Maasai Girls Education Fund

The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. We were founded in 2000 to increase the literacy, health, and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya. MGEF's goals are to increase enrollment of Maasai girls in Kenya, reduce the dropout rate, and support every student until they have the knowledge and skills to enter the workforce in Kenya. Our work involves a long-term commitment to each of our students. Our success is measured by how many scholarship students complete their education and are prepared for a job in Kenya. The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) works in Kenya's Kajiado, Loitokitok, and Ngong Districts, whe...

Maasai Girls Education Fund
5800 MacArthur Blvd
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202 237 0535
http://www.maasaigirlseducation.org/

Executive Director

Zara Bott-Goins

Board of Directors

Jon Griffin,Sarah F Wetstone,Therese Lilly

Project Leaders

Ruya Norton

Mission

The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. We were founded in 2000 to increase the literacy, health, and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya. MGEF's goals are to increase enrollment of Maasai girls in Kenya, reduce the dropout rate, and support every student until they have the knowledge and skills to enter the workforce in Kenya. Our work involves a long-term commitment to each of our students. Our success is measured by how many scholarship students complete their education and are prepared for a job in Kenya. The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) works in Kenya's Kajiado, Loitokitok, and Ngong Districts, where two-thirds of Kenya's Maasai population lives. Currently, only 48 percent of Maasai girls in this region are enrolled in school. Only 5 percent of those who enroll make it to secondary school. As MGEF scholarship students graduate from colleges and universities, they are demonstrating to the Maasai community the greater economic value of educating a daughter rather than marrying her off for a one-time dowry. They are, by their example, changing the way people think about educating girls, and that change is resulting in more girls being enrolled in school.

Programs

MGEF is currently providing scholarships to 67 girls and young women (May 2010): 23 in vocational school, colleges and universities; 27 in secondary school; 17 in primary school. To date, we have provided scholarships to 84 girls since 2000; six have graduated from vocational school, college, or university, and all are employed and contributing to their families. MGEF is working with the Maasai community through a community-based organization in Kajiado, Kenya, and providing management and governance training to its staff and board to build an independent, women's organization that is well-governed, open and transparent. MGEF has organized Life Skills workshops for over 1,400 girls to reduce teen pregnancy, early marriage, FGM, and the spread of HIV, all significant factors contributing to girls' dropping out of school. We recently added workshops for boys and Maasai men, who have all the power in the culture to bring about the change necessary to increase enrollment of girls. MGEF college students and college graduates are acting as mentors and role models to our younger students.

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