Thanks to you 2015 is off to a fantastic start! In 2014, MGEF sent 110 Maasai girls to school--more than any year to date. One quarter of these students are in primary school; another quarter are in secondary school; and nearly fifty percent are now enrolled in or soon to enter universities, colleges, and vocational schools. With so many students reaching higher levels of education than they ever dreamed possible, MGEF's founding vision is now a reality. Ten young Maasai women, MGEF scholars, graduated this year from colleges and universities, and they enter a workforce previously unattainable to them as independent, strong, confident women. Additionally, we are excited to welcome ten new students to our roster this year! All MGEF students are back to school and working hard to complete their first term of 2015.
MGEF's Community Education Programs also remain strong. In 2014 alone our workshops reached over 2,000 Maasai girls, boys, women, and men as we work to eliminate the barriers to education that threaten Maasai girls in Kenya. In our Elders and Mothers Workshops, and in Life Skills Workshops for girls and boys, we encourage participants to reject child marriage and female genital mutilation, and we teach girls how to protect themselves from pregnancy and HIV. We have already completed four workshops this year and look forward to reaching more communities throughout 2015.
Additionally, MGEF continues to conduct Women's Business Training Workshops and provided seed grants and financial literacy training to 120 rural Maasai women in 2014. As a result, 40 new women's small businesses were founded, securing greater financial independence for Maasai women and their families. We have many more trainings scheduled in 2015 to reach an even greater number of women.
On behalf of the Maasai community, all of us at the Maasai Girls Education Fund would like to express our gratitude to you. Thanks to your generosity, our programs continue to grow, and young women's lives change course for the better as they become, in the proud words of our Founder, Barbara Lee Shaw, "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."
Thank you for making a difference.
Thanks to you, we have had an incredible year, reaching over 2,000 Maasai women, men, boys and girls through our Community Education Programs, in an effort to improve their lives and empower communities.
I have just returned from an inspiring trip to Kenya where I visited students in their schools, attended some of our community education programs, and helped to organize our annual Student Reception. One of the most moving moments of the trip was at the 6-month women’s business training follow-up session. The women broke open their savings and MGEF staff recorded the results- their businesses are doing great and they are truly succeeding!
The student reception was a wonderful event, bringing MGEF students together to encourage and support one another. Many of MGEF’s alumni attended, giving powerful speeches to the younger girls about how to overcome the challenges they face, and grow to be strong, independent, and compassionate women.
We are finishing out the year strong, with our annual Mentoring Workshop coming up in December. MGEF students will meet for a three day session on career planning, health and family planning discussions, and mentor matching with alumni. They will also work together to complete a community service project, paying their opportunities forward to their communities.
All of us here at MGEF send you best wishes for the holiday season and many thanks for your continuing support in the year to come!
Thanks to your support, 2014 has been a successful year for MGEF. Our Life Skills and Elders and Mothers workshops have reached over 700 girls, boys, women, and men in 2014 alone!
Since May, over 90 Maasai women have completed an intensive 3-day business training, resulting in the launch of 30 new businesses, in which they sell products and services such as fabrics and jewelry, child care and groceries. For 6 months, these women-led businesses will receive monitoring and support sessions from a skilled training facilitator. MGEF is so proud of these amazing and inspiring entrepreneurs!
Between now and the end of December, MGEF will hold a total of 10 more Community Education workshops and will reach more than 800 additional Maasai people. Without your help, our work would not be possible, and we thank you for believing in the MGEF mission. We look forward to bringing you updates at the end of the year! Please be sure to sign up for our newsletter on the MGEF website as well. Thank you!
2014 has continued to be an eventful year for MGEF. We are thrilled to share that we have surpassed our goal of providing community education to 8,300 Maasai people in Kenya. MGEF has now reached over 8,537 Maasai women, men, boys, and girls!
We do not, however, intend to stop there. As we continue to receive requests for Life Skills, Elders and Mother’s, and Women’s Business Training workshops from within communities throughout Kajiado County, we are fully committed to responding and providing these trainings.
In the last month, we have held two Life Skills workshops and two Elders and Mother’s workshops in the Central region of Kajiado County. Additionally, MGEF is continuing to grow its’ Women’s Business Training program with two new training cohorts begining in May and June in the Lorgosua and Ilbissil regions of Kenya.
On that note, we are happy and very grateful to welcome a new team member in Kenya. Margaret Mereyian will be assisting with programming in the Kajiado office and she will be sharing her vast experience and knowledge at our Women’s Business Trainings as the new educator and mentor.
We are very excited for the coming months, as we will be traveling to Kenya in July! Look out for photos, stories, and updates upon our return, and please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for on the ground updates while we’re there.Thank you for your support and for being a part of the MGEF family!
Thank you for all of your support in 2013 and for continuing to be a part of our work in 2014! This has been a busy couple of months for MGEF. As a result of your support, to date, we have reached over 7,980 Maasai girls, boys, women, and men through our Community Education Programs. These numbers will continue to increase as we schedule workshops throughout the coming year.
In November, I took a month-long trip to Kenya to meet with the MGEF Kajiado Team and MGEF students, attend Community Education Workshops, and network with government and nonprofit leaders in education. It was very exciting to see all of the progress being made.
Annual Mentoring Workshop
One of the most inspiring highlights of the trip was the annual two-day Mentoring Workshop that brings MGEF girls together to discuss health, good decision-making, career counseling, and other important topics. This year it was held December 4th-6th at the Kajiado Children’s Home. Over 50 MGEF girls from all over the County gathered to learn from strong, successful Maasai women and to build a sense of community and support.
Alumni Group Meeting
The Alumni Group also met during this time. This Group is MGEF’s vision for the future in which the resources and knowledge of strong, educated MGEF women will be utilized to give back to their communities and help to uplift others. The room was filled with teachers, a dentist, a doctor-to-be, and more. They discussed how they could give back to MGEF and it was decided that mentoring the younger girls would be a top priority moving forward, along with assisting with the Community Education Program. Many of them have already begun to fulfill that promise at our annual Mentoring Workshop where they taught sessions on health and career development. MGEF Alumna and medical school student, Gloria Mumeita Kotente, can be seen in the picture below teaching a session on teenage pregnancy and health.
Coming Up in 2014
We have a busy year planned! Workshops are currently underway in Kenya, with two Life Skills workshops already completed since the beginning of the year. In April, we’ll be heading to Kenya so keep an eye out for pictures and updates on our growing programs there!
All of us here at MGEF thank you for your commitment to the Maasai community and continued support of our work.
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