Abigael and her four siblings were supported by their single mother. Lacking the skills to find a reliable source of income, Abigael’s mother could not afford to send her to school. In 2004, Abigail joined MGEF as a scholarship recipient. In July 2012, Abigael was awarded a full scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation to pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science at EARTH University in Costa Rica. While at school, Abigael started her own NGO, SAVE OUR WORLD, to better her home community back in Kajiado County, Kenya and give back to her fellow Maasai. Abigael plans to return to her home region to work with the county government in the agricultural sector in order to create and encourage sustainable agricultural practices.
Abigail belongs to a family of twelve children. Her father did not provide any financial support to his family. Abigael’s mother sold firewood to make a living, but she earned less than a dollar per day. In January 2002, Abigael became MGEF’s first student to attend Loitokitok Primary School. She graduated from St. Clare Girls’ Secondary School in 2011 and is currently studying Community Development and Social Work at Mount Kenya University.
Just after Agnes completed Grade 6, her final year of primary school, her father arranged for her marriage. Agnes was saved by an MGEF scholarship when a local Maasai chief opposed the marriage and brought her to MGEF’s attention. Agnes had been an excellent student in primary school. Recognizing her potential, the chief intervened on her behalf. Agnes is now studying at the Maasai Mara University.
Very committed to her education, Agnes completed Grade 8 despite having to walk 12 kilometers each way from home to school every day. Due to severe drought, her family could not afford to pay for her secondary school education. Though she did very well on her final examinations, she would have been forced to drop out of school. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Agnes was able to enroll at the Noonkopir Girls Secondary School and continue her education.
Orphaned at a young age, Agnes lived for many years with her grandmother, who had neither the money for school fees nor the ability to work. Agnes is now under the guardianship of a Maasai couple with eight other children. Though her adoptive parents wish to send their daughters to school, Agnes and her sisters are often sent home because they cannot pay their school fees. An incredibly motivated student, Agnes dreams of pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. She also strives to become a role model for other orphans and disadvantaged children in her community. With an MGEF scholarship, Agnes has enrolled at St. Clare’s Girls Secondary School.
Agnes' father has six wives and many children, but he does not support his family. Agnes managed to receive an education up to secondary school but could not finish her schooling without help. She was recommended to MGEF by the principal of her school, who described her as "bright, hardworking, respectful, and humble." She completed secondary school and enrolled in college to earn a certificate in education. Agnes graduated in August 2011 and taught at Mawezi Academy in Loitokitok. Agnes recently earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Mount Kenya University.
Alice is the eldest of twelve children. Her parents are both illiterate and earn money by selling milk. Due to the family's extreme poverty, Alice's younger sister was married off at the age of thirteen and never went to school. It was through the insistence of her mother and stepmother that Alice's father allowed her to attend school. However, the cost of furthering her education had surpassed the family's ability to pay. In order to continue her schooling, Alice was awarded an MGEF scholarship in 2013 and graduated with a vocational certificate in Early Childhood Development from Emerald College in 2014.
Both of Ann's parents are illiterate and her father does not believe in educating girls. Still, Ann completed primary school in 2010, scoring higher on the national test than any other girl in her school. After her outstanding performance, Ann was admitted to Barak Oontoyie Secondary School, an institution that accepts only the brightest students. Ann managed to raise enough money to pay for her first year but because her family could not afford to continue funding her studies, Ann was faced with the imminent end to her education. Thankfully, she received an MGEF scholarship. Ann completed secondary school and is now studying Commerce at the University of Nairobi, where she will graduate in 2019.
Annet is one of seven children born to unemployed parents. Annet's father arranged for her marriage when Annet was very young. Annet’s education would have ended had her mother not defied her father and helped Annet seek temporary refuge at a grandparent's home. Currently, Annet lives with an uncle who is determined to protect her from early marriage and help her complete school. However, he cannot afford her secondary school expenses. With an MGEF scholarship, Annet began attending Oloosuyian Girls Secondary School in January 2012.
Beatrice is the third born of four children. Her father, who is unemployed, has 2 wives and ten children, all of whom depend on the money he makes by burning charcoal, cultivating maize, and planting beans. After Beatrice finished primary school, her father intended to arrange for her marriage. However, Beatrice's community raised enough money to rescue her and pay for her first year of high school. An MGEF scholarship has supported Beatrice since Grade 10. She currently attends St Paul's University and is pursuing a diploma in Business Management.
Bernice's father has two wives and more than ten children. Her mother and stepmother are both illiterate and her father was able to pay for her education through high school by doing odd jobs. Bernice's MGEF scholarship allowed her to continue her studies in college.
Timanoi’s father tried to marry her off as soon as she graduated from primary school in 2002 at age 12, but an MGEF scholarship kept her safe and in school. She was the oldest of five children in a family living in extreme poverty, dependent on food from disaster relief programs during the droughts that plagued them. After high school, Timanoi was accepted to the University of Nairobi, with a major in Nutrition. Her father still wants to marry her off, but in Timanoi's words, "I am not ready to be someone's wife. I would like to achieve my academic goals and change the living standard of our family.” Catherine graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2015 with a degree in Nutrition, received her Kenya Nutrition and Dietitian License in February 2016, and is doing an internship at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.
Charity is the youngest of twelve children. Charity's older sisters were married off by their father at early ages and three were forced to drop out of school. Charity’s father died in 1998 and her mother remains unemployed due to a prolonged illness. An older brother has done his best to provide for Charity and her siblings in addition to his own family, but all of Charity’s brothers are uneducated beyond primary school. An MGEF scholarship has kept Charity in school and she currently attends the Enoomatasiani Girls Secondary School.
Christine was orphaned at age 12. After moving in with their grandparents, many of her siblings dropped out of school due to the family’s extreme poverty. Christine managed to finish high school in 2008, and after receiving aid from an NGO, she collected enough money to attend Mount Kenya University in 2014. However, after completing her first year, Christine lost the financial support she had been given and found she would not be able to continue her studies. Christine approached MGEF for assistance and was granted a scholarship that would enable her to complete her university education. Christine dreams of using her education to give back to her Maasai community.
Christine Naserian Leboo
Christine Naserian Leboo graduated from Air Travel and Related Studies Centre in December of 2009. She now runs an auto parts business in Kajiado with her husband.
Clare Nkurani is one of twenty children in a polygamous household. Her parents are both illiterate and earn their income solely from selling their cows and goats. Out of desperation for a bridal dowry, Clare was nearly married off after completing Grade 8. Two of Clare’s sisters had already been married off for the same reason. However, with assistance from Foundation Kids to School (FKS), Clare remained in school and finished her secondary studies in 2012. FKS, in partnership with MGEF, continues to sponsor Clare in her post-secondary pursuits. She is eager to continue her education and is studying to be a teacher in order to lift her family out of poverty and achieve her own financial independence.
Diana Jones Adhiambo
When Diana was ten years old, she lost both of her parents and her younger brother and was forced to drop out of school. Moving in with her grandmother, Diana lived in poverty and without proper shelter. The next year, Diana's aunt, a nun, took responsibility for Diana's education and sent her to boarding school. Diana completed primary school in 2004 with very high marks. Her aunt had since been crippled by an accident, so Diana had to beg and do housework to pay for high school. In July 2010, Diana began volunteering as a teacher for orphans at the Kajiado Children's Home, where she had a safe place to live. A friend there put her in contact with MGEF. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Diana earned her B.S. in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Pwani University College in 2015. During her program, she spent 3 months as an intern at the Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. Diana has also worked part-time for Samsung.
Dinah and her 15 siblings lived in a polygamous household. Dinah, one brother, and two sisters enrolled in primary school, for which their grandfather and uncle paid. However, after their grandfather died and their uncle began withholding funds, Dinah’s siblings dropped out of school. Dinah became the only sibling left pursuing an education. Dinah completed secondary school with help from her aunt and with money she made by working as a housekeeper. However, she could not manage to secure enough money to pay for college. In September 2016, MGEF began sponsoring Dinah’s post-secondary education. She dreams of becoming a teacher.
Dorothy's father died when she was eight years old. Her mother died in 2009 and she and her sister had been living with an aunt. With help from relatives, Dorothy was able to complete secondary school. With an MGEF scholarship, she was able to attend college. She graduated Dorothy's father died when she was eight years old. Her mother died in 2009, and she and her sister went to live with an aunt. With help from relatives, Dorothy was able to complete secondary school. With an MGEF scholarship, she was able to attend college. She graduated in 2011 with a certificate in telecommunications from Multimedia University and went on to attend Kenyatta University. Dorothy interned with Limited at Centunon System Westland in 2012 and interned at West Indian Ocean Cable Company the following year. In 2013, Dorothy was chosen to spend six weeks in Ethiopia representing Kenya and promoting girls' education in Africa. Dorothy received a degree in Telecommunications from Kenyatta University in 2015.
Elizabeth was born on April 11th, 1993, and is one of twenty-six children in a polygamous family. Only one of her siblings, a brother, finished secondary school. He provides for Elizabeth and the other siblings, as their father is too old to work. Unable to pay for school fees herself, Elizabeth was sponsored by Foundation Kids to School (FKS) and completed secondary school in 2012. In partnership with MGEF, FKS continued to support Elizabeth at the Maasai Technical Training Institute, where she completed her Certificate in Human Resource Management at the end of 2016.
Due to her family's poverty, Elizabeth was raised by her grandmother. Elizabeth helped her grandmother fetch water to pay her school fees but often missed class because she did not have enough money to purchase the required school supplies. Despite having missed many days of school, with the help of her grandmother, Elizabeth was able to complete primary school and score very well on her Kenya Central Primary Exam. Elizabeth is extremely bright and hopes to continue her education to improve her own life and the lives of her family members.
Emily was born in 1995 and is one of thirty children born to her father and his four wives. Emily’s parents are illiterate and unemployed, and the family relies entirely on the income one mother earns selling firewood. Though one of Emily's sisters enrolled in Grade 1, three of her older sisters never had the chance to go to school. Instead, they were married off between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. As the only breadwinner in the family, Emily’s mother struggled to pay her school fees while raising children and caring for her husband, who is chronically ill. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Emily has avoided the fate of her older sisters and been guaranteed an education—an education that will help her take control of her life and improve the lives of her family members.
Emily Muriet Tumaina
Muriet's father abandoned the family when she was 12 years old. Her mother is uneducated and her only means of income was selling charcoal, which did not provide enough for her children to go to school. Muriet proved to be a gifted student and enrolled at Kenyatta University under MGEF's sponsorship. In 2015, Muriet earned a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Emily's mother died when Emily was around ten years old. Emily was left in the care of her older sister's husband, who resented the burden of caring for her. He refused to send her to school, planning to marry her off in exchange for a dowry. However, Emily’s father wanted his daughter educated, and with the help of a local area chief, he prevented Emily’s early marriage and secured an MGEF scholarship for her in 2003. With the support of her father and MGEF, Emily was able to continue going to school. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a certificate in International Studies and began working on a Diploma in International Studies in 2016.
Emily Saaloi is the daughter of a single mother who sells beads for a living. In 2011, Emily completed her primary school education and scored an impressive 347 on her KCPE exam, a test that determines admission into secondary school. Kabare Girls High School, among the best in the country, invited Emily to enroll. However, due to the financial burden it would place on her family, Emily could not accept. Hearing of her struggle, an MGEF Division Committee member submitted Emily’s name and application for an MGEF scholarship. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Emily began secondary school at the prestigious Kabare Girls High School in February 2012.
Emily is a very determined girl. Though she was forced to leave home by her family because of her refusal to undergo FGM, Emily managed to attend school up to Grade 10. However, due to mounting school fees, Emily was told to leave school. Emily returned to school in September 2016 under MGEF's sponsorship and is seeking a sponsor to support her as she continues her education.
Esho Faith was forced to drop out of school after she completed her primary school education because her parents could not afford secondary school fees, and her father wanted to marry her off. In 2007, she and her mother left her father and moved in with relatives to prevent Esho Faith’s unwanted marriage. An MGEF scholarship enabled her to attend and complete secondary school. Esho Faith received a Diploma in Social Work from Moi University in 2014 and is hoping to pursue a degree program in 2016.
Esther was the only girl in her family to have enrolled in school. Esther's parents wanted her to be educated but could not afford to keep her in school. Without a scholarship from MGEF, Esther's education would have ended after Grade 6. Instead, under MGEF's sponsorship, Esther graduated from Kenyatta University with a degree in Communications, later interning at Turner & Hernshaw Investments in Nairobi.
Esther is an impressive scholar, scoring well on both a national test and in general studies. When Esther first came to MGEF in 2012, she, her siblings, and her parents all relied entirely on her mother’s meager income, which came from selling beads. There was not enough money for Esther to continue beyond primary school. Her determination caught the attention of an MGEF Division Committee member, who submitted her application to MGEF for scholarship consideration. Esther was accepted immediately, and in January 2012 she began Noonkopir Girls Secondary School, from which she graduated in 2015. Although Esther has already begun pursuing her diploma for Accounting Technician from KCA University, she is still in need of a sponsor to continue her education. She is currently supported by MGEF’s General Scholarship Fund.
When Evaline was in Grade 5, her father married a second wife and left Evaline and her mother to fend for themselves. With no education, her mother could not afford for Evaline to remain in school. Evaline's destiny was changed when she became an MGEF scholarship recipient. Evaline most recently earned a diploma in Secretarial Studies from the Masai Technical Training Institute (MTTI).
Evelyne Naserian Oltinki
Evelyne belongs to a family of five children. Her mother was not educated beyond Grade 7 and her father is illiterate. Neither parent is able to get a job, though her mother earns a meager income by selling milk. Evelyne's elder sister was married off because the family could not afford school fees. Evelyne completed primary school but would not have been able to afford secondary school without an MGEF scholarship. Evelyne earned a degree in education from Kenyatta University in 2012, after having spent her school break in August 2012 as an intern at Prince Johns High School Kasarani in Nairobi.
Evarlyne's father died in 2008, leaving her mother to provide for the family on her own by selling milk from the family's only cow. In Grade 8, Evarlyne was first in her class and scored high on the national exam. She managed to get enough money from the Community Development Fund to begin Form 1 but had no further support to pay for the rest of the school year. Evarlyne was at great risk of dropping out of school and being married off when MGEF began sponsoring her in May 2011.
Felister is one of nine children. Her parents are illiterate and unemployed. In Grade 5, Felister began missing school, performing poorly, and deteriorating in health. Felister's concerned school principal visited her home and upon witnessing the conditions in which she lived and learning her parents intended to arrange for her marriage, he convinced them to let him take responsibility for her. Teachers at Felister's school took care of her needs as she continued her education. In 2012, Felister completed primary school and hoped to advance to secondary school. However, her family was still too poor to pay for her education. In 2013, after being nominated by her primary school principal, Felister received an MGEF scholarship.
Florence belongs to a family of twelve children, all raised by a single mother without any support from their father. The children are entirely dependent on their mother's meager income, earned from making beads and gardening. Though her earnings helped provide for some schooling, Florence's older brother, Sokoine, was forced to drop out of school and began working as a sand harvester to provide for his mother and siblings. The family experienced tragedy when Sokoine was attacked and badly injured at work. He now relies on his mother for care and medicine, an added financial burden to an already struggling family. Florence sought out MGEF in February 2013, and we enthusiastically granted her a scholarship.
Gladys' mother passed away when she was 10 years old, leaving behind 11 children. Since her mother's death, Gladys has been living with an older, married sister, who fought against their father's plans to marry Gladys and brought Gladys to MGEF's attention. Gladys graduated from secondary school in 2010 and is currently taking a Certificate program in Tailoring at St. John's Catholic School in Kajiado.
Gloria Mumeita Kotente
After Gloria completed her first year of secondary school, her parents were no longer able to pay school fees. She was an excellent student with a bright future ahead of her, so outstanding that letters of recommendation from the principal of her primary school and the assistant chief of her region were attached to her application for an MGEF scholarship. Gloria lived up to these recommendations and graduated from Moi Girls Secondary School in November 2009, achieving an A- on the Kenyan national exam, almost unheard of for a Maasai girl from rural Kenya. Doctors at Bethesda Emergency Associates and Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland joined together to sponsor her medical school education.
Grace was one of the first four girls sponsored by MGEF. Neither of her parents could provide financial support for her education. With an MGEF scholarship, Grace completed her secondary school education in 2014 and began a post-secondary degree in 2016.
Grace's father has three wives and eleven children. When Grace was very young, her mother moved to a rural village called Majengo, where she sells vegetables at a local market. After attending a rural primary school, Grace did very well on Kenya's National Test and was accepted into Moi Girls' Secondary School. However, Grace's mother could not afford the school fees. She contacted MGEF, and Grace was promptly granted a scholarship to continue her education.
Grace Nayionte Parseyio
Grace's father has three wives and a total of fourteen children. When Grace was in primary school, her father stopped supporting her education and used the money to educate her brother instead, forcing Grace to drop out of school. Grace's father also wanted to arrange for her marriage. MGEF began sponsoring Grace in 2000, preventing the marriage and allowing her to return to school. After completing secondary school, Grace she took an office job and supported her sister for two years through primary school. Grace returned to school in 2011 and in 2012 earned a certificate in Social Development from the Kenya Institute of Development Studies.
Grace's father died before she reached secondary school and it was impossible for her mother to continue to pay for school. Her mother is uneducated and earns a meager living raising sheep and goats. After completing secondary school under MGEF's sponsorship, Grace enrolled in a two-year college to earn a diploma in Education. She graduated in August 2011 and currently teaches at Olorika Primary School in Loitokitok. Grace is currently working toward a Degree in Education from Africa Nazarene University.
Grace's father died in 2007, leaving behind four wives, 28 children, and a pile of medical bills. Grace's family now lives in extreme poverty and can barely afford to pay for food, let alone school fees. Grace was at risk of being married off for a dowry to help support her family. MGEF began supporting Grace in 2010, which will enable her to receive an education and keep her safe from an early marriage.
Helen is a seventeen year old girl, born the third child of 11 children. Her family is very poor, and though they would like to educate their children, they are unable to pay school fees beyond primary school. Helen's parents struggled to send Helen to secondary school, but she was constantly sent home due to lack of school fees. The principal of her secondary school was Helen's best advocate, finding well wishers to help with her fees. This principal approached MGEF asking if we would consider adding Helen to our Scholarship Program. Helen had been sent home again because her parents couldn't pay the school fees, and the principal was concerned she would not be able to return. After hearing her story, and receiving an application, MGEF accepted Helen into the MGEF family and returned her to school.
Irene's father died in 1991, when she was 5 years old, leaving her mother with five children to support. Her mother has no education, and her only means of providing for her family is selling milk from their two cows. Irene graduated from secondary school in 2014 and started a postsecondary program in 2016.
Irene's birth mother passed away in 2003, leaving behind eight children dependent on the meager income of their father, a farmer. Through a partnership with MGEF, Foundation Kids to School will continue to sponsor Irene in her post-secondary schooling. Irene is working toward a diploma in Business Administration at Kenya Methodist University.
Since she was a young child, Jackline has been supported solely by her uneducated mother. Without an MGEF scholarship, Jackline would not have been able to attend school. Jackline earned a diploma in Secondary Education from Moi University in 2012. In 2015, she decided to change tracks and started working on a diploma in Insurance.
Jackline's father is deceased, leaving three wives to support their altogether 21 children. None of his wives are educated, but they manage to eke out a meager income by selling milk in the local market. Jackline Mulancha hopes that some day her education will enable her to support her family. She earned a certificate in Public Relations at the University of Nairobi and is currently working towards a Degree in Public Relations at the University of Nairobi.
Jackline is the eldest of five children in her family. Her father passed away in 2003, and her mother is ill and unable to care for her children. Jackline and her siblings rely entirely on an uncle in order to survive. Despite her difficult situation at home, Jackline excelled in primary school, serving as "head girl" and scoring an impressive 329 points on her national KCPE exam. Her uncle, who has a family of his own, could not afford to send Jackline to secondary school. He submitted an application for assistance from MGEF, and Jackline was accepted into the program in February 2013.
Jane's father died when she was very young, leaving her mother to care for six children on her own. The family went to live with Jane's mother's parents, who still had young children of their own to raise. When Jane was brought to MGEF's attention, she was 8 years old and had never been to school. In 2008, Jane was orphaned when her mother died after a brief illness. With an MGEF scholarship, Jane has been able to continue her education in the hopes of lifting her family out of poverty.
Jane's father has two wives and 20 children. Neither of her parents are educated. During one extended drought, Jane's parents wanted her to marry in order to replenish their cattle herd with her dowry. Jane was already in secondary school and desperately wanted to complete her education. An MGEF scholarship allowed Jane to avoid the marriage and pursue her dream of being educated. In December 2010, Jane graduated from Mount Kenya University and began her career as a dental technician at Nairobi Women's Hospital. In July 2011, Jane was hired by Compassion International as a health officer in her home area.
Janet is one of 36 children in a household shared between her father and his 5 wives. Both of Janet's parents are illiterate, and the family's only income comes from farming. Eleven of Janet's sisters have already been married off in order for the family to benefit from their dowries. Due to their extreme poverty, none of Janet's siblings have gone on to secondary school, and it seemed inevitable that Janet would have the same fate. However, with a scholarship from MGEF, Janet was able to further her education at Sajiloni Girls Secondary School and is now enrolled at Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology, where she is pursuing her diploma.
Jemimah was born on September 14, 1996. She is the third-born in a family of seven children, four boys and three girls. Both of her parents are illiterate and depend on trading goats to support the family. Her older sister never enrolled in school and was married off at the age of 17. Jemimah was ranked first in her class from grades 5-8, but when she graduated from primary school, her parents wanted to marry her off in order to pay for her older brother's education. Fortunately, with a scholarship from MGEF, Jemimah is able to continue her education.
Jennifer is the third of seven children. In 2002, Jennifer ran away from home to a rescue center in order to escape an early marriage. An MGEF scholarship ensured she would be safe from this marriage and guaranteed an education. Jennifer received a diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2010 and taught preschool classes at the Kajiado Children's Home. In 2012, Jennifer completed a certificate in Community Health.
Jennifer is a 17 year old girl, who comes from a polygamist family of 16 children. Her father had two wives, but Jennifer's mother passed away 12 years ago, leaving Jennifer's fate to her uncles. Her uncles paid for her to attend primary school, but when she joined secondary school her older brother insist she come home and marry. Jennifer asked her relatives to convince him to let her go to school. He allowed her to attend Form 1 but then refused to pay Form 2 school fees and once again insisted she was to be married. Jennifer was forced to leave school and now is passed from relative to relative. She fears returning home because her brother will marry her off. She has asked MGEF assistance to return to school. She is a very bright and ambitious girl, who is full of life. She dreams of changing the attitudes toward educations for girls in her family by being the first girl to reach her goal of an education. MGEF accepted Jennifer in June 2018.
Josephine Nantito Kishoyan
In 2001, when Josephine was fifteen years old, her father intended to arrange for her marriage. In order to prevent the marriage, Josephine's mother contacted MGEF. MGEF began to sponsor Josephine that very year. Josephine graduated from St. Martin de Porres Vocational School with a certificate in Culinary Arts in 2007, and worked as a cook, caterer, and waitress until her death in August 2010.
Josephine Tutayo Moshira
Josephine completed primary school but could not have gone on to secondary school without an MGEF scholarship. After completing secondary school, Josephine was admitted to Kenyatta University and earned a degree in Business Administration with a focus on Tourism and Hotel Management in 2012. Josephine completed her practical training at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.
After both of her parents' deaths, Judith moved in with her older sister. Judith's sister had a family of her own and could not afford to send Judith to school. Judith had no other choice but drop out of school. In 2000, Judith received an MGEF scholarship and was able to continue her education.
Judith enrolled in the first grade when she was ten years old. In 2010, she graduated from primary school at the top of her class. When Judith was 12 years old, she ran away from home to escape an arranged marriage. Her father vowed that if she ever returned home, he would force her to marry. Judith's mother is very supportive of her, but she is uneducated and cannot provide for Judith alone. After receiving an MGEF scholarship, Judith is able to continue her studies without fear of an arranged marriage.
Juliet belongs to a family of eight children, seven girls and one boy. Her mother died when she was very young, and she and her siblings were sent to live with an uncle. Her father is illiterate and is unable to provide for the family. Juliet's eldest sister, who is married, accepted the responsibility of raising Juliet while at the same time raising her own family. Due to the family's limited income, Juliet faced the end of her education when she graduated from primary school. An MGEF committee member encouraged Juliet to apply for a scholarship, and she was accepted to the program in January 2013.
Kanayia is the youngest of nine children. All four of her sisters are married, and none of them enrolled in school. Kanayia's father wanted to marry her off when she was 11 years old, even though he had abandoned the family when Kanayia was in preschool. An MGEF scholarship prevented that marriage. Kanayia graduated from secondary school and began university in 2016, pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development.
Lashaine was born 5 August 1996 to a father with two wives and a total of 15 children. Lashaine's father does not believe in educating girls and follows the traditional practice of marrying daughters off as soon as possible. Lashaine was pledged in marriage at age 8, but her older brother intervened, enrolling her in boarding school and preventing the marriage. Her brother, who managed to complete high school, worked as a taxi driver to support Lashaine's and her younger siblings' educations. However, he now has his own family to support, and he does not earn enough to continue to pay to send his younger siblings to school.
Leah is one of the first four MGEF scholarship recipients. Both of her parents are illiterate and could not afford the cost of educating their children. Leah and her sister Sempeyo, also an MGEF student, are the first girls in their family to enroll in school. Leah is now pursuing her diploma in Community Health and HIV/AIDS Management.
Lilian was born on May 6th, 1999, and is one of five children. Her mother died during childbirth and as the eldest daughter, Lilian assumed her mother's responsibilities. Though Lilian's father contributes some of his income from selling goats and sheep, she and her siblings are relatively unsupported by their father and live with their grandmother. Other relatives have assisted Lilian as much as possible, but with children of their own, they cannot afford to send her to school. Lilian relies on a scholarship from MGEF to continue her education.
Lilian is the only girl in a family of seven children. She could not go on to secondary school when she completed her primary education because her parents could not afford school fees. Lilian was destined to return home and be married off until an MGEF scholarship changed her future. Lilian graduated from secondary school and went on to earn a certificate in primary school education in 2010. Lilian has received her diploma and is working on a degree.
Linet is one of nine children born to a polygamous father and his two wives. Linet's birth mother supports all five of her biological children on her own with money she earns from doing laundry. Her husband is elderly and unable to work. Linet's mother does not earn enough money to pay for the education of five children. With an MGEF scholarship, Linet is able to remain in school with the hope of eventually helping her family rise out of poverty.
Lucy M. Ntayia
Lucy was born in August 1983. Neither of her parents are educated. Her father, who had four wives, died in 1998. Lucy's mother was left to support her eight children alone. With income earned from a small-scale farm and with help from an uncle, Lucy's mother was able to educate her four daughters through high school. One of Lucy's brothers paid for her post-secondary education, and she earned a certificate in Office Operations in 2004. In January 2005, Lucy began working for MGEF in Kajiado as an administrative assistant. She has been serving as the office's managing director since 2007. As part of MGEF's capacity building effort, Lucy enrolled at Premese College in 2008 in a "distance learning" program. In 2009, she graduated with a Diploma in Community Development and Project Management.
After Lucy completed the 5th grade, her family could no longer afford to pay the cost of her education. Her father suffers from poor health and is unable to help support his wife and their four children. In 2002, Lucy's family moved in with relatives to find food and shelter, and an aunt paid for Lucy to go to school. However, due to a prolonged drought in Kenya, the relatives are no longer able to support both families. A scholarship from MGEF enables Lucy to continue her education.
Lucy was orphaned at a young age. Her current guardian is elderly and is responsible for many other children. Because of her family’s strained resources, Lucy feared she would not be able to pay for school. Today, Lucy is guaranteed many more years of education thanks to the MGEF scholarship she received in 2015.
Magdalene's father is unemployed, so she and her three siblings depended on the small income their mother earned by making and selling jewelry. Magdalene began her education at a local primary school, performing so well that a relative paid for her to attend Isinya Primary Boarding School. After she completed primary school, Magdalene had no way to pay for secondary school and stood at great risk of being married off by her father. However, Magdalene's fate changed when she received an MGEF scholarship. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Magdalene graduated from Machakos University College with a certificate in Early Childhood Development. She also completed a diploma from the Maasai Technical Training Institute in Machakos.
Magdaline was enrolled at Baraka Oontoyie High School as a student in Grade 9 but had been in and out of school because her parents could not pay for school. Her parents are farmers and the drought destroyed their livestock, which had been their sole source of income. MGEF granted Magdaline a scholarship in 2016, and she is now continuing her studies.
Margret's father died when she was 10 years old, leaving behind two wives and 11 children. The two wives supported their children by making and selling charcoal in the local market and looking after other families' livestock. Despite their efforts, they could not afford school fees, and all of their children dropped out of school. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Margret was able to graduate from secondary school and has enrolled in a post-secondary program.
Miriam's mother died when Miriam was just 9 years old. For two years she went from relative to relative, none of whom wanted the burden of supporting another child. Miriam finally went to live with the mother of an MGEF Board member, who enrolled her in the MGEF scholarship program. Miriam graduated from post-secondary school in 2012.
When Miriam was 13 years old, she faced a forced arranged marriage. She ran away to a local area chief, who intervened and stopped the marriage. After this chief contacted MGEF, Miriam was offered a scholarship. Under MGEF's sponsorship, she graduated from secondary school in November 2010 and earned a certificate in Primary Education from the Baraka Joy Education Centre in 2013.
Motet's mother died giving birth when Motet was a year and a half old. Her father had two other wives, both of whom died in subsequent years. Because her father had to support 11 other children on his own, Motet lived with her grandmother. With an MGEF scholarship, Motet has been able to enroll in school and continue her studies.
Although both Naleku's mother and father supported girls' education, they were too poor to send their own children to school. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Naleku was the first in the family to enroll in school. Naleku's education will provide her with the tools she needs to lift herself and her family out of poverty.
Nancy Moita Koin
Nancy's father died when she was in primary school, leaving Nancy's mother to care for four children on her own. Nancy's mother is uneducated and struggled greatly to support her family. Despite performing very well in school, Nancy was in danger of dropping out because her mother could not pay for school. At the request of her principal, MGEF provided Nancy with a scholarship to continue her education. In November 2011, Nancy graduated with a university diploma in Community Health. She earned a certificate in HIV Counseling in 2012 and now works at the Kimana Health Centre.
In 2003, Nancy was a smart, quiet, well-spoken girl who came to MGEF from a very poor, drought-prone area of Kajiado. As a girl, she was not permitted an education by her family. Only her brothers attended school. Her sister was married off at the age of 14, a fate Nancy was destined to repeat without the support of MGEF. Instead, under MGEF's sponsorship since Grade 3, Nancy has become a rising star in her Maasai community—studying law at the University of Nairobi and realizing her dream of becoming an independent, empowered Maasai woman. Nancy Sopilal is proud and grateful to be MGEF’s first Law Student.
Nanetia was born December 12, 1990. Nanetia's father could not afford secondary school fees and intended to arrange for Nanetia's marriage. MGEF intervened in 2006, preventing the marriage by providing Nanetia with a scholarship that would enable her to continue her education. Nanetia graduated from secondary school in 2009 and later earned a diploma in Business Education from the Maasai Technical Training Institute.
When Noel was twelve years old, her father died and her uncles decided to marry her off. Her marriage to a 60 year old man was arranged in secret, and Noel's mother, who was opposed to the plan, was not informed. When Noel's mother heard of the engagement, she contacted MGEF for help. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Noel was sent to boarding school, avoiding the marriage that would have ended her education in Grade 3. Noel graduated from Moi Girls Secondary School in 2009 and earned a teacher's certificate in Early Childhood Development from Emerald College.
Ntanin is MGEF’s first student — the little girl whose shy, bright eyes, curiosity, and courage first captured the heart of MGEF Founder Barbara Lee Shaw in 1999 and inspired the creation of the Maasai Girls Education Fund. The sixth child of her father’s third wife and the 22nd born of all of his children, Ntanin had virtually no chance of getting an education. Both of her parents were illiterate, and no girl in her family had ever enrolled in school. When Barbara approached Ntanin’s father with the proposition to send Ntanin to school along with her friend, Sempeyo, he not only consented, but called the chance they were being offered “God’s work.” Eighteen years later, Ntanin is still and always will be a part of the MGEF family. Though she left school for a short time to have a baby, with the support and encouragement of MGEF, Ntanin returned to school in 2013, the year of Barbara Shaw’s passing, determined to complete her education and achieve the means to support her own daughter and help others in her family.
Peninah was born to a father with two wives and nine children. Both of her parents are illiterate, and her family lives in extreme poverty. In April 2010, Peninah was forced to marry illegally. Peninah's father forbade her from informing her school's authorities of the marriage. Friends brought this issue to the principal, who informed authorities in the District Education Office. Peninah was rescued and brought to the MGEF Kajiado Office. Peninah is now continuing her studies under an MGEF scholarship.
Peris belongs to a family of eight children. Her two older sisters were married off at the ages of 11 and 13. Neither of her parents are employed. Peris' family lives in one of the most remote areas in Kaijado and there were no public schools nearby that Peris could attend. MGEF began to sponsor Peris in 2005, enrolling her as a boarding student at Moi Girls Secondary School. In December 2011, Peris graduated from Emerald College with a certificate in Early Childhood Development and later earned a teacher's diploma from Emerald College.
Prior to joining MGEF, Priscilla had completed two years of secondary school. However, her family could no longer afford to continue her education. With an MGEF scholarship, Priscilla graduated from secondary school and earned a degree in secondary education from Kenyatta University in 2011. In 2012, Priscilla began working on a contract basis at Kenya's Department of Education as the Opportunity School Officer.
Sintama's father has two wives and a total of 10 children, and his whole family is extremely poor. When Sintama received an MGEF scholarship, only two of her siblings had enrolled in school, and her three sisters had already been married off. This would have been Sintama's fate as well, but instead she attended Baraka Oontoyie Girls Secondary School, and she is now attending the University of Nairobi to pursue a Diploma in International Studies.
Rhoda is one of ten children from her father's two wives. Both of Rhoda's parents died when she was 13, leaving her and her siblings in the care of family members. Rhoda moved to her elderly grandmother's home, where she was able to complete primary school. However, her grandmother could not afford secondary school fees. Determined to continue Rhoda's education, her grandmother sought assistance from MGEF. Her application was approved, and Rhoda began Grade 9 in February 2013.
Rose Sempeyo was one of the first two girls to go to school through the sponsorship of MGEF. Both of her parents are illiterate, and her family is very poor. She is the first girl in her family to enroll in school. Read more about Sempeyo under MGEF History.
Ruth Nampa's education would have ended after 9th grade without financial assistance. Her father died when she was a year old, leaving two wives and 11 children. Her mother never enrolled in school, and her family's survival depended on her paternal grandparents, who had planned to have her married off. However, Ruth was a very bright student who wanted to continue going to school, and an MGEF scholarship saved her. She graduated from secondary school in November 2008 with a B+ on the national test, and in 2010 she enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics.
Samato Alphine Muyang’ai
Samato's mother is uneducated and struggled to support her ten children on her own by selling milk and making charcoal. Of Samato's eight brothers, only one attends school. Her only sister, now married, had to drop out of school due to the family's poverty. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Samato was able to receive an education.
Sandra and her four siblings live with their elderly grandmother. One brother attends Kajiado Central Secondary School with the help of sponsors and community support, while the remaining siblings are either too young to go to school or have enrolled in free primary school. Sandra's grandmother is unemployed and suffers from a number of ailments, making it impossible for her to earn enough to afford secondary education for Sandra. Fortunately, a community member recommended Sandra for an MGEF scholarship. She was accepted in January 2012 and has since enrolled in Namanga Girls High School.
Sarah was born September 28, 1991 to a family of five children. Her family is extremely poor and relies upon money made by selling milk. Without an MGEF scholarship, Sarah would not have been able to attend school. Sarah is currently attending Machakos Technical Training Institute for a certificate in Secretarial Studies.
Sharon was born in 1992; her exact birth date is uncertain. Despite illness, Sharon's mother worked selling water to a hotel in order to fund Sharon's first year of high school. However, she later became too weak to continue working. Sharon no longer had any way to pay for her education, and she was forced to stop attending school in 2010. With the help of a MGEF scholarship, Sharon graduated secondary school in 2013 and now attends Ricatti Business College, where she is pursuing a certificate in Social Development.
Silvia's father has four wives and abandoned Silvia's mother. At the age of 11, Silvia ran away from home to avoid being married off. She stayed with an uncle, who supported her but could not afford to pay for her education nor prevent her eventual marriage. Silvia's destiny was changed when she joined MGEF as a sponsored student in 2003. Silvia graduated from the Maasai Technical Training Institute with a Certificate in Business Management.
Silvia Sein Sankok
MGEF began sponsoring Silvia at the beginning of her secondary school education. In 2010, she graduated from the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies with a diploma in Business Studies.
As a child, Simantoi was only able to attend school for one-third of each year because her mother could not pay all the school fees and her father, who was adamantly opposed to educating girls, would not contribute. Simantoi's father demanded that she marry when she completed primary school. When she refused, her father did not speak to her again until she graduated from medical college and began working as a nurse. Simantoi now contributes 17% of her monthly income to her family. Simantoi continued her education after completing her nursing studies and in 2010, graduated from the University of Nairobi in with a degree in psychology. Simantoi is currently employed as an HIV counselor at Jomo Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi. In 2013, Simantoi was hired to facilitate MGEF's Life Skills Workshops for girls.
Susan is one of 15 children born to an unemployed father and mother. Both are illiterate. Only one of Susan's sisters enrolled in school, but she was forced to drop out in Class 8 due to lack of funds. Thus far, two of Susan's other sisters have been married off in early adolescence. The family relies entirely on money that Susan's mother makes from collecting and selling firewood, as her father is ill and cannot work. Without an MGEF scholarship, Susan would not have been able to go on to secondary school, and like her sisters, she would soon have been married off to ease the family poverty. However, MGEF's sponsorship has enabled Susan to avoid this fate and realize her dream of being educated.
Sylvia's education was interrupted when her mother died in April 2010. With no means of paying for school, Sylvia faced the end of her education. However, Sylvia's destiny was changed when in May 2010, MGEF began sponsoring her studies. She received a diploma in Business Administration from Kenya Methodist University in 2014 and earned a degree in Business Administration in 2015.
Valerie's father offered no financial support to his family. Valerie's mother left him in 2003 and has since been struggling to support her two daughters by doing whatever household work she can find. MGEF began sponsoring Valerie in January 2011.
Veronicah is the only child out of six children in her family to enroll in school. She was born with a disability that required surgery and rehabilitation and still relies on crutches to walk. Veronicah has worked very hard to surmount her disability and do well in school. Veronicah's father died when she was very young, leaving her mother to sell water and firewood in order to make ends meet. Her mother struggled to pay for secondary school, and college seemed impossible until Veronicah was offered an MGEF scholarship. Veronicah earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kenyatta University in 2016.
Vivian's father, who died in 1995, had four wives and a total of 35 children. Since his death, Vivian and seven of her siblings have been living with an elderly uncle, as Vivian's mother is illiterate and unable to provide for her family. The uncle does not believe in educating girls and has already married off two of Vivian's sisters. He planned to arrange a marriage for Vivian as soon as she graduated from primary school. However, after receiving an MGEF scholarship, Vivian was able to avoid this fate and continue her education at boarding school.
Winnie's mother passed away in May 2007. After her death, Winnie's life was completely changed; her father remarried and abandoned Winnie and her four brothers. With no one to pay for her education, she would have been forced to drop out of school. Winnie was able to continue her education after receiving a scholarship from MGEF. In 2015, Winnie graduated from the Regional College of Tourism.