Help Expand Mara Valley School.

Please help Mara Valley School - National Reserve, Kenya (an area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya) continue growing to serve more children, including an ever-increasing population of FEMALE students! 

Local schools are difficult to mobilize and grow in this drought-worn region of limited economic infrastructure.  Add to that a swelling population of girls, attending school for the first time, and there are simply not enough seats.  

Expansion for schools like Mara Valley School - through outside help - is critical.  

 They need what we take for granted;  running water, kitchen, latrines and a separate classroom for each grade.

Pictured above:  Students at Mara Valley School, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

It's a critically important time in history for young women in the Mara.  Maasai girls have not had the opportunity to go to school until recently. Let's keep this initiative moving forward.  

By educating women in the Mara you are helping create a future of women who know their rights.  These women will help provide financially in their communities, thus strengthening local economies. Studies show that educating woman in this region will lead to other beautiful and important changes such as... 

*She will choose whom and when to marry (& will not be circumcised at a young age) 
*She will have fewer children and they will be healthier & better educated 
*She will spend 90 % of her income on family (compared to 35% for educated men) 
*She will help support her parents, further strengthening local communities. 
Let's be a part of history.  


Thanks to local industry and micro-finance initiatives, Maasai women are, for the first time, contributing to their family's economic well-being.  With this extra income, more girls are attending school than ever before. 

Historically, a Maasai woman in Kenya has been destined to live a life of poverty and cultural oppression, but this is slowly changing and tell-tale signs can be seen through the local schools.  A generation ago, less than 20 percent of Maasai women in Kenya enrolled in school. Today 48 percent of Maasai girls enroll in school.  And this number is growing.  

The Maasai people are pastoral - peacefully living off the land.  Economic development grows from outside help and the support of limited industry such as local tourism.  
41038324_1571179540995647_r.jpegPictured above: Locals like Kenyan native Alfred Korir of Zebra Plains Safari camps, helped finance and build Mara Valley School

41038324_1571173089990196_r.jpegPictured above:   Maasai women for the first time ever are employed and helping send more girls to school through projects such as Maa Beadwork program ( .  

41038324_157117302533335_r.jpegPictured above:  Maasai women throughout history have been married off young in return for cattle and cash.  The women lead very physically stressful lives, charged with walking miles daily to gather water and firewood.  The women also build and tend to the homes.  Maasai girls have not had the opportunity to attend school until recently. 

41038324_156960029045250_r.jpegPictured above:  A Maasai young girl playing outside of her home. 

Eight of us visited the Maasai Mara through Chicagoan and entrepreneur, Elaine Berndes, founder of  KUSHUKURU works with micro-finance program -  Maa Beadwork in the Mara.  Programs like this one and their partnering companies, help stimulate economic growth and provide work for women in the Maasai Mara.
41038324_1569613988485666_r.jpegPictured here:  Elaine Berndes, founder of @kushukuru with friends at Zebra Plains Safari Camp visiting with local Maasai friends, and Mara Valley School headmaster, Mr. Dickson. 

During our 
visit, we had the gift of touring nearby local Mara Valley School.  The school, located in the middle of the Mara's protected conservation, was created five years ago and is surrounded by drought-challenged land.   There is very little facility other than four one-room buildings, serving as classrooms.  And yet these humble structures are giving children of the Maasai Mara, the important opportunity to attend school. 

41038324_1571178910670014_r.jpegPictured above:  Four small buildings provide instructional education for children grades K-6, hosting over 150 children (over capacity).  The school is led by 8 professional, passionate instructors.  

41038324_1571179238367960_r.jpegPictured above:  Grade 4 with instructor Ms. Naserian.

Pictured above:  Classroom time!

41038324_1569603175359710_r.jpegPictured above:  Lining up for lunch.

41038324_1569604183468633_r.jpegTwo of the classrooms (erected using shipping container materials).  One also doubles as the kitchen. 

This campaign is thrilling and very tangible.  It's an opportunity to step-up as considerate global citizens and neighbors.  Whether $20, $200 or more...  you can help this already successful local initiative thrive and grow as they produce African leaders - many women - of tomorrow.  

These kids will be part of the world stage in our growing global economy.  All they need is what we take for granted, proper school facilities. 

Please consider donating to the Mara Valley School expansion fund.  Let's help to boost their incredible efforts, send more kids to school in the Maasai Mara, and effect real change now.

Our goal is to raise $7,500 by December 31! 

help the facility grow immediately so more area kids can attend (see breakout below).

(2) new classrooms=$4,000
(2) proper latrines=$2,000
(1) water tank/tower=$1,500 

Help us match that number by sponsoring a child.  For $150, you can sponsor a child for the year providing them with all necessary supplies, meals and uniform. 

Please specify in the COMMENTS SECTION if $150 is to go toward sponsoring a child.  You can also specify if you would like to sponsor a boy or girl.  We'll update you with how your pledge has made a difference for that particular child. 

We'll include photos and active updates as to how the Mara Valley Expansion progress is coming along, so you can be a part of it along the way.  

Asante Sana!
  • Sharon Eskenazi 
    • $50 
    • 23 mos
  • Jessica Giesen 
    • $200 
    • 23 mos
  • Sonal Sullivan 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
  • Anne Vandergeest 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
  • Adam Wilson 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Friends for Mara Valley School in the Maasai Mara (7)

Kristin Doll Drutchas 
Raised $286 from 4 donations
Shital Patel 
Team member
Raised $250 from 3 donations
Elaine Berndes 
Team member
Raised $125 from 2 donations
Elizabeth Leitao 
Team member
Raised $75 from 2 donations
Jessica Giesen 
Team member
See all
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