Project #9169

Protecting Girls from Genital Mutilation in Kenya

by Tareto Maa Organization
Thank you very much for your support in 2013
Thank you very much for your support in 2013

In November 2013, an official Tareto Maa group was registered in Austria. The Austrian group will help to find financial support for the children of Tareto Maa and to raise awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In addition to that, the group’s main goal is to extend and deepen the network with organisations and other partners.

Also the Tareto Maa group in the USA reached another important milestone: The required papers and documents for the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service of the United States federal government) have been completed in the beginning of this month.

A book about Tareto Maa

Tareto Maa has published a book! The book contains 44 pages with photos that Caroline Annandale took at Tareto Maa, and with the stories of the girls why they had to escape to our refuge. The girls themselves picked the name of the book: „Tumaini“. That’s Swahili and means „Hope“.

These are some short links to find the book in the Internet:

English edition (Amazon U.S.):

German edition (Amazon Germany):

English edition (Amazon Europe):

The Tareto Maa Christmas Choir

In appreciation for all the generous support we’ve received over the past year, Tareto Maa proudly presented its very first Christmas Carol! This video stars a Japanese high school, U.S. families, a choir from Finland, an opera singer in Germany, Tareto Maa board members, lots of supporters, friends and relatives – and even a zebra and an elephant. Many thanks to all who participated in our global choir:

Some more news

We made an improvised eye test for the girls in the Tareto Maa Center. The girls who were having problems with their eyes were sent to an eye doctor in Kisii. Now 9 of the girls in the refuge are wearing glasses.

Members of the German business network BNI donated 1,700 euro for Tareto Maa (= 2,250 USD). Our project manager Rona and three of the children travelled to Nairobi, to receive the symbolic check and to talk with the donors.

A communications agency from Berlin has donated a rain water tank for Tareto Maa as a Christmas present. The tank is containing the rainwater from the roof of the dormitory. The water will be used as drinking water and for farming.

The Tareto Maa Book
The Tareto Maa Book
New glasses for some of the girls
New glasses for some of the girls
Meeting with donors in Nairobi
Meeting with donors in Nairobi


The girls turning Jackie into Pipi Longstocking
The girls turning Jackie into Pipi Longstocking

In August, Jackie Adams, the chairwoman of Tareto Maa USA, and Armin Erkens, chairman of the German group, visited the children at Tareto Maa. During their stay, they handed over several gifts and conducted some projects together with the kids.

Jackie published a personal travel report, including many photos of the trip:

For instance, a Tareto Maa Library (with official office hours) was opened, as the Tareto Maa Center has received 50 pounds worth of children’s books from the U.S. now, including Dr. Seus and the Bernstein Bears. The girls love spending the afternoon gathering in groups to read aloud together.

The “Buffalo Bikes” which were funded by a donor from Germany and which are tailor-made for roads in rural Africa, also meant great fun for the children. They taught each other how to ride a bike. There were many small accidents and bleeding knees. But the girls just put some band-aid on it, and continued to cycle.

While Jackie and Armin were visiting, some movies were screened: with a projector that was donated by a European company and a white bedsheet on the wall. The girls‘ favorite movie was: Pipi Longstocking.   :-)

Together with Jackie, the girls crocheted recycled plastic bags into change purses and made traditional Maasai bracelets (using the colors of the Tareto Maa logo). These items will be sold in the U.S. with half of the proceeds going to support the efforts of Tareto Maa and the other half benefiting a project of the girls’ choice.

During their stay in Kenya, Jackie and Armin also met many people in Nairobi and Transmara to talk about the development of Tareto Maa, and how to cooperate. These talks included the Kenyan Government (Ministry of Agriculture and the department that is in charge of fighting Female Genital Mutilation), the British DFID, the German GIZ, World Vision Kenya, the founder of the SupaMaasai Foundation, and the Kilgoris Project.

Together with the local team, Jackie and Armin also met the District Agricultural Officer in Kilgoris to talk about the current food crisis.

Food crisis: the corn disease has spread all over the country

The plant disease which is destroying the corn/maize harvest has spread all over Kenya by now. The Tareto Maa team is working on long-term solutions to improve food supply. However, the situation will be tough and challenging for the next 2 or 3 years (until resistant seeds might be available).

Tareto Maa successfully completed a fund-raiser to buy food for the next months. Many thanks to all people who supported this task!

Some more news

In Jackie’s hometown, the regional newspaper, the News Tribune, published a series of articles about Tareto Maa and the work of the U.S. group. See, for instance:

Reading books on the swing
Reading books on the swing
Working on the Maasai bracelets
Working on the Maasai bracelets
Learning how to ride a bike ...
Learning how to ride a bike ...
... is a tough challenge
... is a tough challenge


104 sweaters and some books for the children
104 sweaters and some books for the children

Gifts for the girls

It has been an exciting time at Tareto Maa, as the girls received some lovely presents from donors abroad. As the rainy season made the climate very cold, help arrived by the way of 104 sweaters, donated by a family from our newly formed USA team and its chairwoman. There was also a book delivery and an adventure involving a parcel which started its journey in Canada and was sent by a supply chain across to Kenya with essential supplies for the girls.

Bicycles for the refuge

Jens, a supporter from Germany, completed a great pilot project for Tareto Maa. He conducted a fund-raiser for 6 bikes (plus training of a mechanic, a toolkit and a trailer). The “Buffalo Bikes” which are tailor-made for roads in rural Africa, will enable the children to cycle to far-off schools, and we can use them to bring sick people to the doctor and goods to Tareto Maa.

Victory at a singing competition

Congratulations to the students of our Naitawang Riverside Academy who won an award for singing and dancing (which are highly-prized traditions for the Maasai). They were no. 1 in the Transmara District. Now the next competition will be on Province level.

Houses for the teachers

Thanks to the local community, the teachers of the school have been provided with some temporary shelter. The houses are of basic construction but provide much needed housing for the teachers who were finding it difficult to travel backwards and forwards from their homes to school during the rainy season.

International conference in Tanzania

In June, our project manager Rona attended an international conference in Tanzania, organised by Forward UK and other organisations. It was on the subject of early enforced marriage. For Rona it was the first time to travel across the border, for Tareto Maa it was the first international conference.

Strengthening our communications

A new Tareto Maa WIKI has been introduced and we have created a new Facebook page.

Firstly, the team believed that creating a WIKI would be an important step in sharing the experience gained from the completed projects, encourage dialogue about what we do, and help us develop new ideas for the future. This is the web link to our WIKI:

Our new Facebook page can be seen here: We like the new page very much and hope you do to. Please join us there by liking the page!

Following the publication of Gladys’ story on Worldpulse, we have seen a beautiful article published by The Girl Effect:

A severe food crisis. We need your help!

We are facing an urgent and very critical situation as the corn harvest has failed completely at the Tareto Maa Center and in the surrounding district of Transmara.

This has been caused by a viral infection called Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND). It is the first time that this plant disease attacked the crops in East Africa. The infection has destroyed the maize in our field, therefore we must raise funds now to buy staple food for the children.

In addition, alternatives and solutions must be found for the next planting season, to avoid a reoccurring situation in 2014. This will need to include finding seeds resistant to MLND and planting crops other than maize. Research into insecticides is needed as the viruses are transmitted by insects. As this disease is new to Africa, dealing with it is a huge challenge. Therefore we are seeking donor assistance in this very urgent and critical situation to buy food for the children at Tareto Maa.

Please help us here on GlobalGiving if you can:

Thank you for your assistance!

Tareto Maa cornfield spoiled by disease
Tareto Maa cornfield spoiled by disease
Food for the children at Tareto Maa
Food for the children at Tareto Maa


Greetings from the Tareto Maa Center
Greetings from the Tareto Maa Center

Project target on GlobalGiving increased

From when we first applied to be on Global Giving back in 2011, we have seen the number of girls, needing our protection and shelter, increase from 70 to 104. Due to the tremendous support we have received here on GlobalGiving our initial target amount of $16,000 is nearly achieved and we are able to raise it now to $20,000. Many thanks to all of you for supporting us so far and making this success possible.

Positioning and strategy for the continuation of our work

In the previous months, members of the Tareto Maa team in different countries (Kenya, UK, Austria and Germany) worked together to discuss different options for Tareto Maa’s work in future: how to develop the project, how to extend our activities as a community project and efficiently connect them. How to make Tareto Maa more independent from donations and external support, and how to explain to potential partners what is unique in the way Tareto Maa is fighting against FGM. Plans for the future of Tareo Maa as a community based project include a center for professional training and higher education, increased sustainability through farming and food production and a medical clinic. This would increase the benefits to the wider community. As these ideas develop we will keep our supporters informed.

Raising funds for school fees and farming

On April 14th one Austrian supporter named Philippe participated at the Vienna Marathon and combined his run with a fundraising project for Tareto Maa. The initial aim was to raise 300 Euros, the fees for one child’s schooling. At the end, more 1,600 Euros have been raised, enough to send five children to school! Thanks to Philippe and to all the people who supported his charity run!

Sponsorships for the girls are always welcome, and the sponsorships we have are vital for the success of Tareto Maa. A special sponsorship that we have at Tareto Maa, is a group of students from Keimei Gakuen Junior High School in Japan who jointly sponsor one of the girls in the Tareto Maa Center. In February, these students started a fundraising project at their school and asked their classmates to support Tareto Maa.

Furthermore, early in the New Year, instead of Christmas presents for its clients, a Berlin communication agency donated a new kitchen for the children in the Tareto Maa Center, and a vocal piano sextet from Germany sold CDs for Tareto Maa after a concert.

One new fundraising project has already begun. Further land has been purchased for farming and the funds for fencing and seeds are now being raised (see: The girls in the Tareto Maa Center have already seen the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables and increased protein thanks to milk cows and egg-laying hens. Preparation of the land is now underway for planting the crops.

New Annual Report released and personal blog post on FGM

In April we have published our Annual Report for 2012, including financial information about the work of Tareto Maa. Here it is:

Furthermore, Helen from our team UK has published a blog post acknowledging International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM (6th February). It is a personal blog post but linking it to Tareto Maa’s work:

Girls graduated

In December and January, eight of the girls in the Tareto Maa Center passed their National Exams to complete primary school and can now go on to secondary school. We wish them every success as they have worked really hard. Furthermore, the first girl in the Tareto Maa Center completed her secondary school education. Congratulations to all of these students!

In addition, a new class of pupils started at our primary school and the newly built classroom opened. Now the Naitawang Riverside Academy offers education for standard 1-4.

We want to thank everyone for making all these achievements possible. Keep donating please, so we can develop and expand this work. Without you we could not achieve this.

Thank you!

Learning for the exams
Learning for the exams


Some small Christmas presents for the girls
Some small Christmas presents for the girls

Happy New Year to all of our supporters at Global Giving. This year brings fresh challenges and new goals for the Tareto Maa team. Once again your continued support is vital to our work, not only to ensure the welfare and safety of the girls in our care, but also to continue the momentum in eradicating the harmful practice of FGM in the Kilgoris region and within the wider Kenyan communities.

December Campaign: successful community event

During the December “Circumcision Season” the refuge admitted eight more girls who had asked for help. This number was within the predicted ten that we thought might ask for shelter. It also showed that, for the second year running, a decline in the numbers needing to be rescued was achieved. It further demonstrated that the message is being heard within the Massai community that FGM is harmful, not to be tolerated and those who persist will be prosecuted and brought to justice.

The December Campaign – a week’s long community event to achieve this result was very successful. The event was conducted by Tareto Maa in cooperation with other local organizations and the district government. Local elders, doctors, community leaders, former excisors, girls from the rescue centre as well as the local community came together to hold a series of lectures and seminars to inform about the harmful practices of FGM. The event's conclusion was to declare a united voice to end this practice. Of the eighty adults who attended, such a declaration was made. This was seen as an enormous step in achieving “zero” circumcision in the Kilgoris region. While this practice is not going to be stopped overnight, the campaign shall be an important turning point for this to be achieved in the longer-term. For more specific information about this event visit:

Fundraising during the Christmas season: many new sponsors

Our Christmas fundraising campaign resulted in more sponsors coming forward. We now have a total of 72 girls, out of our new total of 104 girls in the refuge, having their school fees paid for by private donors. It would be wonderful if we could see this number increase further this year and we thank very much indeed to all those who have made this pledge.

One of our new ideas for fundraising was the implementation of Tareto Maa Gift Cards and this can be used all year round. So if you want to give an alternative gift to somebody who might already have all they need, perhaps consider using one of our gift cards. To see this view here: The payment can be made via Kiva then.

Shop to Help: In UK and German-speaking countries

For UK supporters a fundraising idea called Easyfundraising is now set up. So when you make your purchases through Amazon, E-bay or other major retail outlets you can help raise funds for Tareto Maa, at no additional costs to you. View here:

There is also a version for supporters in


Back in September, the team had trialled four HURU Kits from a charity in Nairobi specialising in reusable sanitary napkins. This was to reduce overall sanitary costs as well as being environmentally friendly. The girls liked the kits, so funds were raised for a total of 65 kits to be purchased. These arrived in December and the girls were happy to receive them.

Gladys’ story

Gladys’ personal story was published on a website called World Pulse. This is a hugely personal and powerful story about how Tareto Maa was founded and the vision for the refuge. Many wonderful comments have flowed in and Gladys has been very touched by those words. Please find Gladys’ story here:

Finally, it remains to say a very big thank to everyone for all the efforts, contacts and financial support in 2012. On behalf of the team and the girls of Tareto Maa, we wish you all for 2013 a prosperous and successful New Year. We have many new tasks and projects that lay ahead and we will look forward to keeping you updated as these unfold.

The HURU Kits arrived
The HURU Kits arrived
Community event on FGM
Community event on FGM
Say No to FGM
Say No to FGM



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Organization Information

Tareto Maa Organization

Location: Kilgoris, Transmara - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Gladys Kiranto
Kilgoris, Transmara Kenya

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