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Feb 25, 2020

The rescue of Margaret

Margaret and Vivian
Margaret and Vivian

Global Roots has been protecting young Maasai girls from Female Genital Mutiliation or FGM since 2008.

In the beginning we helped a brave Maasai woman protect 56 girls who all ran away from their villages on the night they were to be cut and sold into marriage. The girls ranged in age from 8 to 13. Each of the girls had heard about our hero’s “safe house” in the Kenyan town of Kilgoris so they ran to her, one by one. These girls are the bravest girls in the world. They ran away from everything they had ever known so that they could stay in school and avoid the horrific human rights crime of FGM.

The number of girls protected by our local hero increased to 72 by the year 2013. We called them the Maasai 72 and we provided the funds that would keep them all safe in boarding school.

We reached out to GlobalGiving in around 2014 and this led us to you. Thank you for your ongoing donations!

Today, we are happy to report that a recent Global Roots audit of the girls remaining in our program led to the rescue of a young Maasai girl whose family had every intention of taking her from school and subjecting her to FGM.

The girl, who we will call Margaret, is shown in the attached photo with Vivian, lead program auditor of our Maasai school-girl program.

We learned during our audit that someone had been paying for Margaret’s boarding school. We were confused by this but, even though her expenses seemed to be covered by family, we kept Margaret in our warning net.

It turns out that Margaret's 74-year-old grandmother is the one who has been paying for Margaret’s school fees. Recently the grandma, whose identity must remain anonymous, was no longer able to help out. This gave other members of Margaret's family the opportunity to come for her. Keep in mind that the sale of a young Maasai girl into marriage carries a great profit in Kenya -- and the profit is maximized if the girl has been subjectd to FGM.

Fortunately, an assistant principal kept the name and number of Saruni M, the rescue operations manager in Kenya for Global Roots. Leaving his number at every school he visits is Global Roots policy. It’s how we have built a warning net that informs us whenever a Maasai girl in our network is threatened.

When Saruni got the call, he immediately emailed the head of Global Roots operations in the USA, Rick Montgomery. Rick then gave Saruni the authority he needed, as well as two other Kenyan managers, to research Margaret’s family situation. When he could confirm that Margaret was truly in danger, Rick tasked Anthony Kokondu of Global Roots in Nairobi to procure the bank account and routing number of Margaret’s school. Funds were wired immediately and no outsider was allowed to talke Margaret away.

Next week, Saruni and his wife Mary (one of the original girls protected by Global Roots) will return to Margaret’s school to check her. Saruni will collect a receipt from the school’s principal for due diligence and transparency purposes. Mary will spend time with Margaret and let her know that she is not alone and that we are with her.

We would like to thank everyone in Kenya who made this rescue possible as well as our esteemed donors at GlobalGiving!

Stay tuned for our next post that will include a link to a video that tells the story of how three of the original Maasai 72 are now fully self-actualized college graduates, including Silvia (photo attached).

 Thank you!!

 The Global Roots Team

Nov 26, 2019

Growing roots under militant boots!

our boys and their produce!
our boys and their produce!

Dear Global Giving donors,

After more than ten years of growing food in Afghanistan and using the food to help orphaned and abandoned children find foster homes, it is time to change the way we do things. The threat of the Taliban targeting our children is too great for us to consider expanding our current model.

The Baharak Children's Garden (BCG) is doing very well but it is located just 15 Km from a Taliban stronghold and we are told the invastion could come any day.

Thanks to Global Giving donations, we have set up an evacuation fund that will be tapped the minute we hear of a Taliban advance.

We have attached a photo of a young Afghan girl who will be swept up by the Taliban if we don't get out quickly.

Please emal us to hear the testimony of "Taya". In a video that we just received, Taya speaks out against guns. She does this with poetry!

To protect Taya and the other 300 children who rely on us, we have to find another, safer way to protect children!

Introducing: Small Scale Farms, Afghanistan

Global Roots launched a pilot project in Africa last spring called “Small Scale Farms Ltd” and we are looking to replicate it in Afghanistan in 2020. Our founder has already described the new program to our local partner in Afghanistan and everybody is on board.
The new plan calls for our local partner to unite Afghan farmers with a free SMS-based app that will be provided at no cost. Because it is not HTML-based, farmers don't need a smart phone. Instead, they can use their flip phones to text our team when they have produce that is ready to be picked up. Our team will pick up the produce, take it to market, sell it and then immediately text each farmer his or her commission.
We call this growing roots right under militant boots!
Our small-scale farms pilot program went so well in Kenya this year that we am now certain it will work everywhere — even in places where militant groups exploit and intimidate farming communities.
Small Scale Farms takes a systemic approach to change — rather than the child-by-child formula we have been applying at the BCG and FCG. 
The great news is that the excess produce that we are already producing at the BCG and FCG can be collected, sold and the resultant funds can be spent on the basic needs of our children!
BTW — we are not as much concerned about the agribusiness threat in Afghanistan as we are about bringing help to families who struggle to take care of their children as well as “stragglers” (abandoned or orphaned children) in any given community.
Please contact us if you would like year-end report on the BCG and FCG: info@globalroots.org
Thank you for your ongoing support! With your help we will "start growing roots right under militant boots!"
Taya, the poet
Taya, the poet
Nov 26, 2019

Program audit

Vivian of Global Roots with Sheila S.
Vivian of Global Roots with Sheila S.

Greetings Global Giving Donors,

We are proud to make a great announcment!

After a recent comprehensive audit of our Maasai schoolgirl protection program, we are happy to announce that all of the school girls we started to protect from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are now safe from this horrific tradition for life. We have attached a report that provides sample ages of the chidren in our program and the boarding schools they attend. While many of them could still be the victim of early marriage -- none of them are currently threatened by FGM. In fact, they have all reached an age and a maturity level that statistically precludes any chance of any one of them being abducted and subjeted to the horrors of FGM.

We would like to thank our team of auditors, Vivian, Edith and and Saruni who traveled from Naroni into the hinterlands of Kenya to check on our girls and submit their report.

We have attached photos of Vivian, the team leader (in blue striped shirt and blue pants) checking in with many of the girls we support.

We have also included expenses from our audit below. The exchange rate 1 US dollar to 102 Kenyan shillings. A brief summary of the audit is attached as a PDF.

Next steps

During the audit, Vivan of Global Roots had the opportunity to visit Judith Seenoi, one of the most successful graduates of our Maasai Schoolgirl protection program.

Judith came to us when she was a little runway (she escaped on the night of her cutting) and now she is gainfully employed at hospital on the edge of the Maasai Mara. We are so proud of Judith!

In fact, we are now setting up a speakng tour for Judith and another of our college graduates to share their story of FGM resistance across the Trans Mara region of Kenya -- one village at a time.

We will send you a description of this new community outreach plan shortly.

Also, stay tuned for the details of our Mutilaton Free Minyatta branding program AND our Maasai Girls Garden Program. Both of these programs address the root cause of FGM: financial need. If we can engage Maasai communities with financially rewarding anti-FGM measures, we will stop FGM!

Right now, with Thanksgiving bearing down on us -- we would like to THANK YOU for continuing to help us bring an end to Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya and around the world.

Thank you!

Sincerely, Rick Montgomery and the Anti-FGM task force at Global Roots

Audit Expenses (from "SM" -- Global Roots lead driver and special rescue ops manager)

Car leasing:Ksh400×3days = ksh12000. 

Fuel: full tank: $50.  By the time the car was in Kisii (midnight) the fuel was already half tank. On Thursday morning , (day 1) I had to refuel ($30) to maintain the full tank since we are traveling out of town to various schools. We visited the first school St lwanga girls sch. We did our assignment and got out of sch by 2:3pm. 

We took our late lunch in kilgoris (SW hotel) and I paid for the whole bill ($30). We had to rush to the arthest sch ...Enoosaen Girls sch, got back to Kilgoris late evening. We took our dinner at SW hotel as u instructed me. Accommodation (@ $30). 

Friday morning we visited Christ the King academy and after that we took our lunch at SW hotel ($9) and later drove to Lolgorian. 

We spent our night at  mara galaxy @ $20 (lolgorian). 

Friday morning 19/9/2019

We attended Siria girls sch. And ended out trip at the last sch Olopikidongo'e primary towards Maasai Mara park. After we were done with our audit we had to travel back to Kilgoris took our lunch with our soft drinks at SW hotel (@ $10) and proceeded to Kisii, Dan's Hotel for our final destination .

On that evening I received (20k) from Anthony,  I handed over to Vivian (6k) as u instructed me to. I was left with (14k )

Accommodation (3k) I don't spent my night at Dan's Hoel cz I had to fix my budget to get something small to take home (shopping)

Day 3 

Car service 500

Fuel $20 

And handed over to the company.

Traveling back home.

Lunch $7 

Bus fare 1k

Small shopping to my family 2k  and give my wife 500 for airtime .

By God's grace the trip was successful..

Sub Total 

Car rent:  12,000

Fuel: 10,000

Car service: 500

Food: 5,600

Accommodation: 8,000

Bus fare: 1000   

TOTAL 36,100/= 

Total money received from Anthony 45,000  

45,000- 6000 (for vivian) = 39,000

39,000 -36,100=3,100

Ksh 3100 is what I was left with 

I did a small shopping for my family.

Yours faithfully,

SM

Vivian w/ a few of the girls we support
Vivian w/ a few of the girls we support

Attachments:
 
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