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 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.
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 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.
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 Machakos University College 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 first of five children in a family living in extreme poverty, dependent on relief food 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 will complete her internship at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi this September.
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, 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.
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.
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 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.
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 her 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, 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.
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.
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).
Evelyn Naserian Oltinki
Evelyn 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. Evelyn's elder sister was married off because the family could not afford school fees. Evelyn completed primary school but would not have been able to afford secondary school without an MGEF scholarship. Evelyn 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.
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 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.
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 will be starting a postsecondary program in 2016.
Jackline Mulancha's father is deceased, leaving three wives to support their combined 21 children. None of his wives are educated, but they manage to eke out a meager income from 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although both Miriam'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.
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 Masai 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.
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.
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. But she was a very bright student, and an MGEF scholarship saved her. She graduated from secondary school in November 2008 with a B+ on the national test, and in 2010 enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University. She has just 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.
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.
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.
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.
Veronicah is the only child in her family of six children 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.
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.