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May 14, 2010

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May 14, 2010

I found out about MGEF and was thrilled to have the opportunity to support girls trying to get an education. Barbara has provided a safe and direct way to help young women in Kenya go to school instead of being married off at ages 10 or 11. I was honored to meet the first girl I supported at an International Girls conference in Minnesota two years ago. Then I met her again in NYC when she participated in the UN Commission on the Status of Women. I know she will go far in life in part due to having the chance to go to school.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have met a girl who graduated from school. She was supported through the MGEF. Thanks to Barbara, our funds go to support education.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 13, 2010

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May 13, 2010

When I travelled with Barbara about ten years ago to see the schools where the Maasai girls are educated and to visit some of the villages that the girls come from, I was struck by the daunting task that Barbara had before her. Barbara was in this for the long haul. I was also struck by the enthusiasm the Maasai girls in the schools had for this project, they knew exactly what they wanted. They and their stories speak for themselves. Barbara has given every ounce of her energy to this project since then. She is unwavering in her determination to not only help individual girls but to enable Maasai women to run the organisation and continue the work. She guides this relatively small organisation with all the professionalism and integrity of a major operator, whilst retaining 'hands on' interest in all its workings and each and every girl. Barbara regularly visits the schools and lives amongst the Maasai in their villages. She trains and mentors the women who administer the organisation in Kenya. No money is wasted and she tolerates no corruption or mis-dealings. Many involved are volunteers inspired by Barbara and the work of the MGEF. This work is not only of significance to the girls she is helping to educate and the communities they will be returning to, but to the world in general. The Maasai live in an important eco-system, where so much depends on future management and interaction with land, resources and wild life. Sustainability and true progress are at the heart of what Barbara is doing. Progress means that we are able to understand, revere and retain all that is useful and important from our past whilst leaving behind ideas and practices that have lost their relevance. Alongside this, progress implies that we embrace innovative ideas and practices that help us preserve ourselves, our cultures and the world systems we share with all living things. 'Progress' also implies that the rate at which we both learn from the past and prepare for the future increases, keeping pace with the changes we experience, The medium through which this is enabled is 'education' and the role of women in the community is especially significant. The girls that are being educated with the help of the MGEF represent their culture and are the future of that culture. A flourishing future culture depends on a balance in the power, influence and knowledge of both men and women. I believe that Barbara has established a blueprint that can provide a model for others. The work she is doing is superb. One can only imagine what more can be done with greater resources and support. I hope in the future to encourage schools in the uK to become involved in the MGEF as I believe that young people here can learn from what the fund is accomplishing and from the Maasai girls who are now being educated. The girls can now speak for themselves and communicate their rich experiences and hopes for the future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Visiting the schools where the Maasai girls are educated and the villages they come from and following its progress closely. I work with entrepreneurs and growing companies and see first hand the importance of enabling women to participate fully.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Watching it grow, following the progress and listening to the reactions and stories of the girls it has supported.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do more of the significant work that it is doing, train and pay more local women to run and grow the organisation, provide a model for others and transform the lot of women throughout the world and ultimately the communities they inhabit.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 13, 2010

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May 13, 2010

I have been associated with this charity for more than 10 years. I have listened and watched as Barbara Shaw, the driving force for this organization, dealt with governmental obstacles, cultural differences, prejudice against girls and women to ensure an organization that would support girls to obtain education and/or training that would provide the skills needed to earn money, return to their community to provided needed services, thereby increasing the economic, health, and education opportunities in their own community. The girls receive scholarships with the expectation that they will help other girls to realize they do not have to marry at age 13, but have other options. I have seen one girl return to her community as a nurse, providing needed health care, and raising the standard of living for her parents and other relatives. This organization works hard to keep the girls in school and find the best educational or vocational training that will lead to economic independence.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working with the data that identifies efforts to recruit, retain and educate girls. reviewed financial records noting that all funds from individual donations are used to educate girls.

Ways to make it better...

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

not make any major changes. Changes might include finding funding sources for salaries to run the organization. Currently, the director and others are volunteers.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the girls express their gratitude to receive an education and a chance to go to college.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

happy to be able to help provide educational opportunities for girls who otherwise would not go to school, and especially happy to prevent early marriages.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Replicate the model currently in effecto to empower girls and women in Kenya

Ways to make it better...

N/A

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finding and obtaining funds to support administrative activities. Currrently those activities are provided on a volunteer basis, mainly by the founder and executive director of MGEF.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This is the most effective organization to empower girls and women towards economic independence that I have been able to find through the internet or other information.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 12, 2010

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May 12, 2010

MGEF is a fantastic organization that provides young Maasai girls with the opportunity to attend school in Kenya. MGEF is blessed with a core of very dedicated, hard-working individuals, and with relatively low overhead costs, they are able to achieve impressive results. We receive regular updates from the young Maasai girl that we sponsor, and have watched her grow over the years. She often tells us about how meaningful the sponsorship of MGEF has been in her life, and we look forward to sponsoring more students in the future. This is a truly unique organization, and I highly encourage others to get involved!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 11, 2010

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May 11, 2010

The Maasai Girls Education Fund run by Barbara Shaw is empowering young women in Kenya with scholarships so that they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The MGEF graduates are working in fields like teaching, nursing, and hospitality. They are grateful for their educations and committed to ensuring their own children, especially their daughters receive an education. MGEF is well-run and well-organized. Every single penny raised is used to supply what the students need to attend school - pencils, paper, shoes, etc. Having personally met many of the students I can tell you they are wonderful young women who are the future of their country and our world!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've met many of the students who have completed high school and gone on to higher ed. They are working in fields like teaching, nursing, and hospitality. The students come from villages with no running water or electricity.

Ways to make it better...

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

None

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing how the students are benefitting from their education. Without the help of MGEF the girls would drop out of school around the age of 12 to get married.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very professional and knowledgeable. They are hands on and committed to educating as many students as they possibly can.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open and operate schools for Maasai girls in Kenya.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed in Kenya longer. MGEF supports Maasai girls who live in the Kajiado district south of Nairobi. It is a beautiful country with fascinating people.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the ability to raise money in a difficult economic climate.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the Maasai Girls Education Fund works. Every penny is used to provide the students with everything they need to attend school.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 10, 2010

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May 10, 2010

I recently returned from a two week trip to Kenya visiting various non-profits working there to empower women. The group I traveled with had the opportunity to meet with Barbara Shaw, the founder of Maasai Girls Education Fund,a member of her staff, and an amazing young woman the organization is educating named Caroline. I was so impressed with their presentation and the organization. What makes them different as a sponsorship program is that once they begin to educate a Maasai girl, they commit to support her year after year from primary school through university. Caroline, the young women rescued by MGEF, who will begin her university education in the next term, ended her talk by saying, "You cannot sell me for cows, you cannot touch my body, I am entitled to an education and my life is mine to determine!". That is an empowered young woman!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am now sponsoring two 7th grade girls because I really believe in what MGEF is doing to make a difference, not only in the lives of these girls but for their families and their communities and I also enjoy corresponding with these students.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 10, 2010

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May 10, 2010

MGEF is a powerful force not only in the lives of the girls that it benefits, but in their families and communities as well. The benefits of girls education are widely touted, but MGEF manages to educate the various members of the Maasai community as well as the people in these girls lives see the profund effect education has on them. Barbara Shaw run the organization with the help of a bright and creative board. Ms. Shaw is not only extremely organized and savvy in regards navigating MGEF thorough the corrupt waters of Kenya, she is also completely in love with these girls. Her level of dedication to their education and their developemnt into empowered young women is truly beautiful.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

While volunteering for MGEF in Kenya I had the opportunity to meet several girls who without the help of MGEF donors would have been married off at very young ages (9-13) or been left defenseless after their parents died of HIV.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 10, 2010

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May 10, 2010

On my first trip to Nairobi, I met these two young girls at a well dedication in the upcountry. When I returned to the US, my heart was burdened for these two young girls and I did not know why. I had a friend returning a few months later and I begged him to find "my girls" and see what they needed. I gave him a photo and told him the general area of where I saw them. And he found them--my friend met with the chief and the parents of the girls and the mother and the chief agreed that if I send the girls to boarding school, that the father would not be permitted to give the oldest in marriage when she turned 12--she was 11 at the time and the younger one who was 10, alomst 11. I agreed. On my next visit to Nairobi, I visited the girls in the school and became VERY concerned because the amount of money that I was sending for school was more than I paid for my nephews private school fees and tuition, but the school my girls were in was very "unkept" and had very few books/supplies. Discouraged, I returned to the US and was searching online and found Barbara and the Maasai Girls Education Fund. I called Barbara and spoke with her at lengths about my situation and she investigated the matter on her next trip to Nairobi and informed me that the school that my girls were attending was "known" to take advantage of American donors. She recommended some schools in Kajiado District that she deals with on a regular basis. I spoke the the mother of my girls and Barbara's liaison in Kenya (Lucy) and we picked a school that was more suitable for my girls. On my next trip to Nairobi, I visited with my girls in their new school and met with the headmaster and Lucy. I was very pleased with the progress that my girls were making in school and the appearance of the facility. I was VERY BLESSED to have found Barbara and Maasai Girls Education Fund. I know that every dollar that I send for the education and welfare of my two girls is spent directly for their education and welfare. And, when I have overpaid due to favorable currency exchange rates, Barbara notifies me and modifies the next year's fees to account for the overpayment. The Maasai Girls Education Fund works on the principles of INTEGRITY and ACCOUNTABILITY. Not to mention that they are very knowledgable of the issues directly affecting the Maasai girls: lack of education, early marriage, and female genital mutilation--it is this knowledge that creates a GENUINE concern to help the young girls--AND THAT ATTRACTED ME TO THIS ORGANIZATION. Thank you for helping me help educate and empower my girls. You are truly and God-send.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Assistance in providing quality education for my girls. I also receive hand written letters from my girls on a regular basis. When Barabara goes to Nairobi, she also emails me with updates about my girls.

Ways to make it better...

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

I am not aware of any changes that need to be made.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their INTGRITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very helpful and knowledgeable of the situation and how to best help me to help my girls

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide a quality education for EVERY Maasai girl in Kenya...or better yet, build its own schools to educate the Maasai girls.

Ways to make it better...

I had found them first.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

probably funding based on the current economy.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you Barbara (US) and Lucy (Nairobi) for helping me to be able to help my girls and for being such awesome women who are kind and passionate about educating young women.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 10, 2010

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May 10, 2010

Our family has been supporting the Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) since its inception by sponsoring the education fees for several of its participants, girls who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to school. MGEF, and its director, Barbara Shaw, have not only enabled the education of dozens of girls, including several who have now graduated from school and have productive jobs in their communities, but have also successfully made inroads into changing the mindset of the Maasai to support women's education and to recognize the positive ramifications of women's education on families and community welfare. We highly recommend supporting this organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my family by supporting several girls' education.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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