Extreme poverty, tradition and gender bias weigh heavily on Maasai families, and heavier still on Maasai girls.
Girls are required to undergo FGM and most are forced into early marriage to a much older man who already has many wives. As women, they are responsible for building and repairing dung huts (their houses), fetching firewood and water, milking animals, raising children and cooking for male family members. As child brides, these girls and women are also much more likely to suffer from physical or sexual abuse by their husbands. Husbands they did not choose for themselves.
When Maasai girls and women in the Amboseli region of Kenya feel endangered, they go to Chief Mary Kahingo.
They stay with her until the courts or Chiefs are able to alleviate the danger, allowing them to return to their home in safety. Given the number of women and girls who come seeking her help and protection, however, Chief Mary has run out of space at home to accommodate them all.
To enable Chief Mary to continue taking in girls and women in need, Coins for Change is building a Safe House next to Chief Mary’s home.
The Gregoire SafeHouse will house these women and girls and provide them with a safe harbor until the dangers they face have been mitigated and they can safely return to their homes.
THE SAFE HOUSE
The Gregoire SafeHouse provides women and girls who feel endangered with a safe harbor until the dangers they face have been mitigated and they can safely return to their homes.
The construction is complete and now needs beds and mattresses. The cost of a bunk bed that sleeps four people is $500. $600 will cover the yearly cost of food for the women and girls who stay at the Gregoire SafeHouse.