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
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.
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.
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.
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.