Mission: Voices of Hope is a non-profit organization that provides safety and educational opportunities to vulnerable Maasai post high school young women in the Central Division of Kajiado District in Kenya who are facing female genital mutilation and forced marriages.
Results: Since its establishment in 2003, Voices of Hope has Voices of Hope has supported thirty seven young Maasai women in attaining their college education.
These young women had no previous means of continuing their education and were in danger of going through genital mutilation and arranged marriages. As a result of the intervention of Voices of Hope, they are now either employed or enrolled in colleges and local universities throughout Kenya.
In addition to obtaining education that leads to gainful employment , these young women are also being empowered to become change agents and positive leaders in their community.
Target demographics: Young girls that have managed to escape genital mutilation and forced marriages by attending charitable primary and secondary boarding schools have no means of safety nor possibility of post-secondary education after high school. As a result, they often return to their villages to endure genital mutilation and forced marriages; or they seek refuge in the city. With no marketable skills or training and no means to support themselves, they are often sexually exploited, become prostitutes, and fall victim to HIV/AIDS.
Direct beneficiaries per year: There are currently 9 students enrolled in the Voices of Hope Program with hundreds of young girls/women still waiting for sponsors.
Programs: Program activities include education and safe housing
Rachael and Theo have founded an organization that is getting at the very foundations of poverty, oppression and bad health. One at a time, they are finding culturally-appropriate ways to save young girls from female "circumcision" and forced early marriages. Studies -- and real lives -- show that when women have education, control over their own money, and access to health care, whole families and communities are lifted out of the cycle of rapid-fire babies, ill health and high mortality, malnutrition and poverty. Voices of Hope has some wonderful success stories in young women who have graduated from their programs, gone on to college, gotten successful careers underway, and then *returned to their own people to help make a difference for more girls.* Voices of Hope may be a tiny organization, but the difference they are building is huge because it grows on its own success. They can currently accept only about 4 - 5% of the girls who apply for their safe houses and bording schools, so ever dollar really counts! Please help them out!