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Isen’s Story (Project Officer- Gender)

On the left is Isen Kipetu and two women in her microfinance training groups

I was born in Pardamat Village, Narok County. I am the last born in a family of five children. My dad, rest his soul, died when I was five years old, leaving my mother to raise us all by herself. We had two homes, one in Narok town and another that bordered the Koyaiki Group-Ranch, in what is now part of Pardamat Conservation area. When schools closed for the holidays, we would go to Pardamat Village. I found this peaceful, beautiful, and calm.

When I was 16 years old, I came to understand all the hardships that my mother had gone through and how much she had shielded us from the pain and struggles. She suffered all alone in silence. I came to realize that if she would not have stood firm and fought against some cultural practices, we would have lost our home. For many years; the Maasai culture did not allow girls or women the right to capital ownership.

On the Left standing is Isen with the women she empowers

What my mum passed through made me develop the will to fight for women in my community. At a young age, our house was always full of girls and boys that I had never seen before. When I would ask my mum who they were, she would tell me to consider them my sisters and brothers. Later on, I realized that my mum was fighting against social injustices in the community. The children who I saw at our home were children who she was helping to fight for their rights. Later, I joined her and we registered a Community Based Organization that addresses social injustices.

I joined the University of St Paul when I was 19, where I pursued a Diploma in Community Development. I am now undertaking a Bachelor's Degree in Community Development in order to serve the community better.

In 2018, I joined The Maa Trust Organization as a Project Officer- Gender. This gives me a chance to empower women and girls in my community. I support women to access capital, ignite their entrepreneurial potential, and address the social injustices they face in the community. The goal of my work is to reduce the rural household poverty level.

Right is Isen when she went to be trained and certified as a Street Business School (SBS) Lead Coach, in Uganda.

I am grateful to The Maa Trust for their support in my studies and the way that they equip me with hands-on knowledge and skills to enable me to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals within the Mara.


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