Meet Naboye, forced to flee her home to save herself from FGM and early marriage

Meet Naboye, forced to flee her home to save herself from FGM and early marriage

Meet Naboye, who was forced to flee from her home with her mother to save herself from female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. Naboye, one of eight siblings, grew up like so many other Maasai girls, a victim and prisoner of extreme poverty and tradition. She was able to go to school for a brief period of time and showed herself to be hardworking and determined, but she missed too many school days in order to fulfill her obligations at home, and eventually dropped out of school. Her elder brother, tasked with providing for the family after they lost their father fifteen years ago, decided to have Naboye undergo FGM and sell her into early marriage. To save herself, Naboye fled with her mother to the Coins for Change SafeHouse, where they have been under the care of Chief Mary ever since. Now, with the generosity of a Coins for Change donor, Naboye is being given a chance at a better life....
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The Safe House, a safe harbor for women and children in danger

The Safe House, a safe harbor for women and children in danger

When Maasai girls and women in the Amboseli region of Kenya feel endangered, they go to Chief Mary Kahingo. Given the number of women and girls who come seeking her help and protection, however, there is insufficient space in Chief Mary's home to accommodate them all. Coins for Change therefore built a Safe House next door to 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. Below are photographs of women and their children in the safe house. There are three women so far and four children whose cases are pending in court, awaiting rulings. Their cases are all similar. All three women have been subjected to domestic violence, been beaten, mistreated and neglected. ...
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Get to know the Maasai

If the reality of the Maasai people seems distant to you, you’re not alone. Most people outside of Africa are unaware of them, their customs and traditions, and the challenges they face. The chances of your having met a Maasai are rather slim as well, unless of course you’ve travelled to Kenya or northern Tanzania, areas to which they are indigenous. However distant, they share many characteristics with us. They are resilient and hard working, they have strong beliefs, values and traditions, and they have a long history with periods of prosperity and others of accentuated hardship. They are warm, and welcoming, and curious about the world abroad.   The Maasai Tradition The Maasai culture is steeped in tradition, dating back for many centuries. Strongly patriarchal in nature, the men are responsible for the safety of the village, developing and improving the community’s cattle stock through trades and bartering, and making all relevant political decisions. Women are responsible for all matters regarding the home,...
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Safe House

Safe houses provide Maasai girls and child brides with a shelter from danger Almost 90% of Maasai girls undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). Every day, Maasai girls are forced into FGM and early marriage. It is a heartbreaking reality, a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself generation after generation because of tradition, perceived gender roles and poverty. 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. Too often, girls run away from their homes when they are in imminent risk of forced FGM or early marriage, and child brides run away from their husbands because of physical or sexual abuse at home. When Maasai girls and women in the Amboseli region of Kenya feel endangered, they go to Chief Mary Kahingo Chief Mary Kahingo is the first and only female Maasai chief in Kenya. Maasai girls look up to her and go to her in...
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Community Workshops

Community workshops bring permanent positive social change through coordination and consensus Widespread and permanent renouncement of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage comes about through a process of positive social change. Community workshops focus on driving this process. They engage all groups of a community in discussion and debate, and drive the discussion of uncomfortable topics directly related to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. They focus on shifting the social norms that sustain the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, and establishing new social norms. Finally, they enable communities to reach a collective decision to stop these practices, and make a public and explicit commitment to them. At Coins for Change, we believe that solutions led by the community are more likely to be effective and have lasting social impact. Social norms change definitively when a community sees the benefit of changing, and not when they are punished for not doing so. Therein lies the power of...
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Meet the Leadership Team

Founder and Chief Executive Director Kathleen McIntireIn 2007, the founder of Coins for Change, Kathleen McIntire, sponsored a young Kenyan girl so that she could attend a good boarding school. In 2008, she agreed to help another foundation raise funds by walking 100 kilometers across the Kenyan savanna ending up in a place just under Mt. Kilimanjaro called Amboseli.Each person on the walk had a Maasai Warrior for protection. Kathy's warrior lived in Amboseli and showed her the part of Amboseli that tourists do not see. She found few schools, and very poor and hungry children. She also found a deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against girls and women.Kathleen returned to Amboseli three months later to meet with the Maasai leadership to see how she could help. A Maasai Advisory Board was formed to give her guidance, and Coins for Change was established. Project ManagerLinda SullivanLinda first traveled to Kenya in 2008, where she met Kathy, as she also sponsored the...
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What Sets us Apart

The hopes, dreams, freedom and future of Maasai children are being robbed and sacrificed every day. And it needs to stop. Join us and help us put an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage and provide poor marginalized Maasai children with the education, resources and freedom to make a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.   What sets us apart from the rest? By tackling the root causes of FGM and early marriage with solutions that address long term needs while acknowledging immediate critical needs, and by working closely with the Maasai community, we can bring an end to FGM and early marriage, and give Maasai girls real hope and opportunities for a better future. Coins for Change has a Maasai Advisory Board that helps direct our efforts and maximize the impact of our projects and donations Coins for Change established and maintains a very strong relationship and open dialogue with Maasai chiefs in the Amboseli region of Kenya. It is through this...
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Our Work

To rescue Maasai girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, we need to address the three root causes that sustain and drive these harmful practices: extreme poverty, lack of opportunity to get an education, and traditional social norms.   We Have a Solution. And it works. We focus on effective, sustainable programs that produce immediate and long term mission-critical impact. We tackle the three key root causes of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. We work closely with the Maasai community and have a local advisory board constituted entirely by Maasai. By tackling the root causes of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage with solutions that address long term needs while acknowledging immediate critical needs, and by working closely with the Maasai community, we can bring an end to FGM and early marriage, and give Maasai girls real hope and opportunities for a better future. Our Programs Become a part of something bigger! Help give Maasai girls the opportunity and freedom to gain...
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