Maasai Children's Initiative

Mission: MCI’s mission is to advocate for social empowerment and economic development for Maasai girls through education, leadership development and technology training. The issue MCI is tackling is a lack of formal education for Maasai women which leads to a lower standard of living for all Maasai people. Due to poverty and restrictive cultural traditions, girls generally do not finish primary school and fewer than five out of 100 Maasai girls can read. MCI’s vision is to empower girls -- with educational opportunities and exposure to technology -- so that they can determine their own futures, compete in the Kenyan job market, make wise life decisions and positively impact their communities...

Maasai Children's Initiative
PO Box 2010
% Rita Olson
Vashon, WA 98070
United States
206-697-2183
http://www.maasaichildrensinitiative.org

Board of Directors

Vicki Clabaugh, Jan Kittleson, William Fallon, David Peterson, Matthew Bergman, Rita Olson, Derek Sherer

Project Leaders

Anne Atwell

Mission

Mission: MCI’s mission is to advocate for social empowerment and economic development for Maasai girls through education, leadership development and technology training. The issue MCI is tackling is a lack of formal education for Maasai women which leads to a lower standard of living for all Maasai people. Due to poverty and restrictive cultural traditions, girls generally do not finish primary school and fewer than five out of 100 Maasai girls can read. MCI’s vision is to empower girls -- with educational opportunities and exposure to technology -- so that they can determine their own futures, compete in the Kenyan job market, make wise life decisions and positively impact their communities. Goals: To educate and graduate confident, well-rounded young women who are armed with the tools they need to make good life choices. The school’s academically rigorous program covers history, literature, math, science and several languages, as well computer skills. Computer training will improve the employment prospects for Maasai adults, while reliable Internet access will provide students with ready access to academic information and eliminate the expense of procuring up-to-date text books and instructional materials. Founding Principals: MCI was founded in 2007 by Sekeyian Yiaile to promote female empowerment through girls’ education in rural Maasai communities. Sekeyian knows firsthand about the challenges Maasai women face. She ran away from home as a teenager after she was betrothed to be the fourth wife to a much older man. She successfully pursued an education in the United States and then returned to Maasailand to effect change in her community. Her vision is to educate girls through MCI’s schools and, in doing so, show her people the value of educating and empowering women.

Programs

In support of our mission to educate and empower Maasai girls, MCI has: • Built and staffed two new schools: The Fred Baron School and Mara Hills Academy. The Fred Baron School, located on the northern side of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, is a day school that enrolls 150 Maasai girls between the ages of 5 and 12. When the school first opened, classes were conducted under a learning tree under the supervision of MCI Executive Director, Sekeyian Yiaile. From these modest beginnings, the school has grown to include seven classrooms, a kitchen and two teachers’ cottages. It also houses a computer lab with 12 solar-powered laptops and a satellite dish, giving every student access to free educational materials from the Internet. The second School, Mara Hills Academy (MHA), is a boarding school located near MCI’s headquarters in the Maasai Mara region. MHA enrolls 100 girls, ages 12 through 18. At a time when most Maasai girls are preparing to get married and raise a family, MHA’s goal is to graduate confident, well-rounded young women who are armed with the tools they need to make good life choices. • Established a flourishing daily feeding program at three regional, government-run schools: Njanga Olo Losgero School, Enkongu Narok Village School, and El Kurot School. At each of these schools, student enrollment has more than doubled since the feeding program began in 2007. Currently, MCI feeds more than 500 children daily. In addition to improved nutrition and school attendance, our feeding program employs village women to cook and encourages them to send their own children to school. • Constructed and outfitted three solar-powered computer labs; two of them at the regional schools where we run feeding programs and one at MCI’s Fred Baron School. MCI believes that every Maasai child should learn basic computer skills, including knowing how to access the Internet and send and receive email. MCI’s computer labs are also open to adults who live in surrounding villages.

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