Some children are never given the opportunity to go to school, and many of those in school drop out before reaching the end of secondary school – especially girls. Child marriage, child pregnancy, female genital mutilation and child labor are major factors causing drop outs.
The Maa Trust currently supports 42 children: 35 are in primary school, and 7 in secondary school. All of our sponsored children have unfortunately experienced extremely traumatic childhoods. Every year we add more children to the programme, thanks to the generosity of guests. Each sponsorship which completely transforms a child’s life is $700 per year.
Quality of Education
Conservancy camps are a great support to local schools. Each school has different needs, and we coordinate guests support to ensure that schools’ greatest needs are met. Through donations made from tourists, we have been able to improve learning conditions for thousands of students by building toilets, installing rainwater harvesting and building classrooms, teacher houses and dormitories. All of our water and sanitation infrastructure work is supported by fun training on water, sanitation and hygiene.
We are also planning to training teachers in ICT, to use technology to enhance education. Access to learning equipment, and lobbying with the county government and ministry of education to get trained teachers in the schools in the Mara will also be important elements.
The scholarship programme is essential in rescuing children from desperate situations, but this is a reactive approach. In an attempt to prevent FGM, child marriage, child pregnancy and child labour – which are leading causes of children not being in school – The Maa Trust has developed a Child Rights Campaign. Through empowerment education training in schools, and coordination with community leaders, we are working to challenge harmful practices that Maasai children continue face. On July 2018, a Child Right meeting was held in Talek involving all administrative of the government, the children office and other organizations working to protect the children. At the end of the year for the first time we are preparing to hold a five-day Alternative Rite of Passage ceremony for 50 girls completing their primary education. The girls will be trained on Child Rights, Reproduction Health, Self-leadership, Home Making, Community Service (Giving Back) and Leadership Skills to empower them to be our FGM Ambassadors in their communities, these activities are to replace the need of circumcision as a rite of passage to adulthood.