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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Maasai Girls Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Human Rights

Mission: ​ We are a 501 c3 public charity that has helped to END female cutting (FGM) and child marriage in 2 Maasai communities in the Amboseli region of Kenya. Until 2016, girls were routinely cut and traded for livestock, forced into polygamous marriage, as child brides. But our team of African and American partners encouraged new ways, and as a result as of 2019, 47 girls are safe from harm, and growing with dignity and hope.

Results: We have kept every school age girl in EngongNarok safe from female cutting and child marriage since Spring 2016. As of Sept., 2019, we have now expanded to include another small village. We send 47 girls to primary school, 8 girls to secondary school, and 2 to teacher’s college .

Target demographics: girls and young women and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 47 students - every girl in the village

Geographic areas served: Amboseli Region of Kenya

Programs: primary, secondary and college education, and access to clean water in the girls' home community

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Maasai Girls Fund is sponsoring Education for up to 47 girls at Kimana Naramatisho and at various institutions of higher learning-Naramatisho is a Primary school. The girls are rescued from old practices like early marriages and lack of formal education. They are able to learn how to communicate in fluent Swahili and English. They also learn Social studies, Science and Religion and Arithmetics.
The girls become responsible and are able to take care of themselves and make their own decisions freely.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jackline Kelembu, I'm a beneficiary of maasai girls fund since it started. I'm in collage doing a course on Early Childhood education. I'm so proud and grateful to Paul and Avery. And big thanks to everyone who have made us the women we are now.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

When I was first introduced to the Maasai Girls Fund, I was so impressed with the dedication and love for the Maasai people from Paul and Avery.

Having been invited to fundraisers on behalf of this cause, I can say with confidence that I feel at peace and happy with any financial contribution that I have ever made.

The Maasai Girls Fund is doing amazing work by helping to educate girls, changing the lives of those in the tribe and being part of all that is good in the world that we live in.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this fund for a few years and I think it is absolutely wonderful. Providing a way to improve the lives of these girls is so important - and rewarding. I received a short note from the girl I sponsored - and I have posted the photo. As you will see, the fund touches the lives of those who give as well as those who receive.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Maasai girls fund has really helped us change lives in our small village in Amboseli Kenya, we have eradicated early girl child marriages, early pregnancy and female genital mutilation in a very shot span of time . We have seen a number of girls not less than 40 benefit from a good scholarship through their primary level to collage.Our girls future is very promising as we have already seen a lot changes and very good academic improvements

3 Anthony M.9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Avery and Paul early 2019 when they had come to check on their project in Amboseli region south of Kenya.
As a villager here i got first hand knowledge of their help to our girls.
They help keep our girls in school and this helps prevent early marriages and FGM to this girls who have a bright future ahead.
They also do sensitization programmes to the local community to enable them understand the benefits of keeping girls in school.
If this project would get to help more of these vulnerable girls, this would change the face of our community in years to come.

I wish Avery and Paul good health and hopefully they get to fulfill their dream of educating many more of our Maasai girls.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Because of Avery and Paul Mantell and their support of the Maasai Girls Fund, the girls in this one village in Kenya now have a chance, not only to get an education, but to not be genitally mutilated, which leads to all sorts of infections. Early childbirth also leads to fistulas, where young women cannot hold their urine and become outcasts. All this stops when the girls go off to boarding school. I've been supporting the Fund since it started. All it takes is $400 a year for a girl to go to school, to change her life, and to help her village. I've been a supporter for a few years not, and will continue to be indefinitely.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The integrity, energy, creativity and dedication of this small group has brought transformation to dozens of girls who would otherwise have been cut and sold as a child “brides.” It is an enterprise that is deeply respectful of their culture yet also finds ways to expand their view of what is possible. I am proud of playing a small role in their advocacy for these girls and their villages.

2 Otilia Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first met Avery and Paul at an event they hosted for the Massai Girls Fund in their home when I brought my 4-H club, the 4-H Velveteens of Passaic County , to meet some Maasai guests and learn about their culture and the issues important to these people. My club had held a fund-raiser to send one girl to one of the first schools built for Maasai females for one semester. Since then, we have maintained contact with the people behind the Maasai Girls Fund, have watched them grow, and tried to support them as best we can because the need is so great. We are so impressed with the quality and integrity of this small group of dedicated people committed to helping people across the ocean grow and thrive where they are. We have sent them organic vegetable seeds to begin to help the youth learn self-sustaining agriculture for themselves and community. This is a challenge as there are many obstacles and very little water at this time to sustain agriculture, but we hope to aid them in getting a water tower to harvest rain from the roof of the school. This will not solve all the issues, but it may be enough to irrigate some food crops and set up hand-washing stations for the girls. This year we sent seeds for the children as part of a 10 year plan to begin to learn fundamentals of agri-science and agri-business and be able to learn to raise their own food, but the issue is complicated since there is little water. It was an honor for our children here to get to know the Maasai and the people behind the Maasai Girls Fund helping them help themselves. I would recommend anyone supporting this amazing group of dedicated people; any funding is stretched for the benefit of the whole community.

2 Leonard K.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the founders of the Maasai Girls Fund since college (I'm now 66). They are dedicated to helping these children escape the female cutting and child marriage that has been their custom. This fund has brought respect, dignity and comfort to Maasai Girls when nothing else was being done.

I have contributed for a couple of years and will continue to do so so that each year I know that one girl will have the opportunity to be saved from barbaric cutting and get to go to college and lead a better more productive life. The donation is small compared to the gift you're giving.

Do it now... you'll feel better about yourself knowing the good you've done for someone else.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the founders of the Maasai Girls Fund for many years as colleagues and know them to be dedicated to helping children, both overseas and here. Their quest to end female cutting and child marriage has brought respect, dignity and comfort to Maasai Girls when nothing else was being done.

Founders Avery Hart and Paul Mantell wor with African partners and have helped numerous girls escape from the frightening conditions they were born into.

Girls can now go to school and college and begin living lives for themselves, not for others.

I am so proud to know them and to play a small part in their efforts. I hope you will, too.

6 Avery Hart

Board Member

Rating: 5

We are a small foundation that focuses on just one small remote village in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. When we first went there, we found STONE AGE conditions: the village had a single hand pump for 400 people, no power, no sanitation. Villagers had a hand-made thorn fence to keep out hungry lions and hyenas.

We kept in touch with the local chief and pre-K teacher and gradually learned about the plight of females in Maasai culture. We discovered that Maasai females were considered to be livestock. Therefore, if you wanted to send your son to school, you'd basically have to trade your daughter to an older man as a child bride in exchange for 4 animals. She'd then have her private parts cut and become a a 3rd, 4th or 5th wife, made to bear as many babies as possible, with no rights of her own. When he died she'd be a young widow with many mouths to feed and no help. Inspired by our friends on the ground, we came up with a plan to interfere with all of those these barbaric practices, by sending all 29 village girls to school.. There, they are SAFE from cutting and forced child marriage. These girls are gaining valuable preparation for life, their chances of escaping poverty are high as they will be respected for their education. A donation to our fund, truly impacts the future: Our girls will grow into educated women who can lift the entire community. They will no longer be forced to bear too many children - the birthrate drops 50% for girls with education = and the girls will grow safely, and be able to make their own choices as women.
The pictures below show an 8 year old who was slated for cutting. She is also in the 2nd picture, wearing blue. What a difference! (The women shown are the relieved mothers of our students, who make beads to help support our efforts as well) Thank you for your consideration.