Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya

by For the Good
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya
Keep Maasai Girls Learning in Kenya

Project Report | Jun 25, 2024
June 2024: Update from the Field

By Kate Lapides-Black | Director of Communications

“When the sun is shining, I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” — Wilma Rudolph

As we write these words it is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. We are thinking of Wilma's Rudolph's words because while the sun has been shining often in our part of the world, it has not been in so many others. And sometimes the mountains have been too high and many troubles too difficult to overcome for too many people around the world.

In Kenya, the rains are finally subsiding. While our staff and interns have been able to return to doing their outreach and enrollment work and we're excited about the positive impact that reinitiating our reproductive health education and reusable pad kits distribution program will have on girls' access to education in southern Kenya, we remain cognizant that much of Kenya is still recovering from the devastating spring floods. A June 19 report by ReliefWeb reports that over 306,520 Kenyans (61,304 families) were affected by heavy rains and floods between March 1 and June 18, with more than 293,200 people displaced. Eighty-one displacement sites in counties affected by floods were still active and supporting 54,000 people, and an estimated 350,000 learners remained out of school due to flooding and lack of school meals, since schools resumed on May 13, 2024.

Development work often feels like one step forward and three steps back, and perhaps never more so for us than this past year, as we watched so many people struggle across Kenya. Yet we remain ever hopeful that, together, with the resilient girls, families, and communities we work with, we can and will overcome each mountain or struggle that presents itself. Wilma Rudolph, quoted at the beginning of this email, was born in 1940 and contracted polio when she was five years old. Her diagnosis was bleak. "My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother," said Rudolph, in a well known quote. Wilma survived but lost strength in her left leg, which left her physically disabled and wearing a leg brace until she was twelve. Because there was little medical care available to African Americans in the Tennessee town she lived in at the time, she took weekly trips to Nashville with her mother for treatment to recover her leg strength, and her family also massaged her leg several times a day at home. She began playing basketball in high school, where a college track coach spotted her natural speed when she was 14 and invited her to start training. Two years later, in 1956, she went to her first Olympics. Four years later, in 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics, winning the 100-meter and 200-meter dash and anchoring the gold winning U.S. Women's 4 × 100-meter relay team, breaking three world records along the way. She became known as "The Fastest Woman on Earth."

Stories like Wilma Rudolph's, and like those of so many of our staff and the girls we work on behalf of, inspire us to keep going, even when the sun is not shining and the mountain seems impossibly high. They also remind us that healing happens in community, with others, whether it's recovery at the individual level, recovery for an entire village, or the restoration of an ecosystem. Sara Johnson, one of the many individuals in our own community of loyal and wonderful supporters, and also a mother who is currently, along with her husband Ryan, wrapping up an around-the-world trip with their three children, recently wrote to us about the experiences they had while visiting one of our partner schools in Kenya and staying with us at the wonderful Olkeroi Camp in the Loita Hills.

"It was important for us to bring our kids to the more rural, out-of-the-way places because we feel there's an authenticity to those places that allows for growth and empathy," she wrote. "There's usually an element in poverty that always ignites a spark to help and serve in the kids, which I love. I also think it's important that in those places, people generally value community and family very heavily, and their happiness is gauged more by the quality of their relationships than by the quantity of their belongings. We've taken our kids to some difficult places to travel that put them far outside their comfort zones, but they gained so much by being treated respectfully and included by those communities. They saw genuine care and concern for people, and that lesson has been so valuable."

The same sun shines on all of us. When we come together in genuine empathy and reach across artificially constructed differences and borders to help each other, most troubles can be overcome. Thank you for being part of the global community that reaches out to make life better for countless girls across the world whose mountains are often much higher to climb than our own. You can read more about the impact you helped make in their lives last year in our 2023 Annual Report through the link below.

Asante sana, from all of us at For the Good.

Photo: Sara Pavone Johnston

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Feb 27, 2024
FEBRUARY 2024: UPDATE FROM THE FIELD

By Kate Lapides-Black | Director of Communications

Oct 17, 2023
October 2023: Update From the Field

By Kate Lapides-Black | Director of Communications

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For the Good

Location: Glenwood Springs, CO - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @4TGood
Project Leader:
Kate Lapides
Glenwood Springs , CO United States
$25,835 raised of $55,000 goal
 
189 donations
$29,165 to go
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