Maasai Girls’ Education Fund
The Maasai Girls Education Fund (MGEF) was created to improve the literacy, health, and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya through education. To achieve its mission, the organization is committed to the complete education of a majority of Maasai girls over the next 20 years. Through this long-term effort, the next generation of Maasai women will have an opportunity for economic independence and the ability to education the next generation themselves.
MGEF works in partnership with the community, including local area chiefs and women advocates for education of girls, to address social and cultural institutions, such as Child marriage and FGM, which sustain illiteracy among women, contribute toward the spread of HIV/AIDS, perpetuate poverty, and result in the marginalization of the Maasai in Kenya.
MGEF is working to build an independent community-based organization in Kajiado in the future. The path to independence requires:
- Raising awareness of the value of educating girls,
- Educating a majority of a generation of Maasai girls, and
- Building resources to continue the scholarship program in the next generation.
- MGEF’s Literacy Program provides scholarships for girls who would otherwise never go to school and those who would have to end their education early for cultural or economic reasons. MGEF is committed to helping each of its students achieve economic independence through secondary school, vocational school, or college.
- MGEF’s Rural Women’s Education Program teaches practical skills to the vast majority of rural Maasai women who have little or no formal education, yet have complete responsibility for the health, nutrition, and well-being of themselves and their children.
- MGEF’s Life Skills Program extends the benefits of the Literacy Program through workshops to teach the life skills that can prevent teen pregnancy, reduce early marriages, and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS — all significant factors contributing to girls’ dropping out of school.
- MGEF’s Community Education Program addresses the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS, cultural attitudes that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, AIDS and female circumcision, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.