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Maasai Girls Education Fund

Rating: 5 stars   60 reviews 5,884

Address:

5800 MacArthur Blvd Nw Washington DC 20016 USA

Mission:

In Kenya, Maasai women have one of the lowest literacy rates in the country due to poverty and social and cultural institutions that deny women the right to an education. MGEF is working to economically empower Maasai women by educating girls and women, and the Maasai Community.

Programs:

Scholarships: mgef provides scholarships to needy girls in kajiado county, kenya, from primary school through university.

workshops: mgef organizes life skills workshops for girls and boys in primary schools to address the social factors and cultural beliefs that prevent girls from getting an education, including early marriage, teen pregnancy, female genital cutting, and hiv; mgef provides business training workshops to rural maasai women; mgef holds community workshops for chiefs, elders, and their wives to reduce early marriage, teen pregnancy, female genital cutting, and the spread of hiv.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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(202) 237-0535
maasaigirlseducation.org

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Reviews for Maasai Girls Education Fund

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

8 people found this review helpful

My mother, Barbara Lee Shaw, founded the Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) in 2000. She died of cancer in 2013, and I, an Emergency Physician in the Washington, DC area, am proud to inherit the honor of her legacy.
MGEF primarily puts Maasai girls and young women through school who would otherwise not have a chance at education. Most would instead be forced into early marriage (we have rescued girls as young as nine years old from marriage). Our mission is to improve the literacy, health, and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya and their families through the education of girls and their communities. To this end, we also conduct Maasai Community and Women's Business Training Workshops (which include start-up loans), but our first commitment is to sponsoring Maasai girls in school. We support our students in all ways, and we see them through to the highest level of achievement their abilities and ambition allow.
All MGEF scholarships are purely need based, and we currently have more than 100 girls in school. Since 2000, we have graduated nearly 50 more--strong, young Maasai women now, and role models for others as they return to their communities to work as teachers, nurses, and business owners, to name a few of their chosen professions. Many more scholarship students are on the verge of their own graduations and success. One MGEF scholarship recipient for the last 9 years, for example, is about to enter her final year of medical school at the University of Nairobi School of Medicine. Another young Maasai woman, supported by MGEF since 2002, has just started law school, also in Nairobi, Kenya.
I am proud of my mother, her life's work, and all she created in MGEF that inspires and helps others become all they can be and that they deserve the chance to become. Barbara Shaw loved her Maasai sisters, her daughters, her friends--and, in making her vision my own, I am committed to keeping MGEF the personal, just, efficient, culturally respectful, and incredibly effective organization she created it to be. MaasaiGirlsEducation.org

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help it grow and to share its effective model with other communities where girls' education is still a challenge to achieve.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with MGEF as a donor since it started more than a decade ago, and never has money been better spent. I have met the girls who benefit from MGEF sponsorship, and seen them change from shy, deferential girls into strong, confident, self-empowered young women who believe in themselves. Thanks to MGEF's efforts, Maasai mothers are seeing their daughters respected and admired for their abilities, their independence, their education--for qualities they themselves never believed possible for a woman in their society. Younger sisters and neighbors have role models in the young women MGEF has supported. Even fathers who once refused to speak to daughters who ran away and were sheltered in schools paid for by MGEF are now seeing the benefits of educating their daughters, as their daughters return to their Maasai communities and provide for their families financially in amounts never previously equaled. These same fathers who once were ashamed of their daughters for seeking an education are now commanding their sons to educate their daughters! Because of the Maasai Girls Education Fund's vision and commitment, many, many lives are changing for the better. I will continue to support the MGEF's mission without question, and recommend it to anyone wanting to help make a real difference in the world.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

MGEF is a fantastic organization. I have had the unique and rewarding opportunity to be one of the sponsors of a wonderful young woman who will shortly be the first Maasai female physician. The organization is very well run and Barbara would be proud of her daughter and the others who are continuing the legacy of improving the lives of the Maasai girls and their families. Can't recommend them enough!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I attended a fundraiser for this wonderful organization and was very impressed at their mission and effectiveness. Educating these young women not only creates opportunity for each individual girl, it also brings economic resources back to their families and community. But on some level I was most impressed by the accounts of how the success of these girls have been able to change deeply embedded cultural gender biases that limit the role of women. We hear a lot of talk from governments and big organizations about the need to empower women in places where cultural and religious practices relegate women to subservient roles. This grassroots organization appears to be doing not talking; effecting change on the level that really works, one person, one family, one village at a time.
I also like how my modest donation goes such a long way. I feel like I'm having a direct impact on real people. I can follow these girls progress and see tangible results. I find this so much more satisfying than the more anonymous experience of donating to a huge organization where I never am sure how my contribution is used.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I traveled to Kenya to help out MGEF and see their impact on the women of the Maasai community. I met so many amazing girls and young women who have been able to go to school because of this organization, as well as young schoolchildren who greatly benefit from their workshops. MGEF is truly an excellent organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) has always been a source of inspiration. It's mission is clear and elegantly simple: to equip Maasai girls with knowledge and awareness so they can take control of their lives and reach for opportunities not otherwise available to them. By empowering others, MGEF can lay claim to the many benefits that follow, with the girls whose lives it enriches finding so many ingenious ways to give back to their families, their communities, their country, and, indeed, the world. But in keeping with the spirit of its founder, the late Barbara Shaw, the MGEF is quick to let the girls it educates get all the credit; throughout Barbara's inspired life, it was reward enough to see the intelligent spark in the eyes of those whose education the MGEF had provided. Yet the time has come to grant the MGEF the recognition it has long deserved -- as one of the most thoughtful and truly extraordinary non-profit organizations one can find.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The many years we spent sponsoring a little girl from 3rd grade through high school was a very satisfying experience. The work of MGEF is so valuable in this world where education is the answer to so many problems. Kudos to MGEF and thank you for the opportunity to enrich our lives.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have enjoyed sponsoring a student from 2nd grade through high school.
It was a satisfying experience for our family and what we have learned through this experience has changed our lives.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Incredible non-profit truly changing the lives of these young Masai girls. This non-profit saves them from being married off as young teens and through education offers them a way to provide for themselves and their families.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Education is a great gift. Education of those who could otherwise not afford it is the greatest gift. The spirit of my dear friend Barbara lives on with the work of Tracey and the MGEF in its generous giving of the greatest gifts.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I am writing to praise Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) for mission effectiveness and for the satisfaction it brings to donors like me. MGEF is a lean organization with a passion for helping Maasai girls achieve the education they need for themselves, family and culture, while avoiding early forced marriage and children that would plunge them into lifelong poverty. The simple strategy is to support the education of Maasai girls and thereby promote sustainable development and equality, and reduce violence and poverty. The simple satisfaction is that each sponsorship donation is earmarked for one student who you can follow through school and career. My experience is that you change two lives for the better, the student and yourself.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

We have always been delighted to support the Maasai Gilrs Education Fund. The organization is very professionally run. We are kept informed, but not overrun by appeals for more funds, etc. The organization has achieved great success in helping girls and the Maasai community. We are pround to have sponored the education of a young woman who is now getting her teach degree so she can go back to her community and contribute.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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