Tareto Maa Maasai Girl
To our supporters and followers, we wish to report that the girls continue to do well at the refuge and we thank you for your continued support in helping us, by ensuring that sufficient funds are found for the girls to go to school and for any other needs to run the refuge.
The girls continue to do well at school and are well, apart from a few minor illnesses. We have managed to register 15 girls for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education ( K. C.P.E.) and 15 others for the Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education ( K. C.S.E.). We have also had other children coming to sit their exams with our children.
The biggest challenge that we have faced (which isn’t new) is the unpredictable weather and how our food supply relies on the rainfall. There has been another drought in Kenya which saw our own harvests fail. Maize that we planted on farmland that we hired was destroyed and failed to yield a crop, forcing us to buy. This results in Maize and other vegetables going up in price, due to these shortages. We have also had problems with our fresh water supply. Fortunately, we are now receiving rain. In fact, some of the roads have been quite flooded recently.
Inspite of all of this, the Tareto Maa girls continue to be highly motivated with their studies, as well as their sports and games. At the Naitawang Riverside Academy, the girls had ball game competitions with other schools. Currently, they have managed to reach Sub Zonal level whereby, they will go on to Zonal level next week. The girls have also won games in volleyball, netball and a draw in football. They did have some challenges that hindered their performance which were: a small field for practice, lack of equipment including balls and volleyballs, nets and a lack of sports clothing and shoes. To be able to acquire these things would mean their sporting skills and motivation for the games would increase.
Furthermore, we have had visitors from the community who said that the girls are being adequately provided for, with their essential needs, that they would not be able to get at home: Food, education, religious instruction, as well as safety against the harmful practices of F.G.M and early marriage.
On an administrative level, a new German team led by Astrid Hauke took over the existing German team’s management in January from Armin Erkens. This has been a smooth transition and Gladys welcomes this change and the new direction ahead, with fresh ideas and impetus. Both Gladys and the new team acknowledges, and thanks most warmly, Armin Erkens and the old team, for the many years of momentous work and success and also acknowledges the need for them to now have a rest from this constant work.
The most pressing need to date is the need for a new dormitory and toilet block. The current refuge just can not meet the needs of the many numbers of girls that now live there. A fundraiser at Christmas, with a promotion of the girls in a video and the release of a short film by Lawrence Richards from the BNI (who is now a prominent member of the new German team) were a success. This film talked about the refuge with the girls personal testimonials which were very powerful. The other video emphasised why a new dormitory and toilet block were needed recited by the girls.
Then, this last week saw a very successful fundraiser in Kreuzberg, Germany. There was a big bingo night and many prices had been donated. The amount raised in this one evening was1,927 euros. This was an astonishing achievement for one night’s work and our thanks goes to Suli Puschban for her fantastic organisation and running the event, and to Erica Bohr for her team in working hard in getting the prizes. This was a big moral boast for the new team.
Finally, It is clear our supporters worldwide still care very much about this project and the girls of Tareto Maa. From its beginnings in 2009, every year the centre has grown, has seen many challenges but continues to thrive. Above all, the girls are happy and thankful. Please continue to support these wonderful, confident girls who are so grateful to you for giving them a chance to succeed in life.
Yours most sincerely,
Girls in their dormitory
Tareto Maa girls posing