MAASAI GIRLS EDUCATION FUND

Rating: 5 stars   40 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Arts & Culture, Education, Women

Location: 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.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-2344696
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

About 7 years ago I went Kenya on Safari and upon my return I wanted to give something back to that wonderful country and it's woman. I contacted Maasai Girls Education Fund and they found Miriam for me. She was about 8 years old at the time. Her mother had just died from Aids and her family was about to have her circumcised and married off to receive the bride price of cows. Miriam is now a happy young woman going to school with a much brighter future ahead of her. Barbara Shaw is tireless in her work to help these young woman have a better life. I can't imagine a better use of my money than to improve the life of a child.

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

I went to Kenya with Barbara Shaw several years ago and saw first hand the wonderful work she does with these young Maasai girls. We visited each school where the girls attend and met with teachers and principals.

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

I can't think of any changes I would make at this time.

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

Going to Kenya and meeting Miriam and the other girls face to face to face and seeing first hand what an impact MGEF is having on their lives. Without people sponsoring these girls they would be forced into an early marriage by their families.

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

I have met Barbara Shaw several times and when I went to Kenya I was able to meet all of the board members and staff. All seemed very dedicated to improving the lives of young Maasai girls.

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

Educate and improve the lives of many more Maasai girls

Ways to make it better...

I can't think of anything I would change except maybe funds for a larger staff. Barbara Shaw works tirelessly and it would be great to see her get some help.

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

Finding people that are willing to sponsor a girl. This is a big commitment for a lot of people because the child relies on you to pay for their education until it is completed.

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

I firmly believe that we change the world with one person reaching out and helping another...MGEF does exactly that.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

We found MGEF on the web, while looking for help in supporting a girl we knew in Kenya. Barbara Shaw and the MGEF is without a doubt one of the most effective organizations for the empowerment of women and girls I have ever encountered. The positive social changes that have come about and will continue as these young women are educated and return to their communities cannot be overestimated. The MGEF website tells the story well, but there is so much more to it.

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

Watching the progress of the young woman we support.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have had the privilege of seeing Barbara create the MGEF according to the vision that came to her that first time she went back to Kenya. I have known her since our school days and knew immediately how uniquely qualified she is to make a non-profit like this work and how completely scrupulously she would see to the administration of it for the benefit of the girls, the culture and the future. I chose to support the general fund to give Barbara as much leeway as possible to take care of needs as they arose.

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

seeing the growth in the number of successful students and having followed the individual girls by means of the regular updates from MGEF and from some minor volunteer work involved in the video on the web site.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

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.

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.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

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!

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

.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

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!

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.

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

None

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?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

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!

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.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

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.

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.

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

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

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?

2010-5-01

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