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 2014, Abigael secured a scholarship from MGEF and began Grade 6 at the Rombo Girls Boarding School.
Abigail belongs to a family of twelve children. Her father did not provide any financial support to his family. Abigael’s mother sold firewood to make a living, but earned less than a dollar per day. In January 2002, Abigael became MGEF’s first student to attend Loitokitok Primary School. She graduated from St. Clare Girls’ Secondary School in 2011 and is currently studying Community Development and Social Work at Mount Kenya University.
Just after Agnes completed Grade 6, her final year of primary school, her father arranged for her marriage. Agnes was saved by an MGEF scholarship when a local Maasai chief opposed the marriage and brought her to MGEF’s attention. Agnes had been an excellent student in primary school. Recognizing her potential, the chief intervened on her behalf. Agnes is now studying at the Maasai Mara University.
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.
Both of Ann's parents are illiterate and her father does not believe in educating girls. Still, Ann completed primary school in 2010, scoring higher on the national test than any other girl in her school. After her outstanding performance, Ann was admitted to Barak Oontoyie Secondary School, an institution that accepts only the brightest students. Ann managed to raise enough money to pay for her first year but because her family could not afford to continue funding her studies, Ann was faced with the imminent end to her education. Thankfully, she received an MGEF scholarship. Ann completed secondary school and is now studying Commerce at the University of Nairobi, where she will graduate in 2019.
Annet Nakae is one of seven children born to unemployed parents. Annet's father arranged for her marriage when Annet was very young. Annet’s education would have ended had her mother not defied her father and helped Annet seek temporary refuge at a grandparent's home. Currently, Annet lives with an uncle who is determined to protect her from early marriage and help her complete school. However, he cannot afford her secondary school expenses. With an MGEF scholarship, Annet began attending Oloosuyian Girls Secondary School in January 2012.
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. Reson and three of her sisters were all forced to leave school at early ages to be circumcised and married to much older men. With the intervention of female local Maasai activists and the Chief of her village, Reson was removed from her husband’s home early in 2012.
Caroline was 11 years old when she 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.
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.
Timanoi’s father tried to marry her off as soon as she graduated from primary school in 2002 at age 12, but an MGEF scholarship kept her safe and in school. She was the first of five children in a family living in extreme poverty, dependent on relief food during the droughts that plagued them. After high school, Timanoi was accepted to the University of Nairobi, with a major in Nutrition. Her father still wants to marry her off, but in Timanoi's words, "I am not ready to be someone's wife. I would like to achieve my academic goals and change the living standard of our family.” Catherine graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2015 with a degree in Nutrition, received her Kenya Nutrition and Dietitian License in February 2016, and will complete her internship at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi this September.
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 were 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 a 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 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 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 young Diana of 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.
Elizabeth came to MGEF in 2016 as an eight-year-old orphan living with her elderly grandparents. Dependent on her aunts and uncles for basic necessities and facing extreme poverty, 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.
Emily's mother died when Emily was around ten years old. Emily was left in the care of her older sister's husband, who resented the burden of caring for her. He refused to send her to school, planning to marry her off in exchange for a dowry. However, Emily’s father wanted his daughter educated and with the help of a local area chief, prevented Emily’s early marriage and secured an MGEF scholarship for her in 2003. With the support of her father and MGEF, Emily was able to continue going to school. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a certificate in International Studies and began working on a Diploma in International Studies in 2016.
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. Kabere 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.
Esho Faith was forced to drop out of school after she completed her primary school education because her parents could not afford secondary school fees, and her father wanted to marry her off. In 2007, she and her mother left her father and moved in with relatives to prevent Esho Faith’s unwanted marriage. An MGEF scholarship enabled her to attend and complete secondary school. Esho Faith received a Diploma in Social Work from Moi University in 2014 and is hoping to pursue a degree program in 2016.
Esther is an impressive scholar, scoring well on both a national test and in general studies. When Esther first came to MGEF in 2012, she, her siblings, and her parents all relied entirely on her mother’s meager income, which came from selling beads. There was not enough money for Esther to continue beyond primary school. Her determination caught the attention of an MGEF Division Committee member, who submitted her application to MGEF for scholarship consideration. Esther was accepted immediately and, in January 2012, began Noonkopir Girls Secondary School from which she graduated in 2015. Although Esther has already begun pursuing her diploma for Accounting Technician from KCA University, she is still in need of a sponsor to continue her education. She is currently supported by MGEF’s General Scholarship Fund.
Esther was born January 1, 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.
Everlyne'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, Everylyne 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. Everlyne 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 is employed. Two of her sisters dropped out of school due to pregnancy and they 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. 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 the parents 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.
Gladys' mother passed away when she was 10 years old, leaving behind 11 children. Since her mother's death, Gladys has been living with an older, married sister, who fought against their father's plans to marry Gladys and brought Gladys to MGEF's attention. Gladys graduated from secondary school in 2010 and is currently taking a Certificate program in Tailoring at St. John's Catholic School in Kajiado.
Grace was one of the first four girls sponsored by MGEF. Neither of her parents could provide financial support for her education. With an MGEF scholarship, Grace completed her secondary school education in 2014 and began a post-secondary degree in 2016.
Grace's father has three wives and eleven children. When Grace was very young, her mother moved to a rural village called Majengo, where she sells vegetables at a local market. After attending a rural primary school, Grace did very well on Kenya's National Test and was accepted into Moi Girls' Secondary School. However, Grace's mother could not afford the school fees. She contacted MGEF, and Grace was promptly granted a scholarship to continue her education.
Grace's father died before she reached secondary school and it was impossible for her mother to continue to pay for school. Her mother is uneducated and earns a meager living raising sheep and goats. After completing secondary school under MGEF's sponsorship, Grace enrolled in a two-year college to earn a diploma in Education. She graduated in August 2011 and currently teaches at Olorika Primary School in Loitokitok. Grace is currently working toward a Degree in Education from Africa Nazarene University.
Grace's father died in 2007, leaving behind four wives, 28 children, and a pile of medical bills. Grace's family now lives in extreme poverty and can barely afford to pay for food, let alone school fees. Grace was at risk of being married off for a dowry to help support her family. MGEF began supporting Grace in 2010, which will enable her to receive an education and keep her safe from an early marriage.
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 Hlilary 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.
Irene's father died in 1991, when she was 5 years old, leaving her mother with five children to support. Her mother has no education and her only means of providing for her family is selling milk from their two cows. Irene graduated from secondary school in 2014 and will be starting a postsecondary program in 2016.
Irene's birth mother passed away in 2003, leaving behind eight children dependent on the meager income of their father, a farmer. Through a partnership with MGEF, Foundation Kids to School will continue to sponsor Irene in her post-secondary schooling. Irene is working toward a diploma in Business Administration at Kenya Methodist University.
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 of Insurance.
Jackline Mulancha's father is deceased, leaving three wives to support their combined 21 children. None of his wives are educated, but they manage to eke out a meager income from selling milk in the local market. Jackline Mulancha hopes that some day her education will enable her to support her family. She earned a certificate in Public Relations at the University of Nairobi and is currently working towards a Degree in Public Relations at the University of Nairobi.
Jackline is the eldest of five children in her family. Her father passed away in 2003 and her mother is ill and unable to care for her children. Jackline and her siblings rely entirely on an uncle in order to survive. Despite her difficult situation at home, Jackline excelled in primary school, serving as "head girl" and scoring an impressive 329 points on her national KCPE exam. Her uncle, who has a family of his own, could not afford to send Jackline to secondary school. He submitted an application for assistance from MGEF and Jackline was accepted to the program in February 2013.
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'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 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 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 last-born 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 is able to further her education at Sajiloni Girls Secondary School, where she enrolled in January 2012.
Jemimah was born on September 14, 1996. She is the third-born in a family of seven children, four boys and three girls. Both 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.
Yiamoi was pledged in marriage at the age of two, and was to be married in March 2007 just before her 13th birthday, but an uncle, a neighbor, and her brother stepped in to prevent the marriage after MGEF agreed to give her a scholarship. Yiamoi’s sister was married when she was just 11 years old. Her father, who is illiterate and jobless, has three wives and had been receiving dowry payments for Yiamoi for nine years, a debt he would have had to repay and was unable to do. The community agreed to raise the money to repay the debt so that Yiamoi could go to school. In March 2007, at the age of 13, Yiamoi enrolled in school for the first time, and until 2010 her father continued the threat of carrying out the marriage so he could get the dowry payment. Now he calls regularly to see how she is doing, and brags about his daughter.
Joy's father is a minister in a sparsely populated area. 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. Joyce's father has already forced five of Joynice’s 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 was accepted to the program in January 2013.
Kanayia is the youngest of nine children. All four of her sisters are married, and none enrolled in school. Kanayia's father wanted to marry her off when she was 11 years old, even though he had abandoned the family when Kanayia was in preschool. An MGEF scholarship prevented that marriage. Kanayia recently graduated from secondary school and began university in 2016, pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development.
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 Kajiado Adventist Academy.
Lashaine was born 5 August 1996 to a father with two wives and a total of 15 children. Lashaine's father does not believe in educating girls, and followed the traditional practice of marrying daughters off as soon as possible. Lashaine was pledged in marriage at age 8, but her older brother intervened, enrolling her in boarding school and preventing the marriage. Her brother, who managed to complete high school, worked as a taxi driver to support Lashaine's and her younger siblings' educations. However, he now has his own family to support, and does not earn enough to continue to pay to send his younger siblings to school.
Leah is one of the first four MGEF scholarship recipients. Both of her parents are illiterate and could not afford the cost of educating their children. Leah and her sister Sempeyo, also an MGEF student, are the first girls in their family to enroll in school.
Leah is 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 catching AIDS. Without MGEF’s assistance, Lilian’s educational journey would have been cut short. However, as an MGEF scholarship recipient, she is 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, 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. Since graduating, Lilian has been teaching at Enchorro-e-Senteu close to her family home in Oltepesi, Kenya.
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, Mitau 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.
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.
After Lucy completed the 5th grade, her family could no longer afford to pay the cost of her education. Her father suffers from poor health and is unable to help support his wife and their four children. In 2002, Lucy's family moved in with relatives to find food and shelter and an aunt paid for Lucy to go to school. However, due to a prolonged drought in Kenya, the relatives are no longer able to support both families. A scholarship from MGEF enables Lucy to continue her education.
Lucy was orphaned at a young age. Her current guardian is elderly and is responsible for many other children. Because of her family’s strained resources, Lucy feared she would not be able to pay for school. Today, Lucy is guaranteed many more years of education thanks to the MGEF scholarship she received in 2015.
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 is enabled Lydia to begin classes at boarding school in January 2012.
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 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 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 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 3rd, 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.
Naomi's father does not believe in educating girls, but her mother passionately wanted her daughters to go to school. However, without her husband's support, it was impossible to pay for school fees. MGEF heard Naomi's mother's plea and granted Naomi a scholarship that would enable her to continue her education for years to come.
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 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.” Seventeen 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.
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 the MGEF-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.
Peninah was born to a father with two wives and nine children. Both of her parents are illiterate and her family lives in extreme poverty. In April 2010, Peninah was forced to marry illegally. Peninah's father forbade her from informing her school's authorities of the marriage. Friends brought this issue to the principal, who informed authorities in the District Education Office. Peninah was rescued and brought to the MGEF Kajiado Office. Peninah is now continuing her studies under an MGEF scholarship.
Sintama's father has two wives and a total of 10 children, and his whole family is extremely poor. When Sintama received an MGEF scholarship, only two of her siblings had enrolled in school, and her three sisters had already been married off. This would have been Sintama's fate as well, but, instead, she attended Baraka Oontoyie Girls Secondary School, and she is now attending the University of Nairobi to pursue a Diploma in International Studies.
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.
Rose Sempeyo was one of the first two girls to go to school because of the interest of the founder of the MGEF. Both of her parents are illiterate, and the family is very poor. She is the first girl in her family to enroll in school. Read more about Sempeyo under MGEF History.
Ruth Nampa's education would have ended after 9th grade without financial assistance. Her father died when she was a year old, leaving two wives and 11 children. Her mother never enrolled in school, and her family's survival depended on her paternal grandparents, who had planned to have her married off. But she was a very bright student, and an MGEF scholarship saved her. She graduated from secondary school in November 2008 with a B+ on the national test, and in 2010 enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at Egerton University. She has just graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics.
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 lives 10 kilometers away from the nearest school, Ruth often arrives 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 is now back in school with dreams of becoming a doctor.
Sandra and her four siblings lives with their elderly grandmother. One brother attends Kajiado Central Secondary School with the help of sponsors and community support, while the remaining siblings are either too young to go to school or have enrolled in free primary school. Sandra's grandmother is unemployed and suffers from a number of ailments, making it impossible for her to earn enough to afford secondary education for Sandra. Fortunately, a community member recommended Sandra for an MGEF scholarship. She was accepted in January 2012 and has since enrolled in Namanga Girls High School.
Sarah was born September 28, 1991 to a family of five children. Her family is extremely poor, and relies upon money made by selling milk. Without an MGEF scholarship, Sarah would not have been able to attend school. Sarah is currently attending Machakos Technical Training Institute for a certificate in Secretarial Studies.
Sharon was born in 1992; her exact birth date is uncertain. Despite illness, Sharon's mother worked selling water to a hotel in order to fund Sharon's first year of high school. However, she later became too weak to continue working. Sharon no longer had any way to pay for her education, and was forced to stop attending in 2010. She graduated from secondary school and is currently deciding what her next steps will be for her postsecondary education.
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 lived 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 has 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, 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.
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'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 her seven 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.