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...
Nov 15, 2013

New Workshop Facilitators, Business Owners, and more!

Thanks to your support, we have reached 1,700 Maasai girls, boys, women and men through our Community Education Programs in 2013 alone! Here are just a few of the highlights from an incredible year in Kenya:

Empowering a generation of Maasai women
In August, 30 Maasai women completed an intensive 3-day business training, resulting in the launch of 10 new businesses. For 6 months, these women-led businesses will receive monitoring and support sessions from a skilled training facilitor. They will follow in the footsteps of our first business training cohort, a group of 30 women who successfully completed their 4th and final support session in early October. MGEF is so proud of these amazing and inspiring entrepreneurs!

Our team of Life Skills Workshop facilitators has grown!
We are excited to announce that Caroline Kashinin, a recent nursing school graduate, and fellow alumna, Simantoi Kilama, are two of our newest Life Skills Workshop facilitators (see photos). Like Caroline, Simantoi brings to the table a wealth of experience as an HIV counselor at Jomo Kenyatta University. Both MGEF alumnae share a deep passion for educating and empowering girls by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to prevent teen pregnancy, early marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM). Click here to learn more about MGEF's Life Skills Workshop curriculum.

Next up
Between now and the end of December, MGEF will hold a total of 10 more Community Education Programs (2 Life Skills Workshops and 8 Elders and Mothers Workshops) and reach an estimated 1,000 additional Maasai people. Without your help, our work would not be possible, and we thank you again for believing in the MGEF mission. We look forward to bringing you updates in the New Year, and wish you a very happy holiday season!

MGEF Alumna, Caroline, at a Life Skills Workshop
MGEF Alumna, Caroline, at a Life Skills Workshop
Quote from MGEF Alumna, Caroline Kashinin
Quote from MGEF Alumna, Caroline Kashinin
Simantoi Kilama, Alumna, at Life Skills Workshop
Simantoi Kilama, Alumna, at Life Skills Workshop
Jul 15, 2013

You Make It Possible

Women
Women's Business Training participants

Thanks to your support, 2013 has already been a momentous year for MGEF. While continuing to offer our award-winning Community Education Program, we've expanded our Women's Business Training so that even more Maasai women have the opportunity to earn an income. Check out all the details below:

 

Community Education Program

Between January-June 2013, MGEF organized three Elders & Mothers Workshops, as well as four Life Skills Workshops for girls and boys in the Kajiado County. Of the 594 total participants, a majority indicated that they would relinquish harmful customs, like early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), thereby enabling girls to stay in school.

Women’s Business Training

In March 2013, we held a Women’s Business Training for thirty Maasai women, resulting in ten new women-owned businesses in Kajiado, Kenya. An additional three trainings are slated for later this year, all coordinated by MGEF in partnership with Equity Bank. By the end of 2013, one-hundred and twenty women will be trained, leading to life-changing financial independence and greater opportunities for their daughters.

 

Thank you once again for your commitment to the Maasai community. Their success is made possible by your generosity and support. We look forward to sharing updates with you in the near future!

PS as an MGEF supporter, you are in good company:

A shout out from Hillary Clinton!
A shout out from Hillary Clinton!
Jan 9, 2013

2012 Update from Kenya

Mothers Workshop
Mothers Workshop

Dear Friends,

This has been a groundbreaking year for MGEF. In February, we launched the Mothers Workshop, an expansion of our highly successful Community Education Program, which has now reached over 6,000 girls, boys, women, and men. In 2012, we also awarded scholarships to eleven new students and saw the MGEF Alumni Group take shape. From our many incredible stories, we have compiled our favorite moments from the past year. We invite you to read, watch, and discover what makes MGEF's work so special.

 

Engaging the Community

In 2012, nearly 400 women attended the inaugural Mothers Workshops, a program that addresses cultural barriers contributing to low enrollment and high drop-out rates among Maasai girls. We encourage participants to support their daughters by rejecting both child marriage and female genital mutilation, and by teaching girls how to protect themselves from pregnancy and HIV. Overwhelmingly, the attendees have accepted this challenge and committed themselves to uplifting the younger generation. Like all MGEF activities, the Mothers Workshops are led by a Maasai facilitator. We believe that positive change comes from within a community, and for this reason, MGEF partners with a well- respected, community-based organization led by Maasai women in Kajiado, Kenya. 

 

Award-Winning

On July 26, 2012, our partner organization, Maasai Girls Education Fund - Kajiado (MGEF Kajiado), received the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) Award for Community Philanthropy. Lucy Ntayia, Managing Director of MGEF Kajiado, and Kajiado board chair, Sophie Meeli, accepted the award in Entebbe, Uganda (see photo below). During the awards gala, EAAG played excerpts from our videos, which outline the programs we deliver to the Maasai community in Kajiado County, Kenya. If you haven't yet, we invite you to watch our newest video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jAZWAc8YpQ. We are thankful to EAAG for recognizing our hard work, and we congratulate the other deserving awardees. Our appreciation also goes to you, our supporters, who enable us every single day to carry out our programs. This award belongs to all of you. 

 

Ending Child Marriage

MGEF has helped 115 girls go to school and achieve brighter futures. Like many of our students, we rescued Reson Mpatinae from early marriage, enrolled her in school, and are making sure that she has the support a girl needs in order to succeed. Now at 10 years of age and less than a year after her rescue, Reson is thriving in her new environment (see video below, Reson is on the left: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpmI0ry7OZ4). We look forward to watching Reson's dreams broaden and grow. 

The scholarship Reson received from MGEF is part of a special promise we give to each and every sponsored student: our support and guidance through secondary school and post-secondary school. All of our college graduates are now skilled professionals in their fields, locally employed, and contributing to their families and communities. They are living proof of a universal truth: Educating women is the single, most effective way to improve their lives and the well-being of their communities. 

 

Giving Back

This year has been particularly inspiring as we've watched our students learn, excel, and become role models themselves. In late 2011, MGEF alumni channeled their passion for education and formed the Alumni Group, a coalition of MGEF alumni and college students. Their mission: to empower other Maasai women and girls. While only a year old, the group has made a huge contribution to their community by mentoring rural primary school girls and providing them with sanitary pads. As in many parts of the world, impoverished girls miss twenty-five percent of school every year because they have no access to sanitary pads. Now, thanks to the MGEF Alumni Group, girls at four primary schools - Enchoro Esenteu, Paranae, Emurkea, and Iseuri - are able to attend without missing a single day. 

 

In Closing

On behalf of the Maasai community and the Maasai Girls Education Fund, I would like to thank Aid for Africa, Bethesda Emergency Associates, Dining for Women, Foundation Kids to School - Caren Van Egton Fund, Journey Charitable Foundation, Reverse the Course Foundation, Stiftung Kinder-Hilfe, Tides Foundation, and the many individuals whose generous support and commitment to Maasai girls' education have contributed to our success and the success of our students.

With gratitude and best wishes for the holiday season,

Barbara Lee Shaw, President

Thank you!
Thank you!
Reson Mpatinae
Reson Mpatinae
EAAG Award
EAAG Award
Alumni Group: Mentoring & Sanitary Pads Project
Alumni Group: Mentoring & Sanitary Pads Project

Links:

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