Registered Charity Number: 1145809
The Maasai are a nomadic people, who due to their movement across borders, are often missed by the Kenyan Government.
MEA, by using a network of churches and pastors, are able to reach these tribes and offer assistance that they sorely need. MEA (UK) supports MEA in Kenya by sponsoring Schoolchildren, building & running a FGM Refuge Centre, funding Water projects and helping with Famine Relief when needed.
Although FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) was outlawed (for under 18year olds) in 2001, the Maasai continue to widely practice this as an important rite to womanhood. But attitudes are changing, largely due to work by UNICEF to end this practice. This is resulting in increasing number of girls running away from traditional villages and hiding in the bush or expressing their fear to teachers, pastors or other authorities. Previously, orphans and rescued girls were placed with Christian families and retained in education by means of child sponsorships but despite those sponsorships, the increase in the number of girls seeking refuge had put
considerable strain on already impoverished families and therefore a facility provided specifically for this purpose was needed.
MEA has built a Refuge Centre to help house and feed these girls during to school holidays. At the same time, councilors are sent to their families to persuade them to change their practice.
The Maasai have to travel miles to find a water source for the animals, often crossing borders into neighbouring countries.
Many lose their herds, turning to selling daughters for mariage to help the family survive.
MEA organises the distribution of food to the remote tribes.
The Maasai economy is one based on cattle, sheep and goats. These suffer due to the lack of water in a drought. More recently, Covid-19 prevented all cattle sales, again putting the Maasai into poverty.
Maasai girls are often married off from 12 years old. A way to make an income is to marry off daughters for a dowry. A typical dowry would be three cows, a sheep, a sack of sugar and some Maasai blankets, which is equivalent to $1500 (£1116). MEA instead sponsors them through school, allowing them to choose their own future
If young Maasai girls are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If they are free from violence, their families will flourish. If these girls will get a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.
MEA has built a Refuge Centre to help house and feed these girls during to school holidays. During this time, councilors are sent to their families to pursuade them to change their practice.
The costs of running the Centre, with supporting staff (Manager & Security Guard) and feeding and entertaining the girls during holiday times are supported by MEA.
MEA is responsible for the elementary educational needs of hundreds of children over a wide area.
They are given two years of free schooling after which they can go on to the state Primary Schools.
They are provided with uniforms and also a midday
meal. For many of them, this is the best meal of the day.
When they complete 8 years in Primary Schools, help is given in obtaining places in High Schools.
Not everyone is able to make a long-term commitment to sponsor a girl, so we have established a General Scholarship Fund to offer scholarships to girls without having to find a sponsor first. This gives Maasai Evangelistic Association the ability to respond quickly to emergency situations, and has saved many girls from forced marriages, or from having to drop out of School because of poverty.