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 Children  Kenya Project #14394

Rescue Maasai Girls from Female Genital Mutilation

by Global Roots
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Rescue Maasai Girls from Female Genital Mutilation
Rescue Maasai Girls from Female Genital Mutilation
Rescue Maasai Girls from Female Genital Mutilation
Nelly and Mary at our Safe House
Nelly and Mary at our Safe House

We are so proud to announce that Global Roots sent a team into the field to protec, Nelly, a 16-year-old Maasai schoolgirl, from Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM.

Like all schoolchildren in Kenya and in most countries around the world, Nelly was sent home from school because of Covid19 last month.

Fortunately, Nelly knew about the existence and location of our SAFE HOUSE FOR MAASAI GIRLS thanks to a visit our auditing team paid to her school six months ago. 

Nelly is now living in a house that is managed by Mary Keruta, a Maasai woman who courageously ran away from FGM over ten years ago.

See attached photo of Mary and Nelly. Nelly is wearing a new red dress we bought for her because all she had when she arrived was her school uniform.

 We would like to thank GlobalGiving donors for providing the funds we need to keep our girls safe.

We are now raising funds to add a wing to our Safe House in rural Kenya. Our house is not far from Kilgoris – the site of the original safe house that we first started to support ten years ago.

Thank you for your help!

Sponsor your own schoolgirl!! 

It costs just $500 a year to keep a Maasai girl safe and in boarding school.

Please contact us if you are interested and we will put you into direct contact with Mary in Kenya.

Mary will in turn set up a video session between you and the young girl you will sponsor.

!00% of your $500 will go directly to boarding school fees and the personal needs of yourn schoolgirl!

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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

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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

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Silvia at college with her Global Giving lap top
Silvia at college with her Global Giving lap top

We are so proud to announce that Silvia S, one the first girls we protected from Female Genital Mutilation -- the horrific human rights crime in Kenya that is also known as Female Cutting -- has graduated from college and joined the workforce!

With the help of donations from GlobalGiving donors, Silvia graduated high school four years ago and managed to pass Kenya's rigorous college entrance examinations.

Silvia never gave up!

Despite obstacles few of us can imagine, Silvia managed to stay in college and was recently rewarded with a degree in Information Science.

Anthony K (Global Roots Operations Manager and Jack of All Trades in Kenya)  helped Silvia win a position with a leading Kenyan company that specializes in providing Building Management Systems -- which is basically security and access systems for business premises.

The job is a great opportunity for Silvia to get real hands-on experience and work on-site with client offices. Eventually, if all goes well, she will win the opportunity to help design some of the customized systems.

Silvia was forced to request more assistance from Global Roots recently when a former classmate of hers who she was hoping to stay with was forced to move out of Nairobi.

With no other options, Silvia asked for help and Global Roots provided the funds she needs to stay at a local hostel.

She is now staying at Qwetu Student Residences. The cost is US$150 per month – much less than other appropriate accommodations in the area.

Silvia's job pays only  US$140 per month so we need to send her more funds to survive on until she gets her first raise. We know she will!!

Here is a personal letter of thank you to Global Giving donors.

Hello. Hope you are doing great.

I would like to appreciate your scholarship  that has been the best thing that has ever happened to my life. At least my future is now bright. I can tell from the education journey that you've guided me through your sponsorship. I pray and hope daily that one day, I would graduate with a bachelor's degree that you have enabled me to go through.

Were it not for your sponsorship through high school and now to a university, I would have succumbed to the cruel Maasai culture of female genital mutilation and I would have been sent off to early marriage. 

The main problem that I have noted this days is early pregnancy. Global roots foundation has enabled me to have my strong qualities and standards that help me not to fall for this new traps. At least my life has taken a new direction courtesy of your assistance.

You are a blessing and I always appreciate your support. I promise to work hard and make you and the whole of global roots proud.

Thank you so much. 

Silvia S.

_____________________________________________________________

WE COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD OF SILVIA. Please see the attached photo of Silvia holding the laptop computer we bought her when she was in college.

GlobalGiving Donors: thank you for your continued donations.

We started to protect 72 girls from FGM in 2008 but we didn't really know what success would look like. We started with just a handful of girls but this number swelled to 72 girls in 2010.

More and more girls started to run away from home on the night they were to be mutilated and sold into marriage because they learned of a brave Maasai woman named Carol who would protect them.

Carol turned to Global Roots when she heard a radio announcment from our founder who reached out to anyone who was protecting young girls from FGM.

With many girls living in her two bed-room house, Carol had noone else to turn to. She traveled across the Maasai Mara to meet with Rick and a partnership was born.

Now, ten years later, we still have 32 girls in the program and we are looking for sponsors who can help each girl finish high school and get through college. Each girl has a name, a life and an email address!!

Please contact Global Roots if you would like to sponsor a Maasai School Girl!! Email info@globalroots.org or call our founder Rick at 503 866 9525

In the meantime, than you for your donations on this GlobalGiving platform.

You are honestly helping us to save young lives!!

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a brave woman and star student, PL
a brave woman and star student, PL

Note: we must use initials in this report to protect both the identity of the threatened girls and those who are protecting them. There remain adults who are angry because they are unable to cut their daughters and sell them into marriage.

 Success!

One of the Maasai school girls we support (we will call her PL) called Global Roots manager Anthony in Nairobi to thank us for the financial support that enabled her to complete high school last year. 

This June, PL will proceed to one of Kenya’s medical training colleges to study either nursing or medical lab technology. This is a very big deal because this tells us she passed her college entrance exams and she is so exceptional that she also won a free ride to college.

PL has shown her tribe that all young girls deserve an education and NONE should be subjected to Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage.

PL had nothing to hope for when she was 12 and now all of her dreams are coming true. Global Roots played a very small role in PL’s rise. At every step of the way it was up to PL to study hard, stay in school and somehow resist the social forces that can derail even the smartest young girl. This often comes in the form of adult males who try to move in to divert young girls with gifts and/attention or wealthy young boys from private schools who try to “hook up” with girls at boarding schools – especially those who have little or no family supervision during holidays.

There are no words for the joy all of us are feeling for PL’s success. Thank you Global Giving donors – especially whoever registered recently to make a $250 “monthly” (revolving) donation. Monthly donations help us make a rational financial plan to pay for the boarding school costs that keep our girls safe from the horrors of Female Genital Mutilation.

Global Roots pays boarding school fees for 32 girls and rescue operations when we hear about a threatened girl or when one of the girls in our program are sent home for any reason from boarding school. We are now seeking a sponsor family for each of the 32 girls. Sponsorship costs $500 a year for approximately eight years. Stay tuned for our next report when I (Rick Montgomery, Executive Director of Global Roots) will share my own sponsorship experience.

MK’s son is recovering from his burns

We are happy to report that JK is on the mend from the terrible burns he suffered (see previous report) when his twin brother inadvertently pushed him over in the kitchen causing a pot of boiling water to fall on him.

Measures have been taken to not allow such an event to happen again. The grandma who watched it happen is also recovering from her shock. Any parent or grandparent who has ever watched a child suffer a serious wound understands.

JS is expected to make “nearly” a complete recovery. Global Roots wired funds for JS’s medicine shortly after the accident but we all became worried when his burns turned white. A local doctor told us it was normal and that the burns would darken as JS healed. You can see in the attached photo that JS is well on his way to recovery.

JS is a very important child to Global Roots because he is the son of the second girl we protected from FGM many years ago. JS’s mother is now a school teacher who was able to marry her first love, a young man named SS who, until recently, was studying to become a veterinarian.

A complication during MK’s pregnancy required SS to sell his inheritance (cattle) to pay for his wife’s surgery.

I was so impressed by SS during my visit to Kenya last June that we are now training him to serve as Global Roots’ FGM emergency response manager in Kenya.

Should any of the young girls who currently receive funding for boarding school from Global Roots be forcefully removed from school, SS will be dispatched to check on the girl immediately. Should the girl be truly threatened by FGM, SS will take up the case with the local police and the girl will be taken to SS’s wife who will protect the girl until Global Roots finds a new home for her.

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Thank you for all of your support!

Female Genital Mutilation is still practiced in the darkest corners in many countries around the world. It is regarded as a crime against humanity by the UN and it is a federal offense in Kenya. It is still common in rural areas that are largely out of the Kenyan government's sphere of influence.

Please contact Global Roots to learn more or to get involved. info@globalroots.org

JS wounds are healing
JS wounds are healing
JS is healing
JS is healing
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Global Roots

Location: Lake Forest Park, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Rick Montgomery
Portland, OR United States

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