The hopes, freedom and futures of Maasai girls are being robbed and sacrificed every day. And it needs to stop.

The hopes, freedom and futures of Maasai girls are being robbed and sacrificed every day. And it needs to stop.

The hopes, freedom and futures of Maasai girls are being robbed and sacrificed every day. And it needs to stop. Every day, Maasai girls are forced into female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. What does this mean for Maasai girls? It means they will likely have health issues resulting from FGM, which can range from potentially grave severe bleeding, to chronic infections and fatal difficulties in childbirth. It also means that 11- to 14-year-old Maasai girls will have to leave school, instead bearing children for their new husbands and dedicating themselves to their new home and family. Maasai girls are largely condemned to living a life of extreme poverty and hard work, with little hope of a better future. Click here to learn more about the issues.   Coins for Change is committed to putting an end to FGM and early marriage and to providing poor marginalized Maasai girls with the education, resources and freedom to make a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. What makes Coins...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
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....
Read More
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...
Read More

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. Child Marriage (also known as Early Marriage) is yet another violation of  girls' rights. In 2014, Kenya passed The Marriage Act, which forbids girls being married before the age of 18. Child marriage (or early marriage) therefore violates a girls' rights in Kenya. Despite the fact that this laws now exists, many male Maasai government...
Read More

Get to know the Maasai

The Maasai Culture The Maasai are possibly one of Kenya's most famous ethnic groups, made easily recognizable by their bright red robes and colorful beadwork. 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 noble, warm, and welcoming, and curious about the world abroad. Once a warrior tribe, they were respected and feared by all other tribes in Kenya. In the late 1800's, however, tragedy befell the Maasai: smallpox wiped out a large part of the Maasai population, a pest killed off much of their cattle, and severe droughts aggravated all of these losses. British colonizers arrived in the area around this time and forced the weakened Maasai tribe to relinquish their land, moving them to smaller reserves in semi-arid regions. Land accessible to them has since been further restricted by the formation of the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti Game Reserves, which are...
Read More

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...
Read More

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? 1. Economic Costs: Private boarding schools are prohibitively expensive for most Maasai families. Public elementary schools in Kenya don’t charge tuition fees, but do require families to provide school uniforms for their children. Even this cost can be prohibitive for the Maasai,...
Read More

About Us

Coins for Change Coins for Change is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization committed to saving 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 female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. Focusing solely on stopping these practices without addressing their root causes, however, only helps a child in the short run. It 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.   SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave Real Lives. Real Impact. Real Change. In order to make a real impact and drive real change, Coins for Change focuses on programs that tackle the root causes of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage.   SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave Join us today and...
Read More