Samuel Siriria Leadismo – Founder and Director & Board Treasurer

“I’m a pastoralist from the Samburu tribe, Black Cattle clan in Samburu, Kenya. The Samburu tribe is nomadic – moving from one place to another with their livestock searching for greener pastures.

When I was 25 years old my mother developed throat cancer. I cared for her during the last year of her life. During this period we shared many things. She told me about growing up poor, of herding goats as a child, and an early marriage. I knew her to be a deeply caring person and a strong, positive presence for not only her own children, but for all the children in the village, boys and girls. I learned from our conversations how much she wished she could have gone to school and to pursue a path of education so that she could have done more with her life and for others. During her last year, she shared her dream with me. She asked me to guide my younger sisters, to educate them, and to fight for the rights of all girls to enjoy the opportunities and life she didn’t have.

It is not easy for a warrior to learn this lesson and fight for the rights of girls. I am proud of myself, our community, and of the work we are able to do through The Pastoralist Child Foundation.

I’m a role model, advisor, and counselor in our villages, always encouraging my fellow youth to continue their education. I advocate against child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) by actively promoting childhood and adult education in my community. I attained a higher Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Zetech University. I’m the proud dad of 2 daughters. My favorite thing about being a father is that I can work hard every day to leave this world a better place for my daughters and my community.  Being a dad softens my heart, and makes me instantly more accountable and responsible to the world around me.

My dad is a polygamist and lived far from us, so it was my mother who influenced my life the most through kindness, compassion, integrity, calmness even in the face of extreme challenges, passion for life, humor, and unconditional love. During my mother’s last year, she asked me to guide and educate my younger sisters, and to fight for the rights of all girls to enjoy the opportunities she didn’t have. I’m honored to fulfill my mother’s wishes through the work I do at Pastoralist Child Foundation.