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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Kenya is suffering one of the most severe, protracted droughts in over a decade. Join us in bringing much-needed relief to the Maasai.

Kenya is suffering one of the most severe, protracted droughts in over a decade. Join us in bringing much-needed relief to the Maasai.

Kenya is suffering one of the most severe, protracted droughts in over a decade. To the Maasai, this means their livestock is dying, their fragile crops are failing, and their water supply is vanishing as waterholes and rivers dry up. With no livestock left, Maasai herders are left with no means of buying food or paying school fees. Maasai women and girls are forced to walk for hours to fetch water for their families and livestock. The Kenyan government has declared a state of emergency, saying millions of Kenyans may face hunger and starvation. Donations made to Coins for Change are helping to bring some relief to the Maasai. A water well has been built next to Coins for Change's Gregoire Safe House. It provides women and children seeking refuge at the safe house with water as well as a sustainable food supply from land which can now be harvested and milk from livestock which can now survive the drought. Many Maasai...
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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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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

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...
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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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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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