals by means of a truck.
No less important is the lack of drinking water. If there is already drinking water in Morijo (thanks to a well dug in 1998) now makes it necessary to provide this vital asset to all communities, which would greatly improve their health situation, with the drastic reduction in the risk of certain diseases.
If the initial capital was provided by the mission, to third by the state and the remaining third by the local population, now Morija Community Dispensary is proving an effective body that knows how to play in full autonomy and profitable tasks that have been assigned. If much has been done, much remains to be done. Some sectors, in fact, like education and public health, in need of immediate and effective. We strongly believe that education is a fundamental tool for progress and human development as well as social. For this reason we think it is important to devote every effort to allow some students to pursue higher education, offering them the opportunity to attend the Secondary Schools and all professionals in Kenya.