Maasai Girls Fund

No more child brides! No more female cutting!

Kinnelon, NJ   |  www.maasaigirlsfund.org

Mission

Our goal is the elimination of female genital removal and child marriage in 2 Maasai communities lin the Amboseli area of Kenya. Beginning in 2016, we gained the agreement of Maasai chief Angirri and his council to end female cutting, by offering to pay school fees for the girls. We also help with vital village needs (as defined by the community) including: clean water access, sanitation, and food sufficiency, emergency air, when possible. As of Fall, 2022, we support basic education for 52 girls - who will never be cut or married as children. Oour donors have provided two 10,000 liter water tanks, 4 outhouses, solar panels, solar lights that keep predators away overnight. Our fund has rented farmland, provided organic seeds, emergency medical air and vital village repairs.

Ruling year info

2016

Co-Founder

Avery Irene and Paul Bernard Mantell

Co Principal Officer

Mr. Paul Bernard Mantell

Main address

5 Cherry Tree Ln

Kinnelon, NJ 07405-2214 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2456558

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Other Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness, and Relief N.E.C. (M99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In the highly patriarchal Maasai culture, females have traditionally been regarded as breeders and the possessions of. men. Maasai women have few rights and little say over their own lives. They have traditionally been genitally cut upon the onset of menses, from age to 15, before being traded to older men as child brides in polygamous marriage. The result is lifelong serfdom. Former child brides often suffer physically from the harm of cutting and subsequent birthing, and suffer mentally from lack of agency over their lives. Kenyan born Maasai women are also isolated because of their illiteracy, and inability to speak either of the official languages of their country, English or Swahili. Traditionally, Maasai girls, especially in rural areas, do not attend school. We are dedicated to influencing local Maasai leaders to end the practice of female cutting and forced child marriage, and to begin sending girls to school and freeing females from subjegation.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

NO MORE CUTTING! NO MORE CHILD BRIDES!

We pay all school costs for 47 girls from 2 Maasai villages in the Amboseli region of Kenya. We also provide basic and emergency help to the villages.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Women and girls

Thanks to a grant from Denville Sunrise Rotary Club, we were able to provide 200 long-lasting. re-usable "Period Hygiene kits," 100 taboo-busting, informative comic books, and a female hygiene and empowerment workshop for our students and all their classmates, in late 2019.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Indigenous peoples

We rented 7 farmable acres for our villages, and thanks to a local New Jersey 4-H Club, were able to deliver thousands of organic seeds, produced in America, but suitable for the local climate in Amboseli. As a result, the community has no hunger issues this year (2020), unlike surrounding villages.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Economically disadvantaged people

Thanks to our donors, in September 2020, we were able to purchase 16 gots - 3 billiy, and 13 she-goats - to create a herd for the 13 widows and single women of Engong'Narok, Each goat cost $50, and will provide milk and sustenance to the otherwise penniless single women. Women were previously not allowed to own livestock, but the new goat herd is being built by women with the full knowledge of the (all male) village elders.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of high school seniors who graduate from high school on time

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Since we only started educating girls in 2016, we have had few high school graduates so far. The 2 girls who graduated in 2018 went on to 2 years of college to earn teaching certificates. we

Number of students who demonstrate writing ability

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Everyone of our 8th grade students has demonstrated this ability. In 2019, we added 10 girls from a second village, hence the jump in numbers

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is the elimination of female cutting and forced child marriage in one rural Maasai community, by 1. sending girls to the safety of school where they learn basic skills, and are treated as individuals with inherent dignity, and 2 .by improving the harshest basic living conditions of their home village.

Our strategy is to influence local chiefs and village elders to end female cutting and child marriage by offering to pay school fees for the all girls of their village, while helpingto relieve worst aspects of the oppressive poverty many Maasai live with. We do this through:

A. OPEN DISCUSSION and friendly connection. We Initiated sensitive, respectful and candid discussions with Chief Kelembu and Moses Saruni focusing on female cutting and child marriage and the long-term harm of those practices. These discussions expanded all of our understanding about the practices.

B. Arranging FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS with anti-fgm (female genital mutilation) advocates. Ex. We arranged meetings between Chief Kelembu, Moses Saruni, and chief Joseph Ole Tipanko, leader of a community of 5000 Maasai located several hours away from En'gong Narok. Tipanko had been educated by his wife about the realities and harm of female cutting, and as a result had become an advocate for their elimination. He inspired the En'Gong Narok leaders to change practices be sharing strategies he used in his community to reduce these practices, such as speaking directly to girls, using s schools to assure their safety, and addressing the inevitable resistance that often comes from change.

C. CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION We have been in frequent touch with Kelembu and Saruni, for several years, speaking several times weekly, by Skype, and WhatsApp. In addition, we have arranged to have representatives from the US to visit the village each year to assess our progress. We traveled there and spent a week at the village in January 2019.

D. FUND-RAISING We also work to grow our list of donors who are committed to our goals sustaining a particular girl through school. We have several, so far.

E. INCLUSION and TEAM work in all planning and projects. For example, the women of the village send us hand-made beadwork to sell in support their daughter's schooling.

F. Our local team documents all fund activity with photos and other records, allowing us to thoroughly record of our activity in the village.

Our motto could be: Doing a lot with a little. Our organization consists of 3 small, dedicated teams, working together - one in the US and two in Africa. Our teams are comprised of a program director and volunteers who are deeply committed to the goal. Our fourth capability comes from the donors without whom we could not achieve our goals.

Our US team includes a board of 8 individuals including a master level social worker, successful author, actor, local Rotarian members, and a former Mrs. Kenya.

The African team includes village chief, Benson Kelembu, and Moses Saruni, a young man who was born in the village, and formerly taught pre-K classes there. He works as an elephant conservationist and researcher, near the village. He receives a small stipend and money for transportation as he oversees and serves as an intermediary between the girls, and their schools, and helps plans and execute village infrastructure projects.

ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR: Our connection to the people of rural N'Gong Narok has been transformative for all concerned, villagers to donors. Female cutting and forced child marriages no longer occur in the village, and all school age girls now can become literate and knowledgable, as respected students. Home village improvements made with assistance from the fund have lessened extreme need. Since 2017, in addition to paying school fees for girls, we have improved life in N'Gong Narok by working with local leadership.
From 2017, to 2021:
1. installed 10,000 liter tank of clean water in village,
2. paid for construction of 2 animal troughs,
3. rented farmland and provided seeds for growing that have eased food insecurity,
4. provided the village with small solar lights that have stopped nighttime incursions by lions and hyenas
6. provided samples of solar cooker for women to use to lessen the need for cooking fires and cutting vegetation
7. created a women owned herd of goats for the single women and widows
8. provided reusable sanitary pad kits and sex education program for students
9. provided special COVID learning materials and sanitary items
10. Most recently, we have connected the current 4 Maasai high school girls with a group of New Jersey students who are in the process of writing letters of encouragement.

Note: In 2019, we expanded by adding another Maasai village, Natamuse, for which we sponsor 11 girls as students, and have provided a cistern to collect rain water

Financials

Maasai Girls Fund
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Maasai Girls Fund

Board of directors
as of 10/17/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Irene Mantell

Maasai Girls Fund

Term: 2022 - 2024

Kathleen Tabor, CPA

Ben Tabor

Amanda George

Leonard Klein

Paula Maliandi

Molly McKaughan

Stephanie Willike

Dorothy Huey

Teresa LaSala

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/17/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data