BARBARA PARKINS, CEO
It all started when...
Barbara ventured to Africa in 2011 to visit a friend and to help wherever the need was found, spending time in Kenya looking at different projects, and starting projects to help women and young men leave behind unhealthy and dangerous lives, to work and build new lives. She also spent many weeks in orphanages teaching and caring for the child as well as administration work.
Whilst in Kenya Barbara met Julius, a Maasai Elder who had a few children from very poor Maasai families meeting in a church. Julius was trying with very limited resources, to give them an education as well as a meal each day, because many of these children did not receive sufficient food, if any other than milky tea. She noticed many were sick, did not have shoes and there was no fresh water to use. Funding was secured to purchase two water tanks to provide them with fresh water.
They sat together and talked about the needs of the community and especially the single mothers and orphaned children, and how they were forgotten by society, leaving these children with no education or opportunities in life.
Barbara gives a little insight into why she started KINI: “I had always been involved in helping the vulnerable in the world, especially the children and the women and I knew I was meant to be in Kenya and had been led to the Maasai people, thus I decided to help build a school and plan for a rescue centre for the Maasai girls.” This school was named the Kisaru Entito Project – meaning “rescue girls”.
An informative interview can be viewed below
WHERE WE ARE NOW...
BARBARA & JARIUS
Loshe Munke, KINI Board Chairman
Barbara spent 3 months and the end of 2012 living with the Maasai and ascertaining needs, setting protocols and policies in place for the school and negotiating to secure the land to build the school.
From September 2013 Barbara moved permanently to the community where she lives in the Manyatta to enable her to work more closely with the community and school.
Currently the school has 67 children enrolled in 5 classes – Infants, Pre-Unit, Classed 1, 2, 3…
There are8 teachers employed currently and 4 more required as well as two cooks to provide two meals a day for the children.
Health checks have been performed and these will be carried out yearly and more often if needed for specific cases.
All uniforms, shoes and school supplies are provided.
There are 6 boys and 1 girl enrolled in the Cow Boys to School class.
The school has now joined with the adjoining Enkereri School although it is keeping its autonomy so the students sponsored by KINI are continued to be supported. This has enabled better learning facilities as well as enabling all students to have access to qualified teachers.
Barbara has taken over as Manager of the school and liaise with those tourist camps who support the school and provide funds and buildings.
Barbara personally cares for 6 orphans who range from 3 years to 25 years (university student) of age. Two are in boarding schools (Year 6 and Form 1) and spend all holidays in her care.
FGM awareness is an ever growing part of Barbara’s work and she regularly speaks in schools, churches, communities as well as running “Alternate Rite of Passage” programs for the Maasai girls