Saved from forced Early Marriage

Saved from forced Early Marriage

Saved from Forced Early Marriage Lucy and Lydia are sisters. They lost their parents when they were still very young. Then they were separated; Lucy (the eldest) sent to live with a distant uncle in Kenya, and Lydia left with neighbors in Tanzania who had little interest in the child. Lucy was allowed to enroll in public school and was doing well. Her uncle, however, didn't see the value in her education and decided to marry her off. She ran away to avoid female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, and appealed to her school's head teacher to help her.  Her school teachers all came together to protect Lucy, helping her finish her primary school years by housing her and contributing to cover school costs. When she graduated, they continued to house her and managed to enroll her in secondary school under special circumstances. Eventually, however, those special circumstances came to an end and the teachers could no longer cover her tuition...
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School holidays, a peak season for female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage

School holidays, a peak season for female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage

School holidays, a peak season for female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage For Maasai girls, school holidays often carry a higher risk of being forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. They go home from their schools for the holidays, and there is sufficient time to have them undergo and recover from the procedure before classes resume. Help protect Maasai girls from forced FGM and early marriage. Allow them to continue being girls a while longer. Many Maasai girls are forced to undergo FGM by the age of 13 and quickly become mothers themselves. Rescuing them from forced FGM and early marriage helps these girls avoid the potentially severe health-related complications of FGM, reduces infant mortality rates, allows the girls to benefit from more education, and helps them build a better life for themselves and eventually their own children. You can make a real difference. Please donate today and help give these girls a brighter future. SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave ...
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Meet Naishorua, a young girl who’s dreams of receiving an education are being put at risk by the fact that she is going blind in one eye

Meet Naishorua, a young girl who’s dreams of receiving an education are being put at risk by the fact that she is going blind in one eye

Meet Naishorua, a young girl who’s dreams of receiving an education are being put at risk by the fact that she is going blind in one eye. Naishorua is one of the young Maasai girls in standard three at Osoit Elementary School, a public school in Kenya. Public schools in Kenya typically aren’t well equipped to serve vision or hearing impaired children. These children often start falling behind on their learning and studies, and eventually drop out of school. Going blind in one eye, Naishorua needs an operation to save her sight. The operation only costs $421, but medical care like this is not an option for poor rural Maasai families. The money to pay for the trip to and from the hospital in Nairobi is a hardship, yet this family has managed to raise the money for the transportation as well as an additional $63. Please consider donating so that we may provide the funding for the surgery Naishorua desperately needs to...
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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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What are the traditional roles of men and women in Maasai Culture?

What are the traditional roles of men and women in Maasai Culture?

The Maasai are a strongly patriarchal society. A boy's or man's age determines the role he is to play. Every 15 years, a new generation of warriors (called Morans, or Il-moran) is initiated, including all boys 12-25 years old who have reached puberty and who did not join the previous generation of warriors. Becoming a warrior is a matter of honor and responsibility, and boys undergo several rites of passage to achieve it. One such rite of passage is the emorata, a circumcision performed without anesthetic. The boy must endure the operation in silence (as expressions of pain can bring temporary dishonor upon him) and upon completion is considered a junior warrior. The healing process takes three to four months, and the junior warrior wears black clothes and lives in a separate village, called a manyatta, for four to eight months after the ceremony. The manyatta has no circular fence protecting it, emphasizing the role the warrior will play in protecting the community. During this time, junior warriors go through several rites of...
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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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Women’s Center

Many women and girls in Africa are marginalized and have little control over their destiny. They have little influence or power over issues that directly concern them. This is particularly true of the Maasai women and girls.  To change this, Coins for Change is building a Women's Center. The Women’s Center will be a training center to learn new and necessary skills, allowing women to be more in control of their own destiny. It will have spaces for beadwork, sewing and leatherwork. It will teach women life skills such as basic literacy, how to market their handcrafted items, how to protect their families from infectious diseases, and how to stop gender discrimination. It will also have a safe house, a women’s medical clinic and a birthing center.To ensure that Maasai women and girls feel at ease in the Women’s Center, local Kenyan architect Daniel Mayabi has designed it to resemble and have the features of a Maasai Boma (village). The design can...
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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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Sponsoring Girls’ Education

School enrollment amongst the Maasai is very low Free primary public schools were introduced in Kenya in 2003 and have had a significant impact on school enrollment at the national level. Amongst the Maasai, however, school enrollment remains low. Less than 20% of Maasai girls enroll in school. Of those who do, less than one in five finish primary school, significantly less go to secondary school, and only a very few make it to university. This drop out rate is exacerbated by the fact that there are no public secondary schools, and private schools are prohibitively expensive for most Maasai families. But why are enrollment rates so low to begin with? And why are drop out rates in primary school so high? Sponsoring a Maasai girl's education changes her life, and her family's Quality private boarding schools provide children with a good education, but at an annual cost of $500, they are out of reach for most Maasai families. Extreme poverty, tradition and gender...
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