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.
Very committed to her education, Agnes completed Grade 8 despite having to walk 12 kilometers each way from home to school every day. Due to severe drought, her family could not afford to pay for her secondary school education. Though she did very well on her final examinations, she would have been forced to drop out of school. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Agnes was able to enroll at the Noonkopir Girls Secondary School and continue her education.
Orphaned at a young age, Agnes lived for many years with her grandmother, who had neither the money for school fees nor the ability to work. Agnes is now under the guardianship of a Maasai couple with eight other children. Though her adoptive parents wish to send their daughters to school, Agnes and her sisters are often sent home because they cannot pay their school fees. An incredibly motivated student, Agnes dreams of pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. She also strives to become a role model for other orphans and disadvantaged children in her community. With an MGEF scholarship, Agnes has enrolled at St. Clare’s Girls Secondary School.
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.
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 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 in order 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.
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.
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.
Catherine is one of six children living with an unemployed single mother. Her father passed away when she was young, leaving behind two wives and thirteen children. Catherine’s sisters and brothers all went to school as long as possible, but poverty impeded their ability to even afford food, let alone pay their school fees. Despite her passion for learning, Catherine would not have been able to continue her education. However, with a scholarship from MGEF, she is now continuing her studies at Baraka Oontoyie Secondary School.
Charity is the youngest of twelve children. Charity's older sisters were married off by their father at early ages and three were forced to drop out of school. Charity’s father died in 1998 and her mother remains unemployed due to a prolonged illness. An older brother has done his best to provide for Charity and her siblings in addition to his own family, but all of Charity’s brothers are uneducated beyond primary school. An MGEF scholarship has kept Charity in school and she currently attends the Enoomatasiani Girls Secondary School.
Christine'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.
Clare Nkurani is one of twenty children in a polygamous household. Her parents are both illiterate and earn their income solely from selling their cows and goats. Out of desperation for a bridal dowry, Clare was nearly married off after completing Grade 8. Two of Clare’s sisters had already been married off for the same reason. However, with assistance from Foundation Kids to School (FKS), Clare remained in school and finished her secondary studies in 2012. FKS, in partnership with MGEF, continues to sponsor Clare in her post-secondary pursuits. She is eager to continue her education and is studying to be a teacher in order to lift her family out of poverty and achieve her own financial independence.
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.
Dapash is one of nine children in an impoverished and struggling household. With only three goats and a father who is unemployed, the children regularly spend their school breaks working to make ends meet. Dapash’s mother collects firewood daily, carrying it 30 kilometers to and from Tanzania to sell. The little money she earns is used to buy food and can provide little else. In Form 2, Dapash’s education was threatened by her family's poverty. In January of 2016, MGEF granted Dapash a scholarship to continue her education.
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 was born on April 11th, 1993, and is one of twenty-six children in a polygamous family. Only one of her siblings, a brother, finished secondary school. He provides for Elizabeth and the other siblings, as their father is too old to work. Unable to pay for school fees herself, Elizabeth was sponsored by Foundation Kids to School (FKS) and completed secondary school in 2012. In partnership with MGEF, FKS continued to support Elizabeth at the Maasai Technical Training Institute, where she completed her Certificate in Human Resource Management at the end of 2016.
Due to her family's poverty, Elizabeth was raised by her grandmother. Elizabeth helped her grandmother fetch water to pay her school fees but often missed class because she did not have enough money to purchase the required school supplies. Despite having missed many days of school, with the help of her grandmother, Elizabeth was able to complete primary school and score very well on her Kenya Central Primary Exam. Elizabeth is extremely bright and hopes to continue her education to improve her own life and the lives of her family members.
Emily 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.
Emily Saaloi is the daughter of a single mother who sells beads for a living. In 2011, Emily completed her primary school education and scored an impressive 347 on her KCPE exam, a test that determines admission into secondary school. Kabare Girls High School, among the best in the country, invited Emily to enroll. However, due to the financial burden it would place on her family, Emily could not accept. Hearing of her struggle, an MGEF Division Committee member submitted Emily’s name and application for an MGEF scholarship. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Emily began secondary school at the prestigious Kabare Girls High School in February 2012.
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.
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.
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.
Evarlyne's father died in 2008, leaving her mother to provide for the family on her own by selling milk from the family's only cow. In Grade 8, Evarlyne was first in her class and scored high on the national exam. She managed to get enough money from the Community Development Fund to begin Form 1 but had no further support to pay for the rest of the school year. Evarlyne was at great risk of dropping out of school and being married off when MGEF began sponsoring her in May 2011.
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 is one of nine children. Her parents are illiterate and unemployed. In Grade 5, Felister began missing school, performing poorly, and deteriorating in health. Felister's concerned school principal visited her home and upon witnessing the conditions in which she lived and learning her parents intended to arrange for her marriage, he convinced them to let him take responsibility for her. Teachers at Felister's school took care of her needs as she continued her education. In 2012, Felister completed primary school and hoped to advance to secondary school. However, her family was still too poor to pay for her education. In 2013, after being nominated by her primary school principal, Felister received an MGEF scholarship.
Florence belongs to a family of twelve children, all raised by a single mother without any support from their father. The children are entirely dependent on their mother's meager income, earned from making beads and gardening. Though her earnings helped provide for some schooling, Florence's older brother, Sokoine, was forced to drop out of school and began working as a sand harvester to provide for his mother and siblings. The family experienced tragedy when Sokoine was attacked and badly injured at work. He now relies on his mother for care and medicine, an added financial burden to an already struggling family. Florence sought out MGEF in February 2013, and we enthusiastically granted her a scholarship.
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 was one of the first four girls sponsored by MGEF. Neither of her parents could provide financial support for her education. With an MGEF scholarship, Grace completed her secondary school education in 2014 and began a post-secondary degree in 2016.
Grace's father has three wives and eleven children. When Grace was very young, her mother moved to a rural village called Majengo, where she sells vegetables at a local market. After attending a rural primary school, Grace did very well on Kenya's National Test and was accepted into Moi Girls' Secondary School. However, Grace's mother could not afford the school fees. She contacted MGEF, and Grace was promptly granted a scholarship to continue her education.
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.
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.
Since she was a young child, Jackline has been supported solely by her uneducated mother. Without an MGEF scholarship, Jackline would not have been able to attend school. Jackline earned a diploma in Secondary Education from Moi University in 2012. In 2015, she decided to change tracks and started working on a diploma in Insurance.
Jackline’s father 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 is a fourteen your old girl who comes from a family of eleven children. Her father is unemployed, and her mother makes a meager living washing clothes. Both of Jane’s parents have tried to educate their children and have sent them all to school when they were able, or in conjunction with help from well wishers. Jane received very high marks in primary school, but her parents are unable to pay her school fees for secondary school. Determined to continue her studies, Jane contacted one of MGEF’s alumna, who immediately took her to the MGEF Kajiado office to fill out an application. MGEF quickly accepted Jane into the scholarship program, and she started secondary school in January 2018.
Jane's father died when she was very young, leaving her mother to care for six children on her own. The family went to live with Jane's mother's parents, who still had young children of their own to raise. When Jane was brought to MGEF's attention, she was 8 years old and had never been to school. In 2008, Jane was orphaned when her mother died after a brief illness. With an MGEF scholarship, Jane has been able to continue her education in the hopes of lifting her family out of poverty.
Jane 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 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.
Janet is one of 36 children in a household shared between her father and his 5 wives. Both of Janet's parents are illiterate, and the family's only income comes from farming. Eleven of Janet's sisters have already been married off in order for the family to benefit from their dowries. Due to their extreme poverty, none of Janet's siblings have gone on to secondary school, and it seemed inevitable that Janet would have the same fate. However, with a scholarship from MGEF, Janet was able to further her education at Sajiloni Girls Secondary School and is now enrolled at Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology, where she is pursuing her diploma.
Jemimah was born on September 14, 1996. She is the third-born in a family of seven children, four boys and three girls. Both of her parents are illiterate and depend on trading goats to support the family. Her older sister never enrolled in school and was married off at the age of 17. Jemimah was ranked first in her class from grades 5-8, but when she graduated from primary school, her parents wanted to marry her off in order to pay for her older brother's education. Fortunately, with a scholarship from MGEF, Jemimah is able to continue her education.
Jennifer was raised in a farming household by a single mother. While her mother struggled to pay for her primary and secondary education, Jennifer worked hard in school. She earned high scores on her final exams and was accepted to St. Mary's Nursing School in 2015. However, without a scholarship from MGEF, Jennifer would not have been able to pursue the last and most important phase of her education. Now, Jennifer is happily continuing her education at nursing school and is one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming a nurse.
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.
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 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.
Kisajon is the third-born child in a family of 9 children. Her father, a farmer, married off his eldest two daughters in exchange for livestock. Kisajon’s future resembled those of her older sisters until she was brought to the attention of MGEF. Kisajon enrolled in Grade 4 in 2017.
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.
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 is from the Mashuru Division of Kajiado. She was required to stay home for a few years and work to support the family, as her parents did not earn enough money on their own selling charcoal. Lilian is committed to finishing her secondary school education and dreams of attending university.
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.
Lilian was born on May 6th, 1999, and is one of five children. Her mother died during childbirth and as the eldest daughter, Lilian assumed her mother's responsibilities. Though Lilian's father contributes some of his income from selling goats and sheep, she and her siblings are relatively unsupported by their father and live with their grandmother. Other relatives have assisted Lilian as much as possible, but with children of their own, they cannot afford to send her to school. Lilian relies on a scholarship from MGEF to continue her education.
Lilian is the only girl in a family of seven children. She could not go on to secondary school when she completed her primary education because her parents could not afford school fees. Lilian was destined to return home and be married off until an MGEF scholarship changed her future. Lilian graduated from secondary school and went on to earn a certificate in primary school education in 2010. Lilian has received her diploma and is working on a degree.
Linet is one of nine children born to a polygamous father and his two wives. Linet's birth mother supports all five of her biological children on her own with money she earns from doing laundry. Her husband is elderly and unable to work. Linet's mother does not earn enough money to pay for the education of five children. With an MGEF scholarship, Linet is able to remain in school with the hope of eventually helping her family rise out of poverty.
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.
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.
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.
Magdalene's father is unemployed, so she and her three siblings depended on the small income their mother earned by making and selling jewelry. Magdalene began her education at a local primary school, performing so well that a relative paid for her to attend Isinya Primary Boarding School. After she completed primary school, Magdalene had no way to pay for secondary school and stood at great risk of being married off by her father. However, Magdalene's fate changed when she received an MGEF scholarship. Under MGEF's sponsorship, Magdalene graduated from Machakos University College with a certificate in Early Childhood Development. She also completed a diploma from the Maasai Technical Training Institute in Machakos.
Magdaline was enrolled at Baraka Oontoyie High School as a student in Grade 9 but had been in and out of school because her parents could not pay for school. Her parents are farmers and the drought destroyed their livestock, which had been their sole source of income. MGEF granted Magdaline a scholarship in 2016, and she is now continuing her studies.
Margret's father died when she was 10 years old, leaving behind two wives and 11 children. The two wives supported their children by making and selling charcoal in the local market and looking after other families' livestock. Despite their efforts, they could not afford school fees, and all of their children dropped out of school. However, with an MGEF scholarship, Margret was able to graduate from secondary school and has enrolled in a post-secondary program.
Mary is an orphan. Mary’s older brother, who does not earn a consistent income, struggles to help her and her other siblings pay for school. Despite her academic success, Mary feared she would be forced to drop out of school due to her family’s poverty. In 2015, Mary received an MGEF scholarship that guarantees she will be educated for years to come.
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.
Mary is 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 Grade 6. 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. Mary continues to live with her teacher, who helped her through primary school but could not afford secondary school fees. MGEF offered her a scholarship to continue her education, and she has proven to be an excellent student.
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.
Motet's mother died giving birth when Motet was a year and a half old. Her father had two other wives, both of whom died in subsequent years. Because her father had to support 11 other children on his own, Motet lived with her grandmother. With an MGEF scholarship, Motet has been able to enroll in school and continue her studies.
Namiyio's family lives in extreme poverty. They depend on their relatives and neighbors for survival. During her first three years in school, Namiyio suffered from an illness that had to be treated by a pediatric neurologist in Nairobi. After three years of medication, provided by MGEF, Namiyo is now very healthy and committed to continuing her studies.
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.
Nkamunu is one of thirty-eight children. Her father, now deceased, battled an illness for many years, 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 also be married. 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 has been sponsored as of January 17, 2016.
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.
Rhoda is one of ten children from her father's two wives. Both of Rhoda's parents died when she was 13, leaving her and her siblings in the care of family members. Rhoda moved to her elderly grandmother's home, where she was able to complete primary school. However, her grandmother could not afford secondary school fees. Determined to continue Rhoda's education, her grandmother sought assistance from MGEF. Her application was approved, and Rhoda began Grade 9 in February 2013.
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 Sempeyo was one of the first two girls to go to school through the sponsorship of MGEF. Both of her parents are illiterate, and her family is very poor. She is the first girl in her family to enroll in school. Read more about Sempeyo under MGEF History.
Ruth 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 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.
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.
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.
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 four children living with their unemployed single mother. Susan had completed primary school, but her family's poverty threatened her hopes of continuing her education in secondary school. In 2016, Susan found the MGEF Kajiado office and shared her story. With MGEF's support, Susan will be able to continue her studies and provide a better life for herself and her family.
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.
Valerie's father offered no financial support to his family. Valerie's mother left him in 2003 and has since been struggling to support her two daughters by doing whatever household work she can find. MGEF began sponsoring Valerie in January 2011.
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.
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 affect on her mother, who also does not work. Before receiving her MGEF scholarship, Zainab was dependent on the charity of others to continue her education. Zainab had no means of continuing to fund her education and was on the verge of dropping out of school when MGEF began sponsoring her in 2011. Now, Zainab has proven to be a bright, hard-working student and has been one of the top five students in her class every year.