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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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

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) violates a girl's human rights It also breaks Kenyan law. Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been illegal for girls under 18 in Kenya since 2002, when the Children’s Act came into force, and for everyone since 2011, when the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011 came into force. Yet 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 extreme poverty, tradition and perceived gender roles that severely limit the Maasai girl's likelihood of getting an education. Rites of Passage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) The Maasai rite of passage ceremony for girls is traditionally a joyful event in which the entire community comes together to celebrate their passage from childhood to adulthood. It is a cultural practice, not a religious practice. There is revelry and feasting, dancing and singing. There is also,...
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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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Results & Impact

Real lives. 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! Testimonials“I promise to work hard and harder to become a role model in my community, because I believe what men can do, women can do even better. I pray that God will keep you and give you good health every day. Thank you so much and I wish and hope to see you one day.”16 year old Meikan Lesaloan, in a letter of thanks to the person who sponsors her education “I thank Coins for Change as it has raised funds to enable me to go through high school level and am now in university. Am now reaching my life-time dreams because of your worthy and abundant help. […] Let me promise Coins for Change team that the seed they have sowed will grow soon and transform the...
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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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