Last year, I traveled to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya to teach in a local primary school and aid in the construction of a new classroom.
During our countless hours at the school, I met and befriended three girls in standard 8. They were 15 years old and easily the most articulate and intelligent young women I had ever met.
During our many afternoon conversations, I came to realize the vast differences between our cultures.
Primary education became free in Kenya in 2003. For the first time, impoverished families could send their children to school, provided that they could supply uniforms and basic materials. However, secondary school fees have yet to be abolished. Each year of secondary school education costs around $500 CAD, approximately the equivalent of one family's herd of goats or a year's income of one parent. Some families are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to send a child to school but in almost all cases, it must be for the oldest boy of the family. After a girl graduates from primary school, she is married off to become the second or third wife of a much older man and begins bearing children if there simply is not enough money to fund her secondary education.
Here I was, dreading the workload that my senior year of highschool was sure to bring. Yet I was speaking to brilliant young women who would thrive in their education and careers if given the chance, and who would surely uplift and empower their entire communities given the necessary resources. I was counting down the days until graduation before the school year had even begun while Faith, Vivian and Mercy were accepting the reality that they would likely not be able to attend highschool. They instead would be married off to a much older man and begin their lives as mamas.
On September 29th, I am departing to Kenya to teach again in the Maasai Mara. This year I will be staying for 6 months, immersed in the community and culture. My hope, in creating this donation portal, is to raise enough funds to send eleven (!!) (or more, success pending) deserving young women to school.
Keep visiting for updates and profiles and thank you so much for your support.
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