Abigael’s father is married to two wives and has fifteen children. Abigael’s parents are uneducated and unemployed, living with their children in extreme poverty. Because her parents could not afford to send their children to school, Abigael left home in search of a children’s home that might be able to support her dream of an education. In 2015, Abigael secured a scholarship from MGEF and began Grade 6 at the AIC Girls Primary Boarding School.
Abigael is a sixteen year old girl who came to MGEF in 2014. She is the second youngest of six children born in a traditional Maasai family. Her father is polygamous, and her birth mother is the second of three wives. Her father is illiterate and blind, making him unable to work. Her mother, also illiterate, tends to the family’s daily needs and chores. Abigael's older sister was circumcised and married off to an older man in a remote village. Only two months into the marriage, she ran away and remains in hiding. Abigael’s brother did not want the same fate for Abigael because she was a very bright girl and loved school. He believes strongly in the importance of an education, but he could not raise the funds for her to go to boarding school. MGEF accepted Abigael into the scholarship program in 2014, and now, in 2018, she is still thriving and has started secondary school.
Apophia is the youngest in a family of 5. Apophia's family lost all their cows in a severe drought, leaving them with no source of income and barely enough money to pay for even the most basic necessities. Apophia, a smart and driven girl, has been supported by an MGEF scholarship since 2015.
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. Blessing 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, Blessing was removed from her husband’s home early in 2012 and brought to MGEF’s partner rescue center at Kajiado Adventist School to join her half-sister, Nashipae. Nashipae had been rescued a few months prior, just before she, too, was to be forced to marry at age 10. Both girls now attend school with MGEF scholarships, and Blessing is happy to be with her sister again and in the company of other rescue girls, who unfortunately share similar life experiences. Having been removed from preschool to be married, Blessing returned to school as a preschooler in January 2012 and continues to make amazing progress.
Branice comes from a family of ten children. Her mother, who is the second wife to her father, has lost most of her livestock to the draught. The family suffers from severe poverty. She is a very bright girl, who was accepted to the Moi Girls Secondary School Eldoret, but her family was unable to raise the school fees. She was brought to the attention of MGEF and was accepted into our scholarship program January 2017. She now attends school without fear of being sent home due to lack of school fees.
Caroline was 11 years old when she joined MGEF as a sponsored student in January 2015. From the Namanga Division of Kajiado, she is the youngest of 5 siblings in a single-parent household. Caroline missed a lot of school because she could not pay the fees. Despite her obstacle-ridden journey, Caroline demonstrates a tremendous spirit and is eager to learn.
Caroline Senteu Kashinin
Caroline is the third-born of six children. Both of her parents are uneducated and her father does not believe in educating girls, so Caroline's mother took her to school. Caroline was a very bright student and paid for secondary school with scholarships she received. After high school, MGEF took responsibility for her education. Caroline graduated from college in December 2008. Caroline's father divorced her mother when she refused to have more children, and Caroline is now the sole support of her mother and two younger siblings. In January 2011, Caroline enrolled at Kenya Methodist University to pursue a degree in nursing. She graduated in August 2013. Caroline currently serves as a facilitator for the MGEF Life Skills and Mentoring Workshops and runs her own health program, AID Village Clinics, in her home village of Loitoktok. Caroline was accepted to medical school the spring of 2017. She started her classes in September 2017.
Christine's father abandoned the family when Christine was very young, and her mother earns a meager living selling beads. Their only cow- a form of currency for the Maasai- died during a severe drought, and the family’s goats were sold to pay school fees. When all the livestock had been sold, Christine could no longer afford to attend school. However, after being granted an MGEF scholarship at the beginning of 2016, Christine will be able to realize her dream of being educated.
Cynthia belongs to a family of seven children. Her father cannot work due to a disability, and her mother spends most of her time taking care of him. Cynthia is bright, determined, and eager to succeed in secondary school with the kindness and generosity of a sponsor.
Diana is a 10 year old girl from the Magadi division of Kenya. She has 3 sisters from her mother and 5 brothers from her father's first wife. Diana's father does not like her mother because she has not given him any sons. He is unemployed and has no money for school fees. Neither he nor his sons believe in the value of an education, especially for girls. Diana has managed to attend school through class three by acquiring the school fees from well-wishers. MGEF took Diana on last year because she was unable to obtain school fees, and her father threatened to marry her off. She is a very bright girl who loves math and wants to be an engineer.
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. Because of her family's financial struggles, an older cousin took Diana in and enrolled her in preschool at the AIC Child Centre in Kajiado. Her required school uniform and school supplies were purchased with the help of contributions from friends. However, the older cousin was also struggling to support her own family and did not have the resources to pay Diana’s school fees. An MGEF scholarship assures Diana an education and the limitless opportunities it can provide.
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.
Doris is one of nine children born to an unemployed father and his two wives. One of Doris' sisters has already been forced to drop out of school, undergo FGM, and marry at the age of thirteen. Doris’ family subsists only on the meager 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 lift her mother, grandmother, and siblings out of poverty.
Elizabeth came to MGEF in 2016 as an eight-year-old orphan living with her elderly grandparents. Facing extreme poverty and dependent on her aunts and uncles for basic necessities, Elizabeth would have been forced to drop out of school. A gifted singer and ambitious student, Elizabeth is now able to attend school on an MGEF scholarship.
Emily is the youngest of seven children. Her parents both died when Emily was 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 tried to provide for Emily as well as her own children, her resources were stressed. Because of her sister's poverty, upon reaching the age of 10, Emily would have been at risk of forced FGM and an arranged marriage. Instead, with an MGEF scholarship, she is safe and attending boarding school at the Emurkea Boarding Primary School.
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.
Grace’s father was married to two wives and had 10 children. In 2011, he died from HIV/AIDS. The wives he left behind struggle to make ends meet and can no longer pay for their children’s education. Furthermore, they were both diagnosed with HIV and are currently on medication. Due to these urgent circumstances, Grace dropped out of school in Grade 5. Grace is now in school on an MGEF scholarship, and she's working to realize her dream of being educated in order to lift herself and her family out of poverty.
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.
Esther is a 10 year old girl, who comes from a very large family. Her father has four wives and Esther has 28 siblings. The family was doing well for many years, but during the long drought they lost all of their livestock and are now unable to put food on the table. Esther's mother started to go to a nearby neighbor asking for food. The neighbor obliged, but eventually had to say she could not continue to feed them. The mother then brought Esther to the girls boarding school, where her neighbor teaches, and said that she could not take the girl back home because she fears she will starve to death, and can she make her a house maid. Esther is very bright girl, so the teacher convinced the school to accept her until she could find a scholarship for her. The teacher came to MGEF and filled out an application. Esther was accepted to MGEF in June 2018.
Esther was born in 1999 and is the oldest of six children. Her family is extremely poor and depends on relatives to survive. Esther was brought to MGEF's attention by a local area chief and now attends Moi Girls Secondary School under an MGEF scholarship.
Esther is a 12 year old girl, who was born into a typical polygamist Maasai family, with her mother being the second wife. Her father’s first wife had three boys and Masiyio, Esthers mother, had two girls and one boy. Unfortunately, Esther’s father and mother both died from HIV related issues, leaving her and her siblings in the care of her grandmother. The grandmother struggles to put food on the table and cannot continue to pay for Esther school fees. Esther was brought to the attention of the local board member and was brought in to fill out an application in the fall of 2018. She was just accepted into the program May of 2019.
Eunice belongs to a family of five siblings, four girls and one boy. Eunice’s father died in 2016 from HIV/AIDS, and her mother struggles to support the family with a job that does not pay enough to send her children to school. Two of Eunice’s sisters have already been married off due to a lack of school fees. Eunice’s uncle, who has been paying for her education, is the only person preventing this fate for Eunice. However, due to financial hardships of his own, he fears he may no longer be able to pay for his niece’s education. Currently a high-performing student in Grade 7 at Orine Primary School, Eunice is working towards her dream of becoming a nurse.
Evaline’s father married 3 wives and supports 22 children. In primary school, Evaline was a hardworking student who performed well academically. Because her family was unable to pay for secondary school, Evaline was forced to leave school in 2014. In 2016, after her father sold the family’s only cow to pay for school fees, Evaline managed to join the Olooseos Secondary School to continue her studies. However, due to her family’s poverty, Evaline was in danger of marriage. After joining MGEF, Evaline is now getting the education she and her family worked so hard for.
Everline’s parents support 16 children. They earn their living by selling charcoal, which provides barely enough to feed the family. Due to her family’s poverty, Everline feared she would no longer be able to afford to pay for school. Everline is now in school and continuing her educational journey.
Faith is a 17 year old girl, who comes from polygamist family of three wives and 13 children with seven brothers and five sisters. Faith is the only girl to have gone to school out of all of her sisters with only one brother managed to make it through primary school. Three of the five sisters have been married off. Faith’s father is unemployed and her mother works odd jobs when they are available. Faith’s mother has tried very hard to put her to school because she believes in Faith and thinks she will be the person to bring the family out of severe poverty. Faith graduated from primary school in 2014, and her mother worked very hard to put her through form one of secondary school. She had to drop out of school after form one because her mother could not find the tuition money for form two. Faith went home to a very harsh life of severe poverty, where the family often went through several days without food.
Faith comes from a very poor polygamist family of 21 children and had never gone to school. She has 10 brothers and 10 sisters. Her mother is one of three wives and has three boys as well as Faith and her sister. Her younger brother was severely handicapped with cerebral palsy and Faith was assigned at an early age to take care of him. Her mother took Faith’s little brother to a rescue center that takes care of handicapped children. The rescue center is also a school, although Faith’s brother was not able to attend classes due to the severity of his illness.
Faith belongs to a family of nine children and neither of her parents are employed. Two of her sisters dropped out of school due to pregnancy and were married off immediately. Another sister dropped out of school because her family could not afford to pay the 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 and joined MGEF as a sponsored student. Faith dreams of becoming a nurse.
With an MGEF scholarship, Faith began Class 5 at AIC Primary School and is now in Class 8. She hopes to become a teacher when she completes her schooling.
Felister belongs to a family of 11 children. Her father is the only financial support for the family and struggles to pay for even the most basic necessities. To add further financial strain to the family, Felister’s father is chronically ill and must dedicate a portion of his income to medical expenses. Though Felister is determined to continue her education, Felister’s family’s extreme poverty has frequently left her unable to pay for school fees. Felister is seeking your support to attend secondary school and continue her studies.
Flora is a 14 year old girl who comes from a very poor family. Her father is deceased and her mother does odd jobs to put bread on the table. They have no livestock except a couple of calves. Her uncles decided to marry Flora in order to receive some cows, but her mother brought her to a local rescue center that is also a school. The rescue centers can only keep these girl for so long and Flora eventually reached her limit. She was to be sent home, but her teacher pleaded with the school authorities to keep her in school.
Florence is a 16 year old girl, who comes from a polygamist family. Her father has 5 wives and 35 children. Florence is the youngest of her mothers 10 children. She did well in primary school and was accepted to secondary school along with two of her step sisters. Her father favored the other two sisters and refused to pay her school fees. He told her to wait her turn, when his situation allows him to pay her school fees. Then the drought came and he lost a lot of cattle and decided to have her undergo FGM and early marriage. Local chief Caro (a female chief from Ilbissil area) arrived during the negotiation of marriage, just in time to rescue Florence. Chief Caro decided to bring her to MGEF to fill out an application. MGEF accepted her into the family June 2018.
Florence and her sister Namelok come from a polygamist family with three wives and sixteen children. Her father is very old and her mother, who is an alcoholic, has left their home to sell alcohol in a nearby town. The two sisters have been leaving with an older step brother. Florence was invited to come to her step brothers in-laws house one evening, where she learned she was to be married off for a dowry of $300 and some sugar. Her uncle, who is a pastor and very poor, gave her 100 shilling ($1), and said to run to her mothers place. Her mother did not want them and told her to go to her uncle's place. Her younger sister told her school teacher what was happening and why she was not in school. Her teacher told the local police and chief. Since the marriage had not taken place there was nothing the police could do.
Francina's mother is single and unemployed, struggling daily to support her family. Often, Francina was forced to stay home from school because she could not pay her fees. In 2016, Francina received an MGEF scholarship to continue her education.
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.
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.
Hillary is an orphan, raised with her older brother by their grandparents. Hillary’s father passed away when she was 4 years old and her mother when she was 6 years old, leaving Hillary to rely on extended family to support her education. Hillary successfully completed primary school in late 2015 and began secondary school in 2016.
Hillary was left in the care of her grandparents when she was a year old. Hillary continues to live with her grandparents, who are very poor and still have their own children at home to care for. In January of 2011, when Hillary's grandparents could no longer afford to send her to school, MGEF began supporting Hillary's education.
Irine’s parents are uneducated and unemployed. Her father depends on selling firewood to provide for his ten children. Due to her family’s poverty, Irine was the only one of her siblings to enroll in school. When Irine’s mother discovered her father had plans to arrange for her marriage, she approached MGEF for help. With an MGEF scholarship, Irine was enrolled at the Kajiado Adventist School, where she will be able to realize her dream of being educated without fear of an early marriage.
Ivone is a 11 year old girl, who comes from a very poor family. She is the youngest of three, with two older brothers. Neither her father or her mother have an education. Her father does odd jobs and her mother must stay home with Ivone's older brother, who is disabled and in a wheel chair, donated by a local charity. The family has survived thru the help of well wishers, but Ivone's education is becoming increasingly too much for them to handle and the school claimed that their debt was becoming too high to ignore. Ivonne dreams of becoming a pilot and flying all over the world. MGEF accepted Ivonne in June of 2018.
Ivy's family lives a traditional Maasai life, dependent on their 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 to keep their three school-aged children in school. Thanks to an MGEF scholarship, Ivy is guaranteed an education.
Jackline’s father has four wives and many children. He is blind, limiting his capacity to work, and completely neglects Jackline’s mother and her children. Jackline's mother is uneducated and does not earn a steady income, making it very difficult to support her children. When Kenya imposed new regulations for attendance at school, Jackline and her sisters were given the opportunity to receive an education. However, the family’s extreme poverty made it impossible to pay for school. After receieving an MGEF scholarship in 2014, Jackline is continuing her studies. She hopes to use her education to lift her family out of poverty.
Jane 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. He is opposed to education in general, 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 in Grade 4. Jane was to be married at age 10, but she was rescued by women activists and brought to the Kajiado Adventist School's rescue center. Her sister, Blessing, was married off at the age of nine, but she was rescued by the same activist group eight months later. Now both sisters are together in school under MGEF scholarships and protected from the threat of child marriage.
Jane is an 11 year old girls, who lost both her mother and father, in separate incidences, five years ago. Her father in a motorcycle accident and her mother in child birth. Jane and her brother were taken in by a local church and have stayed with the church clerk up until now. Both Jane and her brother are academically talented. Her brother has been awarded a scholarship to secondary school. The church is in search of a scholarship for Jane as well, because they do not know how much longer they can afford her school fees. The church clerk brought Jane to one of our MGEF's board members and asked for assistance. Jane was accepted into the MGEF Scholarship Program January 2019.
Jane Tulasha is the youngest in a family of seven. Jane's 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 belongs to a family of 13 children and has been forced to work to provide for her family. Through education, Janet hopes to lift herself and her family out of poverty.
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 is a 11 year old girl who comes from a very large poverty stricken family. Her father had six wives and 38 children before he passed due to illness, leaving behind medical bills that the family struggles to pay. All of Josephine's sisters have been married off to older men because the family was unable to feed them. Josephine showed a real interest in an education, and her mother tried to send her to first grade, but she lost her cows in the drought and now just relies on selling charcoal for food for her children. Her mother came to the office desperate for assistance, as she knew she would have to marry off Josephine in order for the family and Josephine to survive. MGEF accepted Josephine in January 2016. She now can concentrate on her studies without the worries of school fees, FGM, and early marriage.
Yiamoi was pledged in marriage at the age of two. She 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 was unable to repay. The community agreed to raise the money to repay the debt so that Yiamoi could escape the marriage and 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 hardworking daughter.
Joy's father is a minister in a sparsely populated area. His family is completely dependent on parishoners who can barely support their own families' needs. An MGEF scholarship has guaranteed Joy the opportunity to lift herself and her family out of poverty through education.
Joy’s mother is a widow who struggles to keep food on the table for her six children. Due to lack of income, she was forced to marry off her oldest daughter at the end of primary school. An MGEF-Kajiado Board member who knows the family was concerned that Joy, an ambitious and bright 11-year old, would also be married off. The Board member brought Joy to the MGEF-Kajiado office to fill out a scholarship application. Joy was accepted as a Scholarship recipient in May 2019 and she is thrilled to be joining the MGEF family as a Class 4 student at AIC Girls Primary Boarding School.
Joynice’s father is married to 3 wives and has 21 children. Joynice's father has already forced five of her sisters to drop out of school and get married. Despite doing well on her exams, Joynice faced the same fate. In June 2016, Joynice joined MGEF as a sponsored student and is now continuing her education without fear of an early marriage.
Judith is a ten-year-old girl who comes from a family of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. Her family makes a meager living selling cows, but due to the drought, the family is down to two cows. Her mother, who has tried to send her children to school, can no longer pay Judith’s school fees. The school sent Judith home, and her mother came to MGEF to ask for assistance. MGEF accepted Judith, and she started 4th Grade in January 2018.
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.
Kureti has no relationship with her father, and her stepfather left her in the care of her grandmother and uncle. Her uncle must support his own family along with Kureti and her grandmother. The family's only source of income, insufficient to cover Kureti's school fees, comes from selling charcoal and harvesting sand. After receiving an MGEF scholarship, Kureti is able to continue her studies at AIC Girls Primary School.
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.
Laureen is a six year old girl, who comes from a very poor family. She has two older sisters and one younger brother. Her parents believe in educating their children, but simply cannot afford it. Her father drives cattle to the market place for a living and her mother does not work. Both of her parents only have a primary school education. Her father's job doesn't pay very well and he struggles to put food on the table. The family must often depend on well wishers for basic needs. They have managed to put Laureen's two older sisters into a local primary school, but they are often sent home due to lack of school fees.
Leah is one of twelve children in her family. Her father, a farmer, cultivates the land for a living, and her mother sells milk and harvests sand. Leah's parents 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. A bright little girl who could never afford boarding school fees nor safely walk to the closest day school 13 kilometers away, Leah was nominated for an MGEF scholarship in early 2016. She now attends the Adams Academy and MGEF will provide her with all she needs to complete school and realize her dreams.
Lilian’s father, who was the breadwinner of his family, abandoned his family in 2010. The two wives he left behind struggle to make ends meet for their children. To make matters even worse, Lilian’s mother and a few of her siblings are HIV positive and are at great risk of developing AIDS. Without MGEF’s assistance, Lilian’s educational journey would have been cut short. However, as an MGEF scholarship recipient, she is now looking forward to many more years of learning.
Linet 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 selling livestock, a trade affected by long droughts and dry seasons. Faced with financial instability, Linet sought support from MGEF in early 2016 in order to attend secondary school.
Litei is a very smart 14 year old girl, who comes from a small family of two brothers. Both of her parents are farmers and have managed to send all of their three children to school up until now. Litei's uncle passed away leaving her father responsible for his brother's family also. He still managed to keep both families going and the kids in school. Litei did very well in primary school, receiving very high marks on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam and was excited to be accepted to a very good national school for her secondary education. Unfortunately in the fall of 2018, her father was diagnosed with kidney disease and now the family struggles to afford his medication and medical bills. He can no longer pay the school fees for Litei, so he came to one of our board members to ask for assistance. He is very proud of his daughter, and feels she is too smart to not continue her education. The board member brought Litei to MGEF where she was accepted into the scholarship program. She started classes at her new school this January 2019.
Loise is a fourteen year old girl who comes from a very large family. Her father has three wives and 26 children. He is an older man and does not have the means to support the children’s education. Only four boys and two girls have attended school out of the 26 children, their fees paid by their mother, aunt, and well-wishers. Eventually these six siblings had to drop out of school due to lack of school fees. Loise's father removed her from school when she was just in class three. He wanted her to help take care of the cattle, but her main job has been to care for him. She dreamt of going back to school and continued to ask her father, but he would not allow it. Desperate to reach her goal of an education, Loise ran away from her home to her cousin’s house, who lives near the town of Kajiado. She was rescued by a chief and brought to MGEF to ask for assistance, and we accepted her application. Due to the lack of funds causing her past spotty attendance, her new school started her in Class 1 in January 2018.
Lornah is one of 15 children born to one of her father's three wives. Her mother is uneducated. Lornah's father does not believe in educating girls and 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 Lornah at high risk of an early marriage. Lornah is able to go to school and avoid the fate of her elder sister with a scholarship from MGEF.
Lucy is 17 year old girl who comes from a family of eight children, three boys and five girls. The family is very poor and has struggled to send both girls and boys to school. Lucy's oldest sister was married off after primary school, and her second sister was denied any education due to lack of school fees, which went to her older brother. Lucy has attended school sporadically, often being sent home due to lack of school fees. Her mother came to the MGEF office in September 2017 to ask for assistance with Lucy's education. She spent the entire day in the office. When the staff finally asked why she had not returned home, she informed them that she had no money for transportation back. The staff gave her the small fee from petty cash and informed her that MGEF had accepted her daughter into their sponsorship program. Lucy is now able to attend school and reach for her dream without the fear of being sent home.
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.
harvester and her mother does not work. They have few animals, two cows and five goats. Lucy’s parents believe in educating their children, but do not have the money to pay the school fees. Lucy is a very bright girl therefore well wishers raised her school fees through primary school, with her grandmother buying supplies through her small bead making business. Lucy scored very well on her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, but her family nor the well wishers were able to acquire the school fees for her to go to secondary School. Lucy’s parents, desperate for her to continue in secondary school, brought her to the MGEF office to apply for a scholarship. Lucy was accepted as a Scholarship student in May 2019 and is currently enrolled in Form 1 at Kathiani Girls High School.
Lydia 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 and too dangerous for Lydia to walk to the closest public day school. Neither parent is employed, and Lydia's two brothers attend public schools with help from an aunt. A scholarship from MGEF has enabled Lydia to begin classes at boarding school in January 2012.
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.
Mary is an eighteen year old girl, who lives with her single mom and 2 siblings. Mary's life has been one of violence as her father is an abusive man with a drug and alcohol problem. When Mary was a young girl, her mother left her father because of the violence but later returned to him. Finally, she left him for good when he threatened to kill her with a knife. Her mother does odd jobs to support the three children. She has tried to keep them in school but most of the time is unable to pay the school fees.
Mary is an eight year old girl who come from a polygamous family. She is one of eleven children, with six brothers and four sisters. She is a very bright girl but spends most of her time at home due to lack of school fees. Her mother does odd jobs to provide food for the family and her father is physically handicapped, which makes him unable to work. The family suffers from extreme poverty, and what little education Mary has received as been provided by well-wishers. Two of her sisters have already undergone FGM and have been married off, and her mother fears Mary will suffer the same fate very soon. Mary and her mother visited the office in January 2017 to ask for assistance, and she was accepted into the MGEF family. Mary is now attending school without fear of being married off.
Mercy is currently in Grade 8 at Ishale Day and Boarding School. Mercy’s mother is widowed and cannot provide financial support for all her children; thus, Mercy was taken in by a relative. Having seen her sisters be married after completing primary school, Mercy worries her fate will be the same. Mercy is seeking support to continue her education beyond primary school and avoid an early marriage.
Mercy and her sister are supported by their mother, who struggles to find work due to a physical disability. She came to MGEF in hopes that a scholarship would help Mercy avoid an early marriage. Despite her challenges at home, Mercy shines as a boarding student at the AIC Girls Primary School, supported by her sponsors, the MGEF office, and her fellow students.
Mercy is an exceptional student. Earning 378 marks out of 500 when she sat for the KCPE exam in 2015, Mercy hoped to advance to secondary school. However, both of her parents are unemployed and could not afford to support her education. In 2016, MGEF accepted Mercy as a scholarship recipient. Determined to succeed in school, Mercy dreams of becoming a doctor.
Mercy belongs to a family of eleven children. Her parents are illiterate and unemployed, having sold all of their cattle to pay for family necessities. Mercy's two older sisters 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 alone with their elderly parents and a sister. The children rely entirely on money generated from their mother's traditional Maasai "shukas" to eat and live. Awarded an MGEF scholarship in 2013, Mercy is now able to continue her education.
Moombi is a 12 year old girl from a polygamist family. Her father has three wives and 20 children. Moombi's mother was the third wife and was badly mistreated by the husband. Eventually Moombi's grandmother brought her daughter and her four children home to live with her. Moombi's grandmother is the soul bread winner with odd jobs and it is a struggle for her to put food on the table.
Namelok is an 11 year girl who comes from a family of six children. The children lost their father this year due to illness, leaving their mother struggling to make ends meet. Namelok's mother doesn't have a job, but she fetches water and sells it to her neighbors, enabling her to feed the children. The children sometimes stay with their grandmother, who also struggles to put food on the table. The family believes in education but is now unable to afford school fees. Their grandmother came to the office to ask for assistance. Namelok was accepted to the MGEF Scholarship program January 2018.
Namelok and her sister Florence come from a polygamist family with three wives and sixteen children. Their father is very old and their mother, who is an alcoholic, has left them and their home to sell alcohol in a nearby town. The two sisters have been living with an older step brother. The sisters learned that they were both to undergo FGC and be married off very soon. Her uncle, who is a pastor and very poor, gave them 100 shilling ($1), and said to run to their mothers place. Their mother did not want them and told them to go to their uncle's place. Namelok told her school teacher what was happening and why she was not in school. Her teacher told the local police and chief. Since the marriage had not taken place there was nothing the police could do. The chief contacted the local MGEF Board member, who immediately brought both girls to the Kajiado office. The girls were both given sponsorships and both were taken to AIC Girls Primary school. Namelok was enrolled in class 2 in May 2019.
Nancy was born in 2004, the last of six children born to her mother and late father. 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 attended AIC Primary School and walked 7 kilometers to school each way, a risky commute for a young girl. With an MGEF scholarship, Nancy was enrolled in boarding school at AIC and now attends school without fear of her commute.
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.
Naomi was born on February 3, 2003. Her father, who is married to two women and supports eleven children, is illiterate and does not value education, especially for his daughters. Naomi’s older sister was married off, and Naomi faced a similar fate without supporters for her schooling. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Naomi is able to continue her education without fear of an early marriage. She is now ranked first in her class of fifty-four students.
On January 4, 2016, Napelei was brought to the MGEF office in Kajiado by a concerned relative. Napelei is unable to live at home because her father plans to marry her off and force her to undergo FGM. To keep Napelei safe, MGEF enrolled her at the AIC Girls Primary School and provided a scholarship that would enable her to continue her education.
Nayieyo is a 14 year old girl who comes from a polygamist family. Her father has two wives and she has six siblings and five step siblings. Neither the father nor the wives are employed and the family only has six cows and six goats. Nayieyo's 11 year old brother has multiple disabilities, which is a hardship for the family. Nayieyo's mother believes in education and has managed to find well wisher to help her pay school fees so her children could attend primary school. Unfortunately, the family cannot afford secondary school for Nayieyo even though she did very well in primary school and scored very high on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Exam (KCPE).
Neema is an eight year old girl who comes from an impoverished family of five children. The family fell into desperate times in 2016 when they lost what livestock they had due to sudden torrential rains. In January 2019 Debora's father ran away, abandoning the family. Debora's mother felt he left due to the frustration of not being able to support his family. Debora's older brothers had to drop out of school and they and their mother go to local farms looking for casual labor in order to put food on the table. Debora's mother believes in education and struggled to send all of her children to school. In the family's present situation, she is no longer able to afford school fees.
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.
Pascaline’s mother separated from her husband over his misuse of alcohol and has since received no support from him for her children. Pascaline’s maternal grandparents and uncle have been providing her family with the most basic necessities and money for school. Though Pascaline’s uncle has been able to protect her from FGM and early marriage by supporting her education through primary school, he may no longer be able to pay her school fees. Pascaline, who dreams of becoming a lawyer, is seeking support to continue her studies in secondary school.
Patricia was born in 1999 in Enkorika, Kajiado. When her mother died in 2012, Patricia was orphaned and sent to live with her maternal aunt and her husband. In 2015, her uncle arranged for her marriage against her will. Rescuing Patricia from this forced marriage, her aunt brought her to MGEF's Kajiado office, and she was given temporary refuge at the nearby Kajiado Adventist School. In June 2015, Patricia was officially added to the MGEF roster and to the Kajiado Adventist student body. Patricia is committed to completing her education and dreams of becoming a lawyer.
Rebecca’s father is married to 4 wives and has 32 children in total. The drought in Kenya hurt the family significantly, and Rebecca’s father was forced to marry off two of his daughters in order to keep the family afloat. In 2010, Rebecca dropped out of school due to pregnancy. Her father decided to arrange for her marriage because her dowry would support the family. In order to escape this fate, Rebecca ran away from home to a rescue center. With an MGEF scholarship, Rebecca is now safe from an early marriage and guaranteed an education.
Regina's father does not believe in educating girls and arranged for her marriage in 2010, when she was only 12 years old. Regina desperately wanted to go to school and ran away from home several times, only to be brought back home under the 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 dream of an education finally came true. At age 12, Regina enrolled in school for the first time under MGEF's sponsorship.
Ropian's parents struggle to provide even the most basic needs for their children. Due to her family's poverty, Ropian was not be able to attend school. In September 2016, MGEF enrolled Ropian in kindergarten.
Rose is a thirteen year old girl who comes from a family of four. She, her three siblings, and her mother live with their grandmother, because Rose’s father chased her mother and the children away. Her grandmother is very poor, and her mother struggles to keep food on the table. Rose was taken out of school last year due to lack of school fees. The local chief came to her house and told her mother that she must send Rose to school, but she was unable to afford it. She brought Rose to MGEF to ask for assistance. MGEF accepted Rose into the scholarship program, and she started class 4 this past January.
Ruth is the first-born of four children. Her father is poorly educated, having only completed the fourth grade, and serves the community as an unpaid preacher. Because she lived 10 kilometers away from the nearest school, Ruth often arrived late to class, impeding her ability to learn at the same level as her fellow students. Her father, unable to pay for boarding school himself, sought the assistance of Kajiado Adventist School's principal, and Ruth's story was then presented to MGEF. Ruth has been sponsored by MGEF since Grade 3.
Ruth is one of twenty-three children born in a polygamous household. Ruth’s mother took her ten children and chose to raise them on her own, despite being unemployed and illiterate. Ruth enrolled in school for the first time at the age of 10, walking six kilometers each way. Ruth immediately excelled as a student and ended her first year at the top of her class. Despite her evident talent, Ruth’s mother was intent on marrying her off at the age of 14 in order to relieve the family's extreme poverty. After running away from home several times, she came to the attention of MGEF, and Ruth is now back in school with dreams of becoming a doctor.
Sandra is a 11 years old girl, who lives with her grandmother. Sandra's mother abandoned her at her grandmothers house when she was only six months old, only to recently return. Sandra's grandmother struggles to put food on the table and now with the return of Sandra's mother, and another mouth to feed, she is afraid she will no longer be able to pay her granddaughters schools fees. One of the MGEF Kajiado board members brought Sandra to the MGEF office, very concerned about Sandra's future. A space opened in June 2018 and Sandra was accepted into MGEF's scholarship program.
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 belongs to a big family; her father married three wives and has 21 children in total. Though Sarah’s mother supports the education of her daughters, Sarah’s father does not support their education. Due to this disagreement, he sent away Sarah’s mother and siblings. All of them went to stay with their uncle. In the spring of 2016, Sarah’s uncle expressed his support for her to undergo FGM. Sarah’s mother and elder sister helped Sarah escape and find refuge at the AIC Rescue Centre, where she continues to stay today. Currently in Grade 8, Sarah is now working hard in school to realize her dream of being educated.
Sasha is a 12 year old girl who was born to single mother. She and her brother were neglected by their father all of their lives. He eventually chased her mother and the children from their home. Sasha's mother took the children home to live with her parents. Sasha's grandfather died three years ago. At this point, her mother started working odd jobs to put food on the table. She tried to send the children to school, but they were often sent home due to lack of school fees.
Sein is the youngest of her 9 siblings. All of Sein’s older sisters were married off by their father between the ages of 12 and 15 because he saw no need for them to be educated. Sein’s mother worked odd jobs in order to gather enough money to send her to school. However, after her mother’s death in September of 2016, Sein was forced to drop out of school by her father as he arranged for her marriage. Sein was ultimately saved from this fate after her unsafe situation was reported to the chief of her division. Now, Sein is working to realize her dream of being educated.
Seleyian is a fourteen year old girl whose brother contacted MGEF in the spring of 2017. Her brother was desperate to keep his little sister in school. He had been supporting her education but had lost his job and was no longer able to send her to school. He was afraid his sister would be married off. In his search for help, he found us on Facebook and messaged us. He was told to contact the MGEF Kajiado office, which he immediately did. He came in and filled out the application and continued to be in contact for the results. Seleyian is a very bright girl and does very well in school. Her brother’s persistence impressed us all, as did Seleyian, when he brought her to the 2017 Mentoring workshop that was held at the beginning of December. We are happy to welcome Seleyian into the MGEF Scholarship Program and are also very pleased to have her brother as an advocate for girl’s education in the Maasai community. She began grade 7 in January 2018.
Sian is an eight year old girl who comes from a family of six children. She has four brothers and one sister. Her father was killed in an auto accident in 2012, leaving their mother to provide for the family on her own by selling firewood. Sian's only sister was removed from school when she was in class seven and married off at the age of 15. Sian’s mother brought her into the MGEF office last September 2017, asking for assistance with Sian's education. She feared she would have to marry her off because she is unable to pay her school fees and is struggling just to keep her and the other children fed. MGEF accepted Sian into our Scholarship Program, and she started class three in January 2018.
Silantoi is a 13 year old girl from a polygamist family of two mothers and 12 children. Silantoi’s father works as a school watchman, but brings home a meager $30 a month salary. He has already married off four of his older daughters, two of which never attended school. Now he has changed his thinking and with his small salary has managed to send the other eight children to school. With three in high school this year, he is stretched to the limit and feels he cannot support the school fees much longer. The local MGEF-Kajiado Board member heard of Silantoi’s family and their plight and brought her to fill out an application. MGEF accepted Silantoi to their Scholarship program May 2019.
Silvia was born to a father with three wives and a total of 18 children. The family sells milk and prepares tea one day a week to sell at the market. Silvia's father, who is unemployed, married off Silvia's sisters at early ages for their dowries. Silvia faced the same fate until MGEF began funding her education in September 2010.
Sinore came to MGEF in 2016. Her father is married to two women and neglects Sinore’s mother and her children. The family relies completely upon the meager income Sinore’s mother earns from washing her neighbors’ clothes. With an MGEF scholarship, Sinore is able to continue her education.
Sipilon is a 11 year girl who comes from a family of six children. The children lost their father this year due to illness, leaving their mother struggling to make ends meet. Sipilon mother doesn't have a job, but she fetches water and sells it to her neighbors, enabling her to feed the children. The children sometimes stay with their grandmother, who also struggles to put food on the table. The family believes in education, but is now unable to afford school fees. Their grandmother came to the office to ask for assistance. Sipilon was accepted to the MGEF Scholarship program January 2018.
For years, Sophia was forced to live with her grandmother, as her stepfather refused to take care of her. Now, she lives with her aunt. Poverty has kept Sophia out of school, but with an MGEF scholarship, she can receive the education she deserves.
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.
Valerie, one of three children, began her schooling in 2016 at the Full Gospel Academy. Valerie’s mother is unemployed and her father is a pastor who depends on church tokens for his income. Because Valerie's father's income is so unsteady, Valerie's parents worry they will not be able to pay for her school. Valerie joined the MGEF family last year and is now continuing her education.
Vivian is a 14 year old girl who comes from polygamy family with nine children. Vivian's parents are not employed and cannot read or write. They rely on a few goats and sheep to survive. The local chief found Vivian herding the goats and asked her why she was not in school. He spoke with her parents and found out she did very well in primary school, but that they could not afford to send her to secondary school. Vivian is a very smart girl and the chief felt she should be in school. The chief brought her to a board member, who brought her into the office to fill out an application. Vivian was accepted into MGEF's Scholarship Program January 2019. She now goes to school without fear of being sent home due to lack of school fees.
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.
Yiamat is a 8 year girl who comes from a family of six children. The children lost their father this year due to illness, leaving their mother struggling to make ends meet. Yiamat mother doesn't have a job, but she fetches water and sells it to her neighbors, enabling her to feed the children. The children sometimes stay with their grandmother, who also struggles to put food on the table. The family believes in education, but is now unable to afford school fees. Their grandmother came to the office to ask for assistance. Yiamat was accepted to the MGEF Scholarship program January 2018.
Zainab’s father suffers from an illness that prevents him from working and forces the family to dedicate a large portion of their income to his medical expenses. Her father’s illness has a profound psychological effect on her mother, who also does not work. Before receiving her MGEF scholarship, Zainab was dependent on the charity of others for school fees through grade four. By grade five, Zainab had no means to continue her education and was on the verge of dropping out of school when MGEF began sponsoring her in 2011. Zainab did well through primary and secondary school. In the autumn of 2019, she was accepted to AMREF International University to study nursing.