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 50 children in our scholarship program. All of our sponsored children have unfortunately experienced extremely traumatic childhoods. Each sponsorship completely transforms a child’s life, and costs $700 per child 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 train 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 program is essential in rescuing children from desperate situations, but this is a reactive approach. The Maa Trust has recognized the need to place a greater emphasis on preventing child abuse. While the scholarship program greatly assists children once they are in a crisis, the goal of preventative education is to prevent children from reaching this crisis point.
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 communities, we are working to challenge harmful practices that Maasai children continue to face. Our team visits schools to talk to children about important topics including child rights, menstrual hygiene management, sexual reproductive health, drugs, peer pressure and family relationships.
Thanks to a new partnership with Crossing Borders, we look forward to expanding this program in 2020.
In 2019, we added 8 more children to our scholarship program to reach our maximum capacity of 50
students. The selection process for this new intake used the new decentralized scholarship selection
committees comprised of area leaders and educators. Seven of our scholarship children sat their end of primary school exams and are all transitioning to secondary school. One student graduated secondary school and is taking a year out interning. We are very grateful to the 29 families who are sponsoring these children and transforming their lives.
Conservation Holiday Clubs
Three times each year, during the school holidays, Great Plains Conservation Foundation supports three different Conservation Holiday Clubs for the 50 scholarship children. Each one has a unique environmental and social theme. The activities are coordinated by Infinity Outdoors who volunteer their time. We are very grateful to Gertrudes Children's Hospital who sent a team to train staff in counseling skills and offer psychological support to the children. The trust also supports Asilia's Twende Porini Conservation Camps.
By the Numbers
cost of supporting and educating a needy child for one year
children being supported through school by the Trust.
week-long Conservation Holiday Club each year for the scholarship children.