A bit about the Maasai Girls Education Fund, from the daughter of MGEF Founder, Barbara Lee Shaw The Maasai Girls Education Fund works to raise the status of Maasai women in Kenya and end poverty by educating girls, women, and the Maasai community. Our Scholarship Program sponsors Maasai girls from primary school through university who otherwise would not be in school. Our Community Education Program holds workshops for Maasai girls, boys, women, and men to focus on the cultural practices and beliefs that keep girls out of school. We work in partnership with a Community Based Organization that we co-founded and fund. It is managed by Maasai women, and includes a network of 43 women and 14 chiefs who volunteer throughout the area where we work. Scholarships Program: Since 2000, our Scholarships Program has sponsored 179 girls from pre-school to university. Many were rescued from child marriages as young as nine years old, and one from child labor. Three key policies: NUMBER 1: Our scholarships are based on need, not merit. They go to girls like: Jane Tulasha who was discovered when she was 8 years old selling food to construction workers to earn money for her family. She had never enrolled in school. Her sisters were married off at ages 12 and 14. She is now in the eighth grade. And Emily Namunyene, whose mother died when she was ten years old. She had just completed the second grade. Her father was so old that he was unable to take care of her so she was left in the care of an older sister and her husband. Her uncle refused to send her to school and had planned to marry her off when one of the Kajiado volunteers asked MGEF to save her. She has now graduated from the University of Nairobi with a certificate in International Studies. And Reson Mpatinae who was actually married off at 9 years old. With the help of women activists, she was rescued and brought to the Kajiado Adventist School which has a shelter for girls. Reson cannot go home. She is supported by MGEF, safely enrolled in boarding school. These are just a few stories of many, many more MGEF-supported girls whose parents simply cannot afford school fees. NUMBER 2: We do not drop students for any reason. Since our scholarships are based on need, we don’t know how our students will perform in school. Many of our students struggle throughout primary and secondary school. When they are having trouble, we mentor them, we encourage them, we stay with them, and they graduate and go on to vocational schools. Some even go to colleges and universities. Without exception, every single poor-performing student has excelled in post-secondary school, and all who have graduated are employed and self-sustaining. MGEF's graduation rate from primary school is 95% (compared to 29% of Kenya's general Maasai population); MGEF's transition rate from primary to secondary school is 98% (compared to 18%); MGEF's graduation rate from secondary school is 87% (versus 8%); MGEF's transition rate from secondary to postsecondary education is 95% (versus 3%); and MGEF's graduation rate from postsecondary enrollment is 97% (compared with
This is a touching, personal, inspiring organization. I've been a sponsor for a short-time, and I know my donation goes straight to the source, and hearing from my sponsee is touching and fulfilling. I'm so thankful for this organization and the amazing life-changing work they do!
I have been involved with the Maasai Girls Education Fund for 20 years. This organization takes a personal interest in every girl, supporting and encouraging them in their educational goal.
Each girl who receives an education through this program becomes part of the MGEF family.
Girls are encouraged to continue their education until they have skills to support themselves and become contributing members of their own communities. The Maasai community is involved in helping to select needy students to receive a scholarship, and students are encouraged to give back to their community, to encourage other girls from their community who will attend school, and provide information and encouragement to current students. Workshops are provided to the community on the importance of education for girls, health issues, and barriers to their education. Educating girls in areas where they would not have a chance at education, helps improve lives there and helps the whole world.
the Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) makes a huge difference in the lives of Maasai girls in Kajiado, Kenya. Through donations, the Fund provides scholarships to girls who would have no means to go to school. Since its beginning about 15 years ago, graduates have included teachers, nurses, hospitality workers, a doctor and a currently enrolled future lawyer. Impressive for girls who grew up in isolated mud huts, no electricity or running water, and before the Fund, no hope of a better life. MGEF works hard to ensure the girls have the means to get a job, and support themselves, and contribute to their community.
I have been involved as a volunteer and sponsor for MGEF for 5 years. It is a wonderful organization that cares deeply for the well-being and education of the Maasai girls and their community at-large. I admire their deep commitment to enrolling the girls in safe, high performing schools and staying in close contact with them throughout the school year. Holding informative workshops for males and female, young and old and helping woman start their own businesses, so that they can become independent, proves that MGEF cares about the entire Maasai community and their success. 5 Stars for an amazing, inspiring and caring organization!
The philosophy behind the MGEF is unique and inspiring. Every person that participates in the programs that MGEF offers, benefits in so many ways. The workshops educate, boys, girls and adults in healthcare, healthy life styles and nutrition, which in turn helps educate whole communities and generations of people. Girls are given support and encouragement to go to school beyond primary grades, so that they can become independent, successful adults. In turn the girls return to their communities in one capacity or another to help make it stronger. The girls have gone on to become teachers, nurses, lawyers, even doctors. The partnership between MGEF, the communities it has touched and the students is lifelong. Most importantly, the graduated students become mentors to the younger girls and the positive cycle continues.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund is an organization built by women for girls with the heart of lioness. This amazing organization does so much with so little funds. By providing full access to education to girls that will not been able to go to school otherwise the MGEF empowers generations of women. MGEF is the kind of organization that changes a girl life. MGEF's approach is respectful and kind. Managed by local women with a local understanding of the culture and a vision of reaching for the stars, I have been honored and blessed to known some of these women I will not hesitate a moment to highly recommend the MGEF as one of the greatest non profits in Kenya.
I have known Barbara the founder of Maasai Girls Education Fund for more than a decade and saw her love and commitment with the Maasai Girls. Her dedication and honesty transformed lives for good of many girls and their families. Then Tracey Barbara's daughter decided to continued her mother amazing legacy and honored her work. MGEF is the story of women helping women without borders and with no limits. I have contributed to MGEF not only because I know what the organization is capable of but also because the world is every day a better place due to their work.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund is an inspiring non-profit that provides tangible changes to the lives of Maasai women. My late wife, Barbara Shaw, was the creator of this beautiful organization, which has now been passed down to Tracey, Cassidy, and Hannah, who are also exceptional women working to empower the young women of Maasai. This year, MGEF planned the Barbara Lee Shaw Memorial College Fund to celebrate their 20th anniversary and honor her legacy. I am grateful to be a part of this special organization and the amazing work they do, not only to provide scholarships to young women, but working to lift the Maasai community as a whole.
What makes MGEF so incredible is the straight line from the donation to the dramatic impact on not only the life of a girl who would have been married off at 12-13 (with no future, other than having babies until she no longer can, and doing as she is told by her husband), but on her family, her immediate community and as the program continues to grow, all of the Maasai. There is no fundraising bureaucracy. Only a few pennies of every dollar donated goes to overhead. And MGEF does so much more than putting girls the through school - girls who would have about a 1% chance of going to school otherwise; things like attacking FGM head on. I have not come across a more effective nonprofit- ever!
MGEF does an amazing job in changing the lives of maasai girls.
I'm an alumna of maasai girls education fund so I'm a testimony of what MGEF does.
MGEF sponsored me through to the University and now I'm a teacher. During holidays, I lead the alumni team in mentoring the young girls in primary and secondary school.
Education does not only change the life of an individual but also that of his/her family and community.
What MGEF does is incredible!
Every donor/ sponsor should support this organization .
It is the best!
The Maasai Girls Education Fund does very important work and I feel honored to help support "our" student. The program is about so much more than education--it is about changing the life course for each student, her family, and their Maasai community. I trust that the program is well run and treasure student updates. I am continually grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of this wonderful effort!
MGEF is a top-notch organization. I have been involved as a volunteer, a donor and now as a Board Member - and I've been proud to be a part of it at each level. MGEF works tirelessly with local Maasai in Kenya to identify girls in tough situations and help them get out of that situation to go to school. These girls are given hope for a life beyond childhood marriage. Many of them have gone on to have a career and come back to help provide much needed capital for their local community. MGEF's dual board (In the US and in Kenya) is an important key to success, always involving those on the ground to help make decisions and identify young girls in need. We are seeing a trend that the girls who were sponsored by MGEF and have graduated come back to work or volunteer for the organization. This speaks volumes to the positive and lasting impact that MGEF has in the lives of these young women.
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.
The MGEF is a wonderful and tightly run non-profit! Doing business in Africa is very challenging and I love their hands-on approach to making sure that my modest donation goes directly to underwriting the education and care of the little girl that I help sponsor. The MGEF has thoughtfully planned how they seek to help the Maasai make change in their own culture by empowering women through education from grade school through college. It brings me no small amount of joy to know that one day the child I help put through school might one day become a teacher, nurse or doctor and bring these professions back into her own community to continue to support a positive and sustainable culture.
We have helped sponsor a little girl for several years now and what has so impressed us about the MGEF is that they never turn a child away. They always find a way to place every little girl that shows up on their doorstep and there are always more that are in need than expected. They are also dedicated to onsite visits to the many schools where the girls are placed to ensure that high educational standards are being consistently met and that the students are safe, happy and doing well in school. We regularly correspond with the little girl that we sponsor and are really honored to help support her. We trust that she has a promising future ahead of her and are confident that the MGEF will provide consistent ongoing support for her and her family. Thanks to MGEF for giving us this wonderful opportunity!
We have been sponsoring girls through the Maasai Girls Education Fund since the year 2000. In that time we have watched a little girl start 1st grade and go on to graduate from Law School. We are now sponsoring a new generation of girls that are the same age as our daughters. We continue to be inspired by all MGEF does to positively impact the lives of girls and their communities.
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 Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) is uniquely improving the lives of Maasai girls and their families, and changing perceptions of the value of women in the Maasai community. Their programs are targeted and effective, developed and administered in close coordination with MGEF, by a local, on-the-ground Community Based Organization staffed by Maasai women, who are role models themselves.
MGEF's Scholarship Program provides schooling to girls who would otherwise be unable to attend, either because of poverty or cultural beliefs that deny girls an education. Our family is currently supporting two Maasai girls - a 3rd grader and a university student. The 3rd grader's father does not believe in educating girls, and was going to marry her off and force her to undergo female genital cutting when she was 11 years old. MGEF's scholarship, awarded in 2016, has protected her from this fate. We have sponsored the university student since she was in 1st grade. Her father died when she was 10 years old, leaving behind two wives and 11 children, all of whom had to drop out of school. The scholarship has enabled her to not only graduate from secondary school (an amazing accomplishment for a Maasai girl) but also enroll in post-secondary school.
We are proud of the organization and look forward to more opportunities to help.
This well-established nonprofit does a great job in helping to significantly improve the lives of Maasai girls through education. The organization's holistic approach includes providing scholarships directly to girls, conducting Life Skills Workshops in the Maasai community for both children and adults, and conducting Women's Business Training programs for Maasai women. I strongly recommend this organization to all who are interested in promoting the education and economic independence of girls and women, especially in communities where traditional cultures have not valued or supported them.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund is a non-profit that provides the funding and support Maasai girls need in order to complete their education – from primary school through high school and then through college or university – with the goal of their becoming able to support themselves. In addition, MGEF holds workshops with girls, boys and elders to address such issues as teenage pregnancy, early marriage, FGM and other cultural practices that can impede a girl's education.
What makes me especially proud of MGEF is that it works hard not only to get girls into school but also to keep them there until they have the knowledge and skills to enter the workforce. As a result of the support and monitoring provided by our Kenyan staff and cadre of volunteers, the girls achieve amazingly high graduation rates at all levels as they prepare for employment in a variety of fields including telecommunications, accounting, nutrition, education, hotel management/tourism, medicine, public relations, social work, business administration and law.
After nearly 20 years since its founding, MGEF is currently supporting approximately 130 girls in school at all levels with a growing cohort of nearly two dozen MGEF graduates with degrees from college or university. These young women are not only supporting themselves and helping their families, but also they are mentoring and inspiring their younger “sisters” to follow in their footsteps.
One of the things I love about the Maasai Girls Education Fund is the fact of the amazingly high graduation rates our girls are achieving. Despite the fact that scholarships are awarded strictly on the basis of need, 95% of the girls entering primary school on an MGEG scholarship will graduate. 98% will continue on to high school, and of those, 87% will graduate. Even more amazing, 95% of our college grads will go on to either college or university, and 98% will earn either a 2-year certificate or a 4-year degree. A few even continue on and earn graduate degrees (we graduated our first doctor last summer)!
How are results like this possible? The answer is that it takes much more than a scholarship for tuition, books, uniform, etc. It takes the vigilant monitoring of each girl’s progress as well as of the schools they attend by the MGEF staff and a network of volunteers. It takes the volunteer efforts of the cohort of MGEF graduates inspiring and mentoring the girls following in their footsteps. And it takes a series of workshops that address the social issues that can impede the education of Maasai girls such as early marriage, teenage pregnancy, HIV and FGM. This is the comprehensive MGEF program that makes these outstanding graduation rates possible.
So if you are a person who might be thinking of helping out in a place like Kenya, but want to be sure your money will get results, the Maasai Girls Education Fund is the place for you.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund is a phenomenal non-profit. I was involved as a supporter and volunteer, then I joined the Board of Directors and recently started sponsoring a girl. Throughout each phase of my involvement I have been impressed with their dedication to their students. MGEF helps young Maasai girls get the education they deserve and serve the community in the long run by coming back with degrees and skills to provide for their family. MGEF has proven their ability to problem solve - involving the local community and the international community to create the best possible outcome for their students. I am proud to be a part of such a top notch charity.
I was previously a friend of the charity and have since joined the Board of Directors. From the beginning I have been impressed by the impact this charity is making. As a non-profit professional, I can say honestly that the Maasai Girls Education Fund does it right. Lives are completely changed for the girls that we help, not only of the lives of the girls who are able to go to school, but their families and those in their community who benefit from their education.
Maasai Girls Education Fund has been changing the lives of Maasai girls for over 18 years. They have worked with tribal men and women through lifestyle workshops to assure them of the value of educating their daughters. Many young girls and women have received full room and board to attend primary school near their villages and some have gone on to college and graduate education. In most cases, the girls return to their villages after graduation to better their communities. By attending school, these girls avoid early arranged marriages and are empowered to may decisions regarding their own futures. The small MGEF staff is committed to their cause and follows in the steps of MGEF's founder, Barbara Shaw, who knew that an education was the only way the Maasai women would gain independence.
MGEF has transformed the lives of hundreds of Maasai girls, providing them opportunities for education, better health, deeper happiness and self-sufficiency. Each of these girls has then helped her family in innumerable ways, financially, materially, spiritually. But the thing I love most about MGEF is how happy everyone who touches it is -- there is a tremendous spirit of enthusiasm, good will, comeraderie, and nuturing, from the leadership of the brilliant founder, the late Barbara Shaw, to current leader Dr. Tracey Pyles, to all the staff and especially the girls themselves. I can wait to travel to Kenya next year to meet more of them!!
I am a young woman and had the opportunity to visit a Maasai village in Kenya. The work that Maasai Girls Education Fund it is so important to give opportunities to girls to access to education it is a basic human right and in the case of girl it is crucial to empower them and their communities . We need more MGEF !! congratulations and keep going!
The Maasai Girls Education Fund is a brilliant oraganization. They have educated many young girls; a couple have gone on to become Doctors, and Nurses. I am proud to be a Doner for the MGEF.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund provides scholarships to Maasai girls who would otherwise not be able to go to school due to poverty or cultural barriers. And it further promotes systemic change through its Life Skills Workshops and Women's Business Training Workshops.
More than 13,000 Maasai men, women, girls and boys have attended MGEF's Life Skills Workshops and 300 Maasai women have gone through its Business Training Program. The combination of all three programs - Scholarships, Life Skills Workshops and Business Training Workshops is producing change and empowering Maasai women to become economically self-sufficient.
They do wonderful work. I have attended a number of their events and am very impressed with their work. They do a lot with a very limited budget!
The maasai girl education fund are doing an amaizing work.I am a maasai girl myself i know and understand the struggles we go through...it has taken me alot to be in the universty now...mybe luck.i thank God for them and the hope they are giving to the maasai women in empowering them through education.Giving a maasai girl education is giving her the power to fight for herself and defence against the oppressing power...Many more years to the maasai girl education fund
MGEF is the only organization of its kind which pledges to stay with our students no matter what --- that means no GPA quotas or performance baselines, no limits on the number of degrees earned, no invasive or unrealistic standards of progression: just real support for dedicated students who are working hard to learn and improve their lives. That's material impact in a community. The business training workshops for women that MGEF organizes (in addition to its fantastic scholarship program) are an excellent example of our commitment to facilitating valuable women's education in any way we can, for every member of our communities who wants to pursue it. You will not find another organization of this kind that fulfills this commitment as effectively, or that serves its communities with greater impact.
I am a donor and I sponsored a student through MGEF; it is an amazing organization! Every dollar has a direct impact on improving lives. The young women who MGEF supports are inspiring both in the obstacles they have faced and the way they have persevered. MGEF connects directly with communities in need in a respectful, productive, and empathetic way to create real change. I can think of no other organization with a worthier goal, more committed staff, or more impressive impact.
I have been involved with MGEF since its inception. The girl I sponsored now has a 2-year degree in early childhood education. She plans to continue to receive her 4-year degree. MGEF also does community development/education programs for the Maasai Tribe. They are a top notch nonprofit.
Maasai Girls Education Fund is an organisation filled with people of great dedication. Every time I meet one of them it amazes me what they do. Especially their founder, Barbara Lee Shaw was an incredible, inspiring woman that I would have loved to talk even more to.
I am proud to have worked with Maasai Girls Education Fund for more than ten years and to be a sponsor of a Maasai student. What this small, effective organization has been able to do for Maasai girls and young women in Kenya is close to miraculous. Not only does the organization find and stick by girls in need of an education, often helping them escape early marriage and a life of poverty, it also works to educate all members of the Maasai community about why it is important to educate girls. Young women go on to higher education and eventually jobs, which, more often than not, involve giving back to their own communities. I could not recommend this organization more.
The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) is a successful nonprofit that is helping women and girls achieve their dreams by funding education scholarships. One example is Gloria Mumeita Kotente who almost had to drop out of primary school because her family couldn't afford the school fees. Now she is studying to be a doctor! And, when she completes her medical training, she will be one of a handful of Maasai women physicians. You can support a student like Gloria or give to the general fund. Chris Jahnke
Over the years, I have sponsored three girls' educations through Maasai Girls Education Fund. I love the work MGEF does to empower girls and young women which in turn builds more successful communities. This is an excellent organization run by people who genuinely care about those they serve. Highly recommend!
They do great work promoting and providing education to girls of all ages. Really helps their communities
I am writing this as a relative of one of the beneficiary. Through them many girls from our community get to have the chance to go to school which is not usually a priority for most parents in our community. Having being orphaned at a young age, MGEF came through with my sister's education till she graduated with a university degree.
Keep up with the good work of empowering the Masai girl child.
A remarkable charity, founded by a remarkable woman who saw an unmet need, the education of Maasai girls and young women, and resolved to do what she could to provide them with schooling and the life opportunities that education would open to them. The work is continued now by her daughter and granddaughter. This is a non-profit that has zero to do with the financial benefit or the personal fame and prestige of those who run it. This is all about helping girls and young women.
I spent a lot of time in Kenya witnessing the deeply impactful work that MGEF is doing for girls, women and their communities. I got to see the incredibly committed and passionate teams at work both at the office in Kajiado, Kenya and in Washington,D.C. They are tireless in their pursuit of continuing MGEF's vital mission. I saw young girls go from afraid, timid and out of school to strong, empowered and making top grades because of the scholarships they received from this organization. Their empowerment led to the empowerment of their communities as a whole. Amazing organization!
Barbara, Tracey, and Cassidy -- three generations of strong women making a difference in the lives of so many Maasai girls. I am proud to be associated with this group (as a sponsor). It is inspiring to see the passion and dedication of all involved in helping these girls find their voices! The smiles on the faces in Barbara's beautiful photos say it all.
This extraordinary organization was founded through the love and dedication of Barbara Shaw working with equally extraordinary Maasai leaders. I feel privileged to have met one of the 'girls' who is now training in medicine. MGEF changes lives, and through those lives improves the living conditions for all.
Back in college, I learned about the harsh realities many young women in developing countries have to face. I ultimately wrote a term paper about how education could change these young lives if the privilege could be granted to them. Fast forward a few years later to when I was introduced to this incredible organization. I was in awe of the lives they had already transformed through their sponsorship program and the overall positive ripple effect they have had on the Maasai community. MGEF has truly made a difference in the lives of these young ladies, and I am confident it will continue to do so for many others. I truly believe a pencil can change the world, and I am proud to support MGEF and its amazing mission.
Caroline is a direct beneficiary who was taken through a college and university from 2006-2013.
A graduate nurse now working with an inter national christian organization among women and children under five years.
MGEF has helped me live my dream and realize my life purpose.
The commitment of Dr. Piles and the vision of this non-profit is admirable. To see the impact and to meet the young women who have been helped by the hard work of everyone involved in this organization is very touching. I hope they get recognized, they have certainly earned it.
Great cause that changes people's perceptions and lives.
I volunteered for MGEF in the past and fell in love with its mission, and with the passion exuded by the women and men that carry out its mission. The impact that this organization directly has on girls and women in Kenya, and indirectly on their families and greater communities, is real and truly inspiring. I am now proudly serving as a member of the Board, and am excited to do what I can to further its mission.
Fantastic organization. I've traveled to Kenya with MGEF on many occasions, and I'm always amazed by the great work we do.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As perhaps the biggest individual donor, I support MGEF both because its mission to empower Maasai girls and women is so important, but also because the organizations executes this mission with such integrity and professionalism. Of the many organizations I have supported over the past decades, none if more efficient and cost effective, nor has more heart, than the Maasai Girls Education Fund. Barbara Shaw's DNA continues to guide this gem of an organization.
When Tracey returned from her most recent trip to Maasai, I was fortunate enough to see her photos and hear the amazing stories of many of the girls that have been helped because of MGEF. She was able to vividly bring to life their struggles and triumphs. She even visited a former student and showed the caring that the foundation continues to have for these girls in their communities as they become RESPECTED professionals, wives, and mothers. Truly a worthwhile nonprofit that changes the trajectory of the girls' lives it touches.
From the scholarships to the Life Skills and Women Business Training workshops, Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) is unwavering in their mission to improve the literacy, health and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya and their families through education of girls and their communities. The dedication of the board and staff in both the United States and Kenya is unsurpassable as they continue the legacy of MGEF founder Barbara Lee Shaw. This summer I traveled to Kenya and had the pleasure to meet many of these young women and girls. It was so inspiring to witness their heart and determination to reach their dreams despite the many obstacles they have to endure.
I'm proud to serve on the board of an organization committed to helping Maasai girls and their families achieve financial security. Building on a 15-year track record of success, we now have many students who are ready to further their education beyond high school pursuing degrees in medicine, teaching, and law. I hope you will consider sponsoring a young Maasai woman who would like to continue her studies. With your help we can make dreams come true.
There are not many ways that one can truly make a difference in a young girl's life and by extension change the course of a community and the world. Sponsoring a student through MGEF is one of those ways and I am so grateful to them for proving me with the opportunity to sponsor a student and helping educate Maasai girls. The program is second to none and deserves our utmost trust and support. Well done MGEF - keep up the great work!
Empowering women worldwide. THIS is how it is done.
Maasai Girls education fund is a great organization that changes lives in all different perspectives. Mgef is run by heart and a fire that will never burn out.
MGEF provides education girls and keeps them from having to marry early and they have a chance to earn their own living. It is a great charity helping many girls.
I am Gloria Kotente Mumeita, a beneficiary of MGEF and a medical student at The University of Nairobi,Kenya. MGEF started sponsoring me in 2007 when I was in my second year in high school because my parents could not afford to pay my fee. I graduated high school with an A- and MGEF continued paying my university fee. I have finished my fourth year of medical school and am doing my medical rotation at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland where Tracey Pyles, the MGEF president works, and the National Institute of Health. I am getting the best experience and getting to interact and learn from the best doctors in the world thanks to MGEF. MGEF not only pays our school fees but help in instilling good values in us through their mentoring workshops. MGEF for us is not just an organization but a family. Thank you MGEF for helping me realize my dream.
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
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.
I am very impressed with the organization, which does a great deal with very limited resources and a small but exceptionally dedicated staff in Kenya and at the home office in DC.
The MGEF is a great example of directly empowering "the change (we) wish to see in the world." The young women educated through MGEF will be catalysts for change in their families, communities, and country. It is a privilege to have participated in this work, and I look forward to hearing of the continued efforts and growth of MGEF, and the success of its scholars.
I came across MGEF by chance, looking for a sanitary pad charity to support in Africa. Having found their website, and started reading about the girls who needed sponsorship, I immediately knew that I had found a charity which could truly turn my donation into life-changing support for girls. I started off by supporting Nashipae in her final year of university to become a teacher, and also this year have started supporting Janet through school. This charity is run on a very small shoestring. There are no gimmicks. You don't get fancy mailings asking you to send a Christmas card to your chosen student. There are no offices full of marketeers and HR people. It's about as close as you can get to 100% of your money going to the people and the community you are looking to help. Do check out their Facebook page, and the wonderful photos of the MGEF girls. You will, I am sure, have your heart strings tugged by the joy they show at the opportunity they now have to learn. An amazing charity, please support it in whatever way you can.