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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Understand the Issues

Every day, Maasai girls are forced into Female Genital Mutilation (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.   Tradition In 2014 the Kenyan government banned early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). However, the traditional Maasai persist with their traditions of over 400 years and continue to allow early marriage and FGM. Maasai girls are forced to undergo FGM as their rite of passage into womanhood and are then married off against their will, while they are still children, to husbands that are typically much older than themselves. Not upholding these traditions can bring much social pressure and dishonor upon families. With your help, we are working on two fronts and driving a real change in these traditional beliefs and practices. We sponsor Maasai boys into quality boarding schools that give them a good education and help them understand the consequences of FGM and early marriage....
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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 be seen...
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Safe House

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...
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Real Impact. Real Change.

With your generous donations, we have been able to touch and protect the lives of many Maasai children, women and families in Amboseli, Kenya.Thank you. We couldn't have achieved this without you! Over 1,000 galla goats have been donated... ... providing families and bomas (Maasai villages) with the means to combat poverty and hunger in a sustainable manner. Read more Six bomas (Maasai villages) have been adopted... ... providing them with the cows and goats necessary to sustain and nourish them, and helping to pay school fees for village children. Read more 48 children have been sponsored into quality boarding schools... ... improving their prospects for the future and protecting the girls from FGM and early marriage. Read more 2 teacher houses have been built and $2,500 provided for school books... ... to the local village school, enabling the school to provide a better quality education for the children. Read more A Safe House has been built... ... providing women and girls in peril with a safe harbor until the dangers they face have...
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Our Work

Coins for Change has five donation-based focus areas, all of which address the key issues identified with our Maasai Advisory Board. Sponsoring Children’s Education. Being sponsored into a quality boarding school helps protect Maasai girls from forced FGM and early marriage, and provides them 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. Read more. Alleviating poverty. In 2009, Kenya had a severe drought that killed 90% of the Maasai’s livestock. Most Amboseli Maasai now live on 35c a day. Donating a goat to a family gives them a sustainable source of nutrition and income, as the goat’s milk can be consumed or exchanged for other much-needed items. Read more.   Building a Safe House. When Maasai girls and women are endangered in Amboseli, Kenya, they run to Chief Mary Kahingo. The Safe House is being built next to Chief Mary’s home and will protect the women and girls until the courts...
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About Us

Coins for Change Coins for Change is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization whose mission it is to save the lives and futures of poor, marginalized Maasai children in the Amboseli region of Kenya, by putting an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage and providing the children with the education, resources and freedom to make a better future for themselves. Our main emphasis is on protecting Maasai girls who are being forced into early marriage and FGM. Focusing solely on this issue, however, helps a child in the short run, but does nothing to address the underlying causes of the issue. The current reality is a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself generation after generation because of tradition, perceived gender roles and poverty.     Real Lives. Real Impact. Real Change. In order to make a real impact and drive real change, therefore, Coins for Change focuses on projects that address the issue of FGM and early marriage as well as its root causes. We sponsor Maasai boys and girls into quality boarding schools where...
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