Abigael is the second born child of a single mother, who was helped by her grandparents until their death, when she became the sole supporter of Abigael and four siblings. Without the skills to find a reliable source of income, Abigael’s mother was not able to continue to support her in school. In 2004, in the 6th grade, Abigael began receiving an MGEF scholarship. She was a very good student and liked playing soccer at school. 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. Even while studying, Abigael has already started her own nongovernmental organization, SAVE OUR WORLD, to better her home community back in Kajiado County, Kenya. Already she is giving back to her fellow Maasai, and in December 2016, after she graduates, she will be able to do even more. 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 systems.
Abigael was born on May 5, 1992 into a family of twelve children. Her father did not support his family. Abigael’s mother was selling firewood to make a living, but earned less than a dollar per day. Starting in the 4th grade, in January of 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 Moyiaso completed Class 6 (6th grade), her final year of primary school, her father arranged 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 A student in primary school, and the chief recognized her potential and intervened on her behalf. Agnes is now studying at the Maasai Mara University.
Agnes was born in 1999 and comes from the Mashuru Division of Kajiado. Very committed to her education, Agnes completed the 8th grade despite having to walk 12 km from home to school every day. Due to severe drought, her family could not afford to pay for her secondary education, and, though she did very well on her final examinations, she would have been forced to drop out of school. Instead, with an MGEF scholarship, Agnes is enrolled at the Noonkopir Girls Secondary School, and is able to continue the education she desires and deserves, the education she walked so far and worked so hard for.
Agnes Nemayian Sampaika
Orphaned at a young age, Agnes Nemayian Sampaika 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 they wish to send their daughters to school, Agnes and her sisters are often sent home because they lack funding. 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 kids in her community. Through an MGEF scholarship, we know that Agnes can reach all of her goals and many, many more.
Pelela is the eldest of twelve children. Her parents are both illiterate and earn money by selling milk. Due to their extreme poverty, Pelela'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 Pelela's father allowed her to attend school. However, the cost of furthering her education has surpassed the family's ability to pay. In order to continue her schooling, Pelela was awarded an MGEF scholarship in 2013, and graduated with a vocational certificate in Early Childhood Development from Emerald College in 2014.
Ann is the second oldest in a family of six. Her parents are both 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. Due to her performance, Ann gained admittance to Barak Oontoyie Secondary School, an outstanding institution that accepts only the brightest students. She managed to raise enough money to pay for her first year, but because her family could not afford to help her, Ann was faced with the imminent end to her education. Thankfully, the MGEF Division Committee Member from Ann’s area brought her to our attention in 2011, and, with an MGEF scholarship, Ann completed secondary school and is now studying Commerce at the University of Nairobi. She will graduate in 2019.
Annet Nakae is one of seven children born to unemployed parents. Her father pledged Annet to marriage when she was still very young, and by the 6th grade, her wedding was planned and imminent. Anne’s education and future would have ended had her mother not defied Annet’s father and helped Annet seek temporary refuge at a grandparents' home. Now Annet lives with an uncle who is determined to protect her from early marriage and to help her complete school. He cannot, however, afford her secondary school expenses. Through an MGEF scholarship, Annet began attending Oloosuyian Girls Secondary School in January 2012. She is now attending Namaga Girls High School and is in her final year of secondary school.
Apophia is from Sajiloni in the Central Division of Kajiado. She is the youngest in a family of 5. Her family works hard but can no longer afford to keep her in school. Their cows were all lost in a severe drought, and they do not have enough now to provide for even their basic needs. Apophia is smart and driven and, supported by an MGEF scholarship since 2015, is now enrolled at Baraka Oontoyio Secondary School.
Beatrice Nasalula is one of three sisters who together came to MGEF in need of sponsorship. With nine children in total, her family could hardly pay for basic necessities, much less school fees. She and her sisters attended school only off and on, only when they could piece together enough money to pay for a few months at a time. Beatrice yearned to return to secondary school full-time, and to concentrate on her studies uninterrupted. An MGEF scholarship has now enabled Beatrice to stay in school and pursue her dream career in Community Development. She is currently enrolled at St. Clare Girls Secondary School.
Yiamoi was born on 18 July 1993 in Oloonkoben village, and is the third born of four children. Her father, who does not have a job, has 2 wives and a total of ten children, all of whom depend on the money he makes through burning charcoal, cultivating maize, and planting beans. After Yiamoi finished primary school, her father intended to marry her off, but Yiamoi’s community raised enough money to rescue her and paid for her first year of high school. An MGEF scholarship has supported Beatrice since the 10th grade, May 2011. She currently attends Machakos University College and is pursuing a diploma in Business Management.
Blessing Reson was a child bride. She was forced by her father to marry a 50-year-old man when she was just nine. Her father does not believe in educating girls. Reson and three of her sisters were all forced to leave school at early ages to be circumcised and married to much older men. With the intervention of female local Maasai activists and the Chief of her village, Reson was removed from her husband’s home early in 2012.
Caroline was 11 years old when she came to MGEF in January of 2015. From the Namanga Division of Kajiado, she is the youngest of 5 siblings in a single parent household. Caroline missed a lot of schooling due to lack of fees, but demonstrated a tremendous spirit and was eager to be in school. She is now happy to have joined other MGEF students attending the African Inland Church School in Kajiado.
Catherine is one of six children living with an unemployed single mother. Her father passed away when she was small, leaving two wives and thirteen sons and daughters behind. Catherine’s sisters and brothers all went to school as long as possible, but poverty impeded their ability to afford food, let alone pay their fees. Despite her passion for learning, Catherine would have been unable to continue her education, but with a scholarship from MGEF, she is now enrolled at Baraka Oontoyie Secondary School.
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.
Mereso was born 8 January 1995, and is the youngest of twelve children. Mereso's older sisters were married off by their father at early ages, and three were forced to drop out of school. Mereso’s father died in 1998, and her mother remains unemployed due to prolonged illness. An older brother, a businessman, has done his best to provide for Mereso and her siblings, in addition to his own family, but all of Mereso’s brothers had to drop out of school before their first year of high school due to lack of funding. An MGEF scholarship has kept Mereso in school since she came to us in the 6th grade, and she is currently attending the Enoomatasiani Girls Secondary School.
Christine was born on March 7, 2003. She has four siblings. Her father abandoned the family when Christine was very young, and her mother earns only a meager living selling beads. Their only cow-–a form of currency in Maasailand-–died in a severe drought, and the family’s goats were sold to pay school fees. When the livestock were all sold, Christine could no longer afford to continue school until she was granted an MGEF scholarship at the beginning of 2016.
Clare Nkurani is one of twenty children in a polygamous household. Her parents are both illiterate and gain income solely from selling their cows and goats. Clare was nearly married off after completing class eight, as her father wanted the bridal dowry. 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 change the living standard of her family and achieve her own financial independence.
Dapash is one of nine children being raised in a impoverished and struggling household. With only three goats and an unemployed father, the children regularly spend their school breaks working to make the family’s ends meet. Dapash’s mother collects firewood on her back daily, and carries it 30 kilometers to and from Tanzania for market. The little money she earns is used to buy food and can provide little else. In Form 2, the 10th grade, Dapash’s future education was threatened by a lack of funding. In January of 2016 MGEF accepted Dapash into tour scholarship program so that she can continue going to school.
In 2013 Diana was 5 years old when she began her MGEF scholarship. The year before, her father had been killed in a road accident, and she and her five siblings were all reliant on their mother’s meager income from selling firewood. After her father’s death, Diana’s family struggled financially, and an older cousin took Diana in and enrolled her in preschool at AIC Child Centre in Kajiado. Her required school uniform and school supplies were purchased with the contributions from friends. The older cousin, however, was also struggling to support her own family, and did not have the resources to pay Diana’s school fees. An MGEF scholarship assures young Diana the opportunities only an education can provide.
Born in 2002, Doris is one of nine children born to an unemployed father and his two wives. One of Doris’s has already been forced to drop out of school, undergo FGM, and marry at the age of thirteen. Doris’s family subsists only on the income one mother earns from selling livestock, constructing Maasai huts, and collecting firewood. When her own mother remarried, Doris was sent to live with her grandmother, as her new stepfather would not accept responsiblity for her care. She missed countless school days due to torn uniforms, a lack of school fees, and household demands. Determined to become a role model for her sisters, Doris applied for and received an MGEF scholarship in early 2016. With her education, she hopes to help her mother and grandmother rise out of poverty.
Elisabeth 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 Elisabeth and the other siblings, as their father is too old to work. Unable to pay for school fees herself, Elisabeth was sponsored by Foundation Kids to School (FKS), and completed Form 4 in 2012. In partnership with MGEF, FKS continues to support Elisabeth at the Maasai Technical Training Institute, where she will complete her Certificate in Human Resource Management at the end of 2016.
Elizabeth Timanoi is the first child born to her parents, but she was raised by her grandmother due to economic hardship. Timanoi 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 uniform, shoes, books, and other school supplies and personal effects. Despite having missed many days of school, with the help of her grandmother, Timanoi was able to complete primary school and scored very well on her Kenya Central Primary Exam. Timanoi is extremely bright and hopes to continue her education to improve her own life and the lives of her family.
Elizabeth came to MGEF in 2016 as an 8-year-old orphan living with her elderly grandparents. Dependent on her aunts and uncles for food and other necessities, Elizabeth would have been forced to drop out of school due to poverty. A gifted singer and determined to succeed, Elizabeth is now able to attend Inkati Primary School on an MGEF scholarship graciously provided by former MGEF Executive Director, Zara Bott-Goins, and her mother, Kathy Bott.
Emily is the youngest of seven children, whose parents both died from illness when Emily was still very young. Emily was supported by an elder, married sister, and, aside from one brother, she is the only sibling to enroll in school. Though her sister provided for Emily as well as her own children, her resources were stressed, as her husband was unemployed, and she was the sole provider in her household. Therefore, upon reaching the age of ten years old, Emily would have been at risk of forced FGM and marriage. Instead, with an MGE scholarship since 2013, she is safe and in boarding school at the Emurkea Boarding Primary School.
Kuka was born in 1995 and is one of thirty children born to her father and his four wives. Kuka’s parents are illiterate and unemployed, and the family relies entirely on one mother selling firewood to earn an income. Though one of Kuka's sisters enrolled in grade one, 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, Kuka’s mother struggled to pay her school fees, while raising children and caring for her husband, who is chronically ill. With an MGEF scholarship, however, Kuka 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 was born May 16, 1989, and has two sisters. Emily's mother died when Emily was around ten years old, by which time her father was already very old. Emily was left in the care of her older sister's husband, who resented the burden of caring for Emily. He refused to send her to school, and planned to marry her off in exchange for a dowry when she was twelve years old. Emily’s father, however, 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, as she entered the 3rd grade. 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 plans to begin working on a Diploma in International Studies in 2016.
Emily Saaloi is the daughter of a single mother who sells beadwork for a living. She lives with her only sibling, an older sister, and her mother. In 2011, Emily completed her primary school education and scored an impressive 347 on her KCPE exam, a test that determines admission into secondary schools. Kabere Girls High school, among the best in the country, invited Emily to enroll, but 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, and she began secondary school at the prestigious Kabare Girls High School in February 2012.
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 is an impressive scholar, scoring well on both a national test and in general studies. Nevertheless, her education was threatened by poverty. 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, however, 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 she was accepted to the KCA University, and already started pursuing her diploma for Accounting Technician in July 2016, Esther is still in need of a sponsor to continue her education. She is currently supported by MGEF’s General Scholarship Fund.
Everline Selina Kasaine
Everline Selina Kasaine is a fourteen year old girl from Enkorika location. She comes from a very poor family that earns a living through selling charcoal. Both her sisters were forced to drop out of school to marry. Everlyn would have had the same fate had she not run away. She hopes to become a teacher, and is in need of a sponsor to help make her dream come true.
Everlyne was born 21 October 1996, the second born in a family of four children. Her father died in 2008 due to a sudden illness, leaving her mother to provide for the family by selling milk from the one cow they had left after a recent drought. In eighth grade, Everylyne was first in her class, and scored high on the national test. 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. She was at great risk of dropping out of school and being married off when MGEF began sponsoring her in May of 2011. She has just graduated from secondary school and is deciding on postsecondary plans currently.
Faith Nasarian Ntiyeyo
Faith comes from a family of nine children where neither of the parents is employed. Two of her sisters dropped out because they became pregnant and were married off immediately. Another sister dropped out due to a lack of school fees. Facing a scarcity of food for her and her siblings, Faith ran away from home. She found a place to stay at the Kajiado Adventist School. She visited the MGEF office and submitted her application and she is now attending class four. Faith dreams of becoming a nurse.
Sekeyian is a 12 year-old girl from the Mashuru Division of Kajiado. Sekeyian has just started Class 5 at AIC Primary School where she is joined by other MGEF students. She hopes to become a teacher when she completes her schooling.
Felistar is one of nine children. Her parents are illiterate, unemployed, and impoverished. In class five, Felistar began missing school, performing poorly, and deteriorating in health. The concerned head-teacher at Felistar's school visited her home and when he witnessed the conditions in which she lived, and learned that they intended to marry her off, he convinced the parents to let him take her. Felistar's older sister was forced to drop out of school in the 7th grade and be married off at 16 years old. Teachers at her school provided Felistar with accommodations and took care of her personal needs as she continued her education. In 2012, Felistar completed primary school and dreamed of advancing to secondary school. Still, her family was too poor to help her, and continued to threaten early marriage. In 2013, her primary school head-teacher enthusiastically nominated Felistar for an MGEF scholarship, which she received immediately.
Florence comes from a family of twelve children, who are being raised solely by their mother. Her father was of little to no support, thus Florence, her mom, and her siblings left his home. The children are entirely dependent on money made from their mother's bead making and gardening. Though her earnings have helped provide for some schooling, Florence's older brother, Sokoine, was still 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 single mother. Florence sought out MGEF in order to attend secondary school, and eventually, get a job and contribute to her family and their standard of living. We enthusiastically accepted Florence in February 2013.
Francina was born on February 11, 2011. Her mother is single and unemployed, struggling daily to keep her daughter in school. Often, Francina is forced to stay home due to lack of school fees. MGEF would like to give Francina a scholarship in 2016 so that she may further her education uninterrupted.
Gladys' mother passed away when she was 10 years old, leaving 11 children without a mother. Since her mother's death, Gladys has been living with an older, married sister, who fought against their father's plans to marry Gladys off and brought Gladys to MGEF's attention. She graduated from secondary school in 2010 and will now be continuing a Certificate program in Tailoring at St. John's Catholic School Kajiado in 2015.
Gloria Kotente Mumeita
After Gloria completed her first year of secondary school, her parents were no longer able to pay school fees. She was an A student with a bright future ahead of her, so outstanding that letters of recommendation from the headteacher of her primary school and from the assistant chief in the area where she lived were attached to her application for a scholarship. Gloria lived up to these recommendations and graduated from Moi Girls Secondary School in November 2009, achieving an A- on the Kenya national test, almost unheard of for a Maasai girl from rural Kenya. Her dream was to become a doctor, and she will have the opportunity to realize that dream thanks to doctors at Bethesda Emergency Associates and Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, who have joined together to sponsor her medical school education.
Grace was one of the first four girls sponsored by MGEF. Her father offered no support, and her mother has no education and is barely able to provide for her family alone. Grace completed her secondary education in 2014 and is looking forward to starting a postsecondary program in 2016.
Grace was born 12 December 1995. Her father has three wives and a total of eleven children, three of whom are from Grace's birth mother. When Grace was very young, her mother moved to a rural village called Majengo, where Grace's mother 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 able to continue her education.
Grace's father died before she reached secondary school, and it was impossible for her mother to pay the school fees. Her mother is not educated, and ekes out a living raising sheep and goats. One brother helps support the family. After completing secondary school, Grace enrolled in a two-year college to earn a diploma in Education. She graduated with a diploma in August 2011 and currently teaches at Olorika Primary School in Loitokitok. Grace is also working toward a Degree in Education from Africa Nazarene University.
Grace was born on 25 July 1998, and is the first born of her mother's four children. Her father died in 2007, leaving behind four wives, 28 children, and a pile of medical bills which have drained the family of all resources. They now live in extreme poverty and can barely afford food, let alone an education. Grace was at risk of being married off for a dowry to help support her mother and younger brothers. MGEF began supporting Grace in 2010, which will keep her safe from an early marriage and provide for her education.
Hillary, born in 2000, is an orphan (along with her older brother) being raised by her grandparents. Hillary’s father passed away when she was 4-years-old, and mother when she was 6-years-old, leaving Hlilary to rely on extended family to support her education. Hlilary successfully completed primary school in late 2015, and thanks to an MGEF scholarship, can began secondary school in 2016.
Hillary was born on 1 July 2001 and was left in the care of her grandparents when she was one year old. Hillary continues to live with her grandparents, who are very poor and still have their own children at home to care for. Hillary's grandparents are pastoralists and do some farming, which has been severely affected by the drought. Hillary has been in school since she was four years old, but her grandparents cannot afford to continue her education. MGEF began supporting Hillary in January of 2011, sending her to boarding 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 will be starting a postsecondary program in 2016.
Irene was born on August 9th 1994 to an uneducated father with two wives. Her birth mother passed away in 2003, leaving 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.
Ivy was born on 6 February 2004, and is the third-born of six children. Her family lives a traditional Maasai life, dependent on livestock and selling milk. The most recent drought resulted in tremendous losses for the family, and they are struggling to survive. Unlike most families, both parents want all to their children to get an education. Although primary education is free, uniforms and supplies are not, and Ivy's parents struggle to pay for uniforms and school fees to keep their three school-age children in school.
Since she was a young child, Jackline has been supported solely by her mother, who never received an education. 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. She has decided to change tracks and has started working on a diploma of Insurance in 2015.
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.
Nashipae comes from a large polygamous family living in extreme poverty. Both her mother and father are illiterate. Her father has four wives, and 23 children,11 boys and 12 girls. He is opposed to education generally, but especially for girls, believing that the sole purpose of a daughter is to bring wealth to her family through a dowry. Two of her sisters were married off while in grade four. Nashipae was to be married at age 10, but was rescued by women activists and brought to the Kajiado Adventist School's rescue center. Her sister, Reson, was married off at the age of nine, but rescued by the same activist group eight months later. Now both sisters are together in school and protected from the threat of child marriage.
Nashipae's father died before she was school age, leaving her mother with six children, four sons and two daughters. The family went to live with her mother's parents, who still had young children to raise themselves. When Nashipae was brought to MGEF's attention, she was 8 years old and had never been to school. Just after Christmas in 2008, Nashipae's mother died after a brief illness, so she is now an orphan and continues to live with her grandmother during school breaks.
Jane is one of her father's 20 children, eight boys and 12 girls from his two wives. Neither of her parents are educated. During one extended drought, her parents wanted her to marry so that they could replenish their cattle herd. But she was already in secondary school and desperately wanted to complete her education. An MGEF scholarship allowed her to achieve that dream. In December 2010, Jane graduated from Mt. Kenya University and soon began her career as a dental technician at Nairobi Women's Hospital. In July 2011, she was hired by Compassion International as a health officer in her home area. Jane is now attending Mount Kenya University.
Jane Tulasha is the last-born in a family of seven. Her mother died when Jane was young, and her father, who is illiterate, has since married a second wife. In 2006, Jane was discovered by a local employee at Magadi Soda Company working on a project near her home in a very remote area in Kenya. Jane was carrying food to sell to people working on the project and had not been enrolled in school. This "well wisher" paid Jane's school fees for one year, after which her father clearly stated he would not pay for her education and would marry her off as soon as she was old enough. Her two sisters were married off at ages 12 and 14. To help Jane avoid the same fate, MGEF began sponsoring her education in 2010.
Janet is one of 36 children in a household shared with 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, some as young as 14-years-old, 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 misfortune. With a scholarship from MGEF, however, Janet is able to further her education at Sajiloni Girls Secondary School, where she enrolled in January, 2012.
Jennifer's dream is to be a nurse. She was raised in a single-mother farming household in the Ngong region. While her mother struggled to pay for her primary and secondary education, Jennifer worked hard. She earned high scores on her final exams and was accepted to St. Mary's Nursing School in 2015. Without a scholarship from MGEF, she would not have been able to pursue the last and most important phase of her education.
Yiamoi was pledged in marriage at the age of two, and was to be married in March 2007 just before her 13th birthday, but an uncle, a neighbor, and her brother stepped in to prevent the marriage after MGEF agreed to give her a scholarship. Yiamoi’s sister was married when she was just 11 years old. Her father, who is illiterate and jobless, has three wives and had been receiving dowry payments for Yiamoi for nine years, a debt he would have had to repay and was unable to do. The community agreed to raise the money to repay the debt so that Yiamoi could go to school. In March 2007, at the age of 13, Yiamoi enrolled in school for the first time, and until 2010 her father continued the threat of carrying out the marriage so he could get the dowry payment. Now he calls regularly to see how she is doing, and brags about his daughter.
Joy's father is a minister in a sparsely populated area, and his family is completely dependent on parishoners who can barely support their own families' needs. When Joy was given a scholarship there were three girls in the family and one more baby expected soon. Any education for these girls would have to depend on help from others.
Neeyio enrolled in the first grade when she was ten years old, and in 2010 she graduated from primary school at the top of her class. When Neeyio was 12 years old her father arranged a marriage for her, so Neeyio ran away to her school. Her father vowed that if she ever returned he would marry her off, so Neeyio cannot go home. Neeyio's mother is very supportive of her, but does not have an education and cannot provide for Neeyio alone. Neeyio was saved by an MGEF scholarship.
Juliet is the sixth-born in 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 his family. Juliet's eldest sister, who is married, accepted the responsibility of raising Juliet, while at the same time taking care of her own family. But the high cost of secondary school is prohibitive, and Juliet faced the end of her education when she graduated from primary school. An MGEF committee member encouraged Juliet to apply for a scholarship. She was accepted in January 2013.
Kanayia is the youngest of nine children, and has four brothers and four sisters. All four sisters are married, and none 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 recently graduated from secondary school and is looking forward to beginning her studies in Early Childhood Education and Development in 2016.
Keruesh is one of the first four MGEF scholarship recipients. Both of her parents are illiterate and cannot afford the cost of educating their children. She and her sister Sempeyo, also an MGEF student, are the first girls in their family to enroll in school.
Kilau is 13 years old and is from the Mashuru District of Kajiado. She comes from a large family of 13 children and she has been forced to work to bring in income for her family. She is determined to make a change in her family and to improve her situation through education.
Kureti was born on 3 May 2000 in Idupa village. She has no relationship with her father, and her stepfather left her in the care of her grandmother and her uncle. Her uncle is trying to support his own family, along with Kureti and her grandmother. The family is unable to pay school fees since the family's only source of income is charcoal and sand harvesting. Kureti is currently attending Kajiado Adventist Academy, sponsored by MGEF.
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 followed 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 does not earn enough to continue to pay to send his younger siblings to school.
Leah is one of twelve children in her family and one of MGEF’s youngest scholarship recipients. Her father, a farmer, cultivates the land for a living, and her mother sells milk and harvests sand, but still they struggle to meet their family’s most basic needs. Much of their limited income is spent on life-sustaining treatment for Leah’s brother, who has epilepsy.
Lilian is from the Mashuru Division of Kajiado. She is 18 years old and has only completed a portion of Form 1. She was required to stay home for a couple of years to find work to support the family, as her parents did not earn enough selling charcoal. She is committed to finishing her secondary education so that she can continue to postsecondary school eventually.
Lilian Nashipae was born on May 6th, 1999, and is one of five children. Her mother died during child birth, and as the eldest daughter, Lilian assumed her mother's responsibilities taking care of her siblings. Though Lilian's father contributes some of his income from selling goats and sheep, she and her siblings are unable to live with him, so they live with their grandmother. Other relatives have assisted Lilian as much as possible, but having children of their own, cannot afford to send Lilian to school. She relies on a scholarship from MGEF to continue her education.
Lilian is the second-born and only girl in a family of seven children. Lilian was not able to go to secondary school because her parents could not afford school fees but an MGEF scholarship changed her future. Lilian received her diploma in teaching in 2010 and began teaching in a local school. Last September she started her degree at Africa Nazarene University and will complete her studies in 2018.
Lilian is the second-born and 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. She was destined to return home and be married off, until an MGEF scholarship changed her future. Lilian graduated from primary school and went on to earn a certificate in primary school education in 2010. Since graduating she has been teaching at Enchorro-e-Senteu close to her family home in Oltepesi, Kenya. She lives with her family.
Mitau is one of nine children born to a polygamous father and his two wives. Mitau's birth mother is the second wife, and she alone supports all five of her biological children with money she earns from doing laundry. Her husband is now 82 years old and unable to work. Mitau's elder sister was circumcised and nearly married off by her father, but her mother fought his decision and kept their daughter in school. Still, Mitau's mother cannot raise enough funds to pay for the education of five children. With an MGEF scholarship, Mitau is able to remain in school and eventually help her family rise out of poverty.
Linet was born on April 2nd, 2000. She and her four siblings lost their father in 2005, and have since relied completely on their single, unemployed mother. The family’s sole source of income comes from the selling of livestock, a trade affected by long droughts and dry seasons. Faced with financial instability and poverty, Linet sought support from MGEF in early 2016 in order to attend secondary school.
Pilale is one of 15 children born to one of her father's three wives. Her mother has no education. Pilale is the fifth child in her birth mother's house. Her father does not believe in educating girls and has already married off his eldest daughter at age 16. The family is extremely poor, and the prospect of a dowry of cows, goats and cash in such a family places Pilale at high risk to be married as soon as she reaches puberty. Pilale is able to go to school and avoid forced marriage with a scholarship from MGEF.
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. Lucy is able to continue her education through a scholarship from MGEF.
Lydia Narinoi was born on May 31, 2007 and is the youngest of three children. While her family believes that education is important for both boys and girls, they cannot afford boarding school, and it is too far - 5 kilometers - and too dangerous for Lydia to walk to the closest public day school. Her two brothers attend public schools with help from an aunt. Neither parent is employed. A scholarship from MGEF is enabling her to begin pre-school for the first time, at AIC Child Care. Staff members at the MGEF Kajiado office have graciously located a boarding home for Lydia that is within walking distance from her new school, and she began classes in January 2012.
Magdaline is 16 years old and is from Komeya in the Magadi Division of Kajiado. She was enrolled at Baraka Oontoyie High School in Form 1 but has been in and out of school due to her parent’s inability to pay school fees. Her parents are farmers and the drought has destroyed their livestock, which was the sole source of income for the family. She is very excited to be a part of the MGEF family this year.
Margret's father died when she was 10 years old, leaving two wives and 11 children. The two wives supported the children by making and selling charcoal in the local market, and looking after other families' livestock. However, they could not afford school fees and all of the children dropped out of school. Margaret recently graduated from secondary school and looks forward to enrolling in a postsecondary program in 2015.
Martine is one of 15 children born to an unemployed father and mother. Both are illiterate. Only one of Martine's sisters has enrolled in school, but she was forced to drop out in Class 8 due to lack of funds. Thus far, two of Martine's sisters have been married off in early adolescence. The family relies entirely on money that Martine's mother makes from collecting and selling fire wood, as her father is ill and cannot work. Martine has been living with a relative who assisted her primary school education, and she performed well above average. But without a scholarship, she would not have been able to go on to secondary school, and like her sisters, would soon have been married off to ease the family poverty.
Mary was born on September 12, 1995, the first-born in a family of eight children. She was pledged in marriage at a young age and the wedding was arranged while she was in the sixth grade. Mary's mother helped her run away to one of her teacher's homes to escape the marriage. Mary's mother then left with all of her children to live with her parents. Mary's father still threatens to marry her off if she returns home, and the man she was supposed to marry is still waiting. Mary continues to live with her teacher, who helped her through primary school but cannot afford secondary school fees. She is a promising student, scoring an A on the national test, so MGEF offered her a scholarship to continue her education.
Mercy was born on September 14th, 2003 in the village of Iltareto. Mercy and her sister are supported by their mother, who struggles to find work because of physical challenges. She is raising these girls alone and came to MGEF in hopes that this would help Mercy avoid a potential early marriage. Mercy was an excellent day student at AIC School, despite these challenges, and she continues to shine there as a boarding student, supported by her sponsors, the MGEF office, and her fellow students.
Mercy is one of three children, and an exceptional student. Earning 378 marks out of 500 when she sat for the KCPE exam in 2015, Mercy hopes to advance onto secondary school, but her parents are both unemployed and cannot afford to support her education. Determined to succeed in school, Mercy dreams of becoming a medical doctor. In 2016, MGEF accepted Mercy as a scholarship recipient and is seeking a sponsor to help support her in her goal.
Mercy is the tenth-born in a family of eleven children. Her parents are illiterate and unemployed, having sold all their cattle to pay for family necessities. Mercy's two older sisters have never enrolled in school and were both married off at 12 and 15 years old. All of Mercy's older brothers have their own families, leaving Mercy and her younger brother to live with their elderly parents and one sister who finished secondary school with a scholarship. The children rely entirely on money generated from their mother's traditional Maasai "shukas" (a garment) to eat and live. Realizing that she could not afford secondary school fees, Mercy's mother asked MGEF for help. Awarded a scholarship in 2013, Mercy is able to continue her education.
Motet's mother died giving birth when Motet was a year and a half old. Her father had two other wives who also died. Motet lived with her grandmother, since there were 11 children for her father to support. With an MGEF scholarship, Motet has been able to enroll in school and continue her studies.
Mumini is one of four children living with their unemployed, single mother. As the first-born, Mumini resorted to visiting offices door-to-door in the hopes of sharing her story and gaining support from well-wishers. She has completed grade eight but the lack of higher secondary school fees threaten her hopes of advancing on. In 2016, Mumini found the MGEF Kajiado office and filled out an application. With our support, Mumini will be able to move forward with her schooling.
Namiyo's family lives in extreme poverty. They depend solely on their relatives and neighbors for survival. During her first three years in school, Namiyo suffered from an illness, which was treated by a pediatric neurologist in Nairobi. After three years of medications, provided by MGEF, Namiyo is now very healthy and pursuing an education.
Nancy was born in 2004, the last of six children born to her mother and father (now deceased). Her aunt, who is neither employed nor educated, adopted Nancy at an early age and cleans the AIC child care and rescue centre to support the family. Nancy attends AIC primary school and must walk 7 kilometers to school every day, a risky commute for a young girl. Her aunt is seeking assistance to enroll Nancy in boarding at AIC so that she can attend school without fear.
In 2003, Sopilal was a smart, quiet, well-spoken girl who came to MGEF from a very poor, drought-prone area of Kajiado. Not only did her family lack the means to send her to school, but, as a girl, she was not permitted an education.
Naomi was born on February 3rd, 2003. Her father, who is married to two women with eleven children, is illiterate and does not value education, especially for his daughters. Naomi’s older sister has already been married off and Naomi faces a similar fate if she cannot find supporters for her schooling. She is ranked first in her class of fifty-four students.
Namunyak is the younger sister of Nailepu. Their father does not believe in educating girls, but their mother passionately wanted her daughters to go to school and expressed this wish to everyone she met. Without her husband's support, it was impossible to pay the education costs. MGEF learned about the girls in 2007 from an American woman who had visited Kenya and met their mother.
On January 4, 2016, Napelel was brought to the Maasai Girls Education Fund office in Kajiado, Kenya, by a concerned relative. Napelel is unable to live at home because her father plans to marry her off and force her to undergo FGM. To keep Napelel safe, we immediately enrolled her at the AIC rescue centre.
Neema Patricia was born in 1999 in Enkorika, Kajiado. She was orphaned when her mother died in 2012, and was sent to live with her maternal aunt and her husband. In 2015, her uncle considered her "of age," and was making plans to marry her off against her will. Rescuing her from a forced early marriage, her aunt brought Neema to the MGEF-Kajiado office, and she was given temporary refuge at the nearby Kajiado Adventist Boarding School, where several MGEF-sponsored students already attend. When MGEF President Tracey Pyles met her while visiting other students at the school in June 2015, Neema was invited to appy for an MGEF scholarship, and was officially added to the MGEF roster and to the Kajiado Adventist student body. She is currently in Grade 6, is committed to completing her education, and would like to one day become a lawyer.
Nkamunu is one of thirty-eight children. Her father, now deceased, suffered from a long illness and his medical care drained the family’s resources. The family now relies on the business of burning and selling charcoal to make ends meet. All of Nkamunu’s older sisters were married off to older men, and her brothers demand that she do the same. Nkamunu’s mother has managed to find a rescue home that keeps her daughter safe while she desperately seeks assistance to bring Nkamunu back to school. Thanks to the kindness of a generous supporter, Nkamunu is sponsored as of January 17, 2016.
Nkapili is the eldest of five children in her family. Her father passed away in 2003, and her mother is ill and is unable to care for her children. Nkapili and her siblings rely entirely on an uncle in order to survive. Despite the emotional turmoil at home, Nkapili 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, cannot afford to send Nkapili to secondary school, and thus, submitted an application for assistance from MGEF. Nkapili was accepted, and joined Form 1 in February, 2013.
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.
Peninah was born 1 September 1997 to a father with two wives and a total of nine children. Both of her parents are illiterate, and her family lives in extreme poverty. In April of 2010, Peninah was forced to marry, even though it is illegal in Kenya to marry under the age of 16. Peninah's father forbid her from informing school authorities of the marriage. Friends brought the issue to the head teacher, who informed authorities in the District Education Office. Peninah was rescued and brought to the MGEF Kajiado Office, which raised funds to pay for uniforms and supplies and convinced Kajiado Adventist School to take her. She is now sponsored by MGEF.
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.
Regina's father does not believe in educating girls, and planned to marry her off in 2010, when she was only 12 years old. Regina desperately wanted to go to school, and ran away several times, only to be brought back home under threat that both she and her mother would be sent away forever. However, with the help of an aunt and an MGEF board member, her wish finally came true. At age 12, she enrolled in school for the first time.
Roda is one of ten children from her father's two wives. Both of Roda's parents died when she was 13, leaving her and her siblings in the care of family members. Roda moved to her elderly grandmother's home, where she was able to complete primary school. However, her grandmother cannot afford secondary school fees. Determined to help, Roda's grandmother sought assistance from MGEF. Her application was approved, and Roda began Form 1 in February 2013.