October 29, 2013
The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) will continue to be the effective, committed, award-winning organization Barbara Shaw founded. With the unwavering support of MGEF’s dedicated team in the United States and Kenya, Board of Directors, and Barbara’s family, MGEF is in a strong position to carry out Barbara’s vision.
MGEF’s promise to every one of our 85 scholarship students remains securely in place and will be kept. We are steadfast in our commitment to providing Maasai girls with the knowledge and the skills needed to enter the workforce in Kenya and become economically independent. MGEF’s sponsorship of life skills workshops and mentoring programs is also ongoing. These workshops address the social customs and cultural beliefs that can prevent girls from getting an education including teen pregnancy, early marriage, FGM, and HIV/AIDS.
Barbara’s family and members of the U.S. MGEF leadership team will be traveling to Kenya in the coming weeks to honor Barbara’s legacy and celebrate her inspiring vision. They will host several events for the MGEF community of students, parents, alumni, and supporters in both Kajiado and Nairobi.
“My mother founded this organization and for the last 14 years worked tirelessly to send Maasai girls to school so they can become independent and fulfill their dreams,” said MGEF Board Member and Barbara’s daughter, Tracey Pyles. Tracey along with Cassidy, her daughter, and Barbara’s husband, Durwood Zaelke, look forward to visiting the students and personally pledging their ongoing support to MGEF and the Maasai girls and women. “My mom was so proud of what all the MGEF students and graduates have achieved for themselves and their community, and we, her family, will work hard to ensure their future success.”
During their visit, one important event will be the Annual Student Reception to be held at the Kajiado Children’s Home on December 7. This event will provide a wonderful opportunity for MGEF scholarship students to gather with their parents, MGEF alumni, MGEF supporters and successful professional Maasai women to honor Barbara and the programs and students she cherished and worked diligently to support. “Everyone is excited about the upcoming student reception,” said Lucy Ntayia, Kajiado Managing Director. “The alumni are role models for the young students. They are changing the way people think about education and as a result more girls are going to school.”
- Life Skills Workshops – November through December at multiple sites
- Elders and Mothers Workshops – November through December at multiple sites
- Mentoring workshop – December 4-6
- Student Reception – December 7
- Open Houses in Kajiado and Nairobi – to be scheduled