An education is often a luxury that families can not afford
The Maasai maintain a traditional pastoral lifestyle, depending on their livestock for nutrition and as a source of income to help pay for expenses such as their children’s education. The severe drought of 2009 killed 90% of their livestock, and there are now many children who cannot attend school because their parents just don’t have the money. Most Amboseli Maasai live on 35c a day.
State supported schools do exist, but in Amboseli, Kenya they are usually low performing schools with class sizes of around 60 to 80 students, very few books and no computers. Quality boarding schools, on the other hand, provide children with a good education, giving them the knowledge and skills to foster more prosperous futures for themselves, their families and their communities. But at an annual cost of $500, they are out of reach for most Maasai families.
Being sponsored to a boarding school can save a Maasai girl from FGM and early marriage
Extreme poverty, tradition and gender bias weigh heavily on Maasai families, and heavier still on Maasai girls. Parents are pressured into foregoing their daughters’ education in favor of an early marriage. Once decided, Maasai girls must undergo FGM, the Maasai’s traditional rite of passage to womanhood that necessarily precedes marriage.
Maasai girls are often married by the time they are 12 years old and typically have three to five babies, of which half will die before the age of five.
Being sponsored into a quality boarding school can save a Maasai girl from forced FGM and early marriage, and provides her with three meals a day and a good education. These girls tend to marry later in life and foster healthier and more prosperous conditions for their families and communities.
With your help and donation, we can save a Maasai girl from a grim predicament and give her an education that will allow her to build a better future for herself, her family, her community, and for the future generations of Maasai girls.
A GOOD EDUCATION ENABLES A CHILD TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela
Education, a powerful means to unlocking change
Not only does a good education provide children with the knowledge and skills to foster more prosperous futures for themselves, their families and their communities. It also teaches boys and girls about the risks and consequences of FGM and early marriage, and about the laws that protect the girls' and women's rights.
Education is a powerful driver of positive social change.
Coins for Change has sponsored 48 children into quality boarding schools
It is for all of these reasons that Coins for Change has, with the generosity of its donors, sponsored 48 Maasai girls and boys into quality boarding schools. The majority of our 48 sponsored students are girls, but we know that we must also educate boys to meet our mission. The better educated the male Maasai is, the more they will support the laws against early marriage and FGM.
“Let me promise Coins for Change team that the seed they have sowed will grow soon and transform the society.” – Jackson Sinyok, a sponsored Maasai student
Coins for Change also contributes to the local village school to improve the quality of the education it provides
Not all children are lucky enough to be sponsored into quality boarding schools. Indeed, most children attend the local village school, a state school that receives limited funding, has class sizes upwards of 60 students, and offers limited numbers of school books. Good teachers are understandably deterred by the idea that if they come to Amboseli to teach, they must live in a traditional Maasai manyatta (dung hut).
In an effort to improve the quality of teachers and therefore of the education provided by the local village school, Coins for Change built two teacher houses and provided $2,500 for educational materials, curricular books and school supplies. The impact has been immediate, and significant!
Chief Joseph Sankale with the head teacher of the local village school, at the inauguration of the new CfC teachers house.
Unfortunately, many children suffer from severe ear infections and vision problems that impair their ability to learn
Ear infections and vision problems in Maasai children too often become more severe issues, resulting in hearing or visual impairment, because poverty levels are such that most Maasai families do not have the resources for (or, many times, even the access to) proper medical care.
Getting eye exams and glasses is fairly easy and inexpensive and can make a world of difference to a child. More severe issues arise from longstanding untreated ear infections. These can result in significant hearing loss or, in the worst case, complete hearing loss. Severe cases require a surgical intervention and, as there aren't any adequate treatment centers nearby, children must go all the way to Nairobi (four hours away). Repeated trips are necessary for consultations, medications to prepare them for surgeries and follow up visits. These costs are prohibitive for most Maasai families.
Were these children to see and hear well enough to properly follow lessons at school, they would thrive. Help us give them the opportunity to gain an education! Join our Vision and Hearing Campaign.
To sponsor a child’s education and change a life today, please click here.
One year of education costs $500. No donation is too small or too big. Thank you for caring!