ED. Magazine

Not What You Expected?

By Ed. Magazine

The Statesman: Joseph Lekuton, Ed.M.’03

zjoseph Lekuton

Photo by Guillaume Bonn

When Joseph Lekuton had the chance to go to a private high school in Kenya, his nomadic Masaai family made an almost unheard of sacrifice to pay the school’s fees: they sold four of their cows. “You better make it,” his brother told him after the sale. “This is a big sacrifice.” The sacrifice paid off. Lekuton made it big, both in his country and in America, getting a bachelor’s degree (on full scholarship) and two master’s in the United States before being elected in 2006 to the Kenyan Parliament, where he has focused on getting new schools built and mediating between ethnic groups clashing over livestock grazing rights. He has made up for his family’s sacrifice, initially giving his mother 50 cows and sending money home. And for his village, located in the northern part of the country and struggling with drought, he has raised funds for water purification projects and a new dormitory where nomadic children can live and go to school while their families are moving with the herds. Lekuton also helped get computers shipped from the United States to local schools and donated some of his salary to the poor. This commitment to his people, especially in school children, is something Lekuton honed at the Ed School and is critical to his country. As he explained in an interview with The New York Times, “Without education, you can’t have democracy.” — Lory Hough

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  • Anne Snow Mahan

    I was pleased to see the article on Dr. Haddad’s recent endeavor. I had the pleasure of working with him at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He was the project director on a NCI grant where I served as the Research Coordinator. It was a privilege to work with him.

    Anne Snow Mahan, RN, MA

  • Gregory White

    I would have loved to be a part of this story!

    Gregory White
    Master of Education
    1997

    Current occupation: Financial Analyst for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    In my role I do the “usual” analyst stuff of reviewing data and numbers. But my Ed School experience allows me to make the complicated language of rules and regulations accessible to laypersons.

  • http://www.dcc.edu.za/ Thomas

    Really enjoyed the inspiring story of Joseph Lekuton. Great to see a successful leader giving back to the community, especially in africa were power hungry leaders are far too common.

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