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Review for Maasai Girls Education Fund, Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Role:  General Member of the Public & I spent two weeks with Barbara about ten years ago visiting schools in Kenya where the Maasai girls are educated. I have remained in touch with Barbara since then helping to promote her work when I can. I also volunteer for an NGO called FSAW which seeks .