The DEEP Samburu Project
The DEEP Samburu Project is a non-profit community based organization (CBO) aimed at empowering local communities abilities to overcome poverty related challenges in the areas of health, education and women’s equality. The project is situated in Samburu County, Maralal Township, 345 kilometers north of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.
DEEP Samburu has a three part focus, all of which interconnectedly support and sustain the vision as a whole.
First is creating a self-sustainable lifestyle for women who suffer from HIV/AIDS and/or who are widows. In Samburu County, 70% of the population live with HIV/AIDS. Both the stigma and health challenges of these realities undermine many women’s ability to support their families let alone survive. DEEP Samburu commissions these women to make both traditional and modern jewelry, which is sold internationally. 100% of the net proceeds return into the organization.
The second branch of the organization is school sponsorship for young girls. For the majority, early child marriage, FGM (female genital mutilation) and a life hinged upon a cycle of poverty is the only path for a young girl. DEEP Samburu currently sponsors four girls ranging from 10-19 in age. Their enrollment in a private boarding school ensures them a quality education, food security, and open doors for their future.
The third branch is on-the-ground community outreach lead by two local Samburus, already integrated leaders of the community. The outreach is focused on basic health and human rights practices, such as raising awareness about FGM (female genital mutilation) which was officially illegalized by the Kenyan government in 2011. Despite the ban however, 90% of Samburu girls are still cut, leading to life long health challenges and, for some, deep emotional trauma.
What makes DEEP Samburu unique to other similarly focused organizations is its emphasis on reaching the most remote villages of Samburu County. We go DEEP into the bush. As semi-nomadic people, most communities in the rural highlands are disconnected from the many organizations set up to serve them. By breaking through this cultural insulation, DEEP Samburu is able to aid in empowering women, girls, and the village as a whole to create a self-sustainable lifestyle. DEEP Samburu strives to find a balance between cultural respect and human rights advocacy, deeply committed to protecting the core of this incredible indigenous culture.