Maasai Education Foundation

Maasai Education Foundation

Newport, VA   |  maasaieducationfoundation.org

Mission

To improve the educational, social and economic equality of members of the Maasai ethnic group in Tanzania by enhancing the education of Maasai youth through financial and technical support of rural schools serving Maasai youth and scholarships for individual Maasai youth.

Ruling year info

2017

Board Chairperson, Maasai Education Foundation

Dr. Theo Alvin Dillaha III

Main address

345 Woods Ln

Newport, VA 24128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-4330519

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Engaruka English Medium Primary School

The Engaruka English Medium Primary School is a pre and primary (grades 1 to 7) school for Maasai youth located in Engaruka, Arusha, Tanzania. The Maasai are pastorialists and live in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. In general, they lag behind other ethic groups in the region in terms of educational and economic attainment. They are very proud and protective of their culture but know that they must improve their educational status in order to survive. Construction of the 1st phase of the school started in May 2017 and the school will admit its first students in the fall of 2017 or January 2018. The school is taught entirely in English to enable students to master the English language and to pass the national secondary school examinations, which are in English. In 2018, the school will admit its first class of pre-schoolers. In 2019, the pre-schoolers will enter 1st grade and a new pre-school class will be admitted. Each year, as new classes and dorms are built, an additional grade level will be added. The school will include boarding facilities for students from remote villages. The school is managed by the Engaruka Community Initiative Organization, a registered Republic of Tanzania non governmental organization. The Maasai Education Foundation in partnership with others provides funds for the construction and operation of the school.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

The Maasai Education Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships to needy Maasai youth for primary, secondary, and tertiary students. We currently support two students. A 2nd grade student at the Arusha Meru International School and a 1st year student in business at St. Augustine University. The scholarship students were identified during a trip to Tanzania in 2016. The 2nd grade student is female and from a pastoralist family. She was selling jewelry and not attending school prior to receiving the scholarship. The college student was working a resort to earn money for college. Both students are from the Lake Natron area and did well in school their first semester. Our scholarships provide support for tuition, books, uniforms, and other living expenses on a case by case basis.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

The Maasai Education Foundation sponsors and facilitates a limited number of cross-cultural experiences for Maasai and US citizens. These experiences might include visits to the US by Maasai youth or Maasai adults involved in the education of Maasai youth. The purpose of these visits to the US would be to expose Maasai to US culture and educational systems. The Foundation will also sponsor/facilitate visits by US citizens, particularly US youth, to the Maasai region of Tanzania to learn about the Maasai culture and to volunteer at the Engaruka English Medium Primary School.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

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.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

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

Children and youth, Young adults

Related Program

Maasai youth scholarships

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Primarily sponsorships for children attending the Engaruka English Medium Primary School but also a few scholarships for Maasai youth attending other schools.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

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

Children and youth, Young adults

Related Program

Maasai youth scholarships

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants in study abroad and exchange programs

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

Children and youth, Adults, Young adults

Related Program

Maasai cross-cultural exchanges

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of US citizens volunteering at Engaruka English Medium Primary School or Maasai visiting the US.

Number of children enrolled in Engaruka English Medium Primary School

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Engaruka English Medium Primary School

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

School opened in February 2018.

Funding for school buildings and infrastructure

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Engaruka English Medium Primary School

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Construction for the Engaruka English Medium Primary Schools buildings and infrastructure (includes school furnishings)

Number of participants who are promoted to the next grade on time

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Engaruka English Medium Primary School

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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 principal goals/activities are as follows. The Maasai Education Foundation (MEF) will engage in the following activities in support of its three mission objectives:
I. Support the education of the Maasai people in the Arusha region of The United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania.
a. Assist the Engaruka Community Initiative Organization (ENCO) in developing architectural and operating plans for the Engaruka English Medium Primary School (EEMPS), which will be constructed in phases over 8 years.
b. Assist ENGARUKA in raising funds for the EEMPS construction and operation.
c. Raise funds to support the construction and operation of the EEMPS.
d. Recruit US citizen volunteers to assist in the construction of the EEMPS and the design of its curriculum.
e. Create a US citizen volunteer program to teach English and other subjects at EEMPS.
f. Provide scholarships for needy Maasai students, particularly girls, from the Engaruka area to enable them to attend pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools and universities.
g. Establish partnerships with other organizations, such as the Virginia Tech student chapter of Service without Borders to support EEMPS.
II. Support mastery of the English language by Maasai children and adults.
a. Provide financial support for the English language program at EEMPS
b. Recruit US citizen volunteers to teach English to students at EEMPS and adults in the area.
III. Provide educational exchange opportunities between Tanzania and the United States.
a. Provide opportunities for needy Maasai students to visit and study in the US.
b. Provide opportunities for volunteer US student groups to work and teach at EEMPS.

1. Partnerships - We seek to work in partnership with: (a) the Engaruka Community and other Maasai groups, (b) the Engaruka Community Initiative Organization, (c) Service without Borders, (d) the TX Foundation, and (e) other partners to be identified.
2. Education of Girls - We recognize that the education of girls and women has a greater impact on community development than the education of boys and men. Consequently, our goal is that at least 2/3rds of our efforts shall go to educating girls. This is particularly important for Maasai girls as education delays/prevents early marriage and its associated health and other risks.
3. Respect for the Maasai Culture - The Maasai people are very proud and protective of their culture and traditions. However, when we have talked with them, they indicated that they feel that they are being left behind other ethnic groups in Tanzania because of lack of education, which hampers their economic development and the attainment of political power. Our educational activities and support will only go to activities that are respectful of Maasai culture and traditions, with the exceptions of forced early marriage of girls and female genital mutilation, which our programs shall seek to reduce.
4. Fundraising - We will raise funds in the US, Asia, Europe, and elsewhere to support our activities and shall publish an annual financial report that documents all of our expenditures. Our bylaws required that a minimum of 90% of donations go to program expenses.
5. Volunteers - We are entirely a volunteer run organization and no one receives a salary or other compensation. Individuals implementing program activities may be reimbursed for travel expenses.
6. Transparency - Our activities and records are open to the public. Our website publishes our bylaws, IRS Form 1023 application, organizational policies, and annual financial reports. The only things we keep confidential are donor names and amounts and possibly personal details of sub awards to individuals implementing program activities.

This is our first venture running a public charity and our capabilities are growing by the day as we discover what works and what doesn't. We are eager to learn and we are. We are fortunate that our board members have years of experience in professional and volunteer international development. Our board chairperson managed over $25 million in USAID higher education cooperative agreements in developing countries, served in the Peace Corps, and led more than a dozen Engineers without Borders and Service without Borders student service learning trips to developing countries. Our secretary has 20 years of higher education experience and has led student service learning trips to Nepal and Tanzania. The other board members have all served on numerous medical mission trips to Haiti and elsewhere. In addition to the board members, other key personnel include an architect with 5+ years of development experience in Tanzania, two business executives, a special education/primary education teacher, an IT security specialist, and a venture capitalist. Our greatest asset is our partnership with the Engaruka Community Initiative Organization (ENCO) and its Director, Ms. Martha Olemisiko. Martha is an educated Maasai woman with exceptional dedication and integrity. After working as an education and microenterprise development specialist, she started ENCO to give back directly to the Maasai community. She and her husband's family are our on-the-ground implementers in Tanzania and their dedication to the proposed school and helping Maasai girls and women educationally and economically is remarkable. We could not have better implementing partners.

As of July 2017, in collaboration with our partners, we have:
1. Submitted the IRS 1023 long form and received a positive determination.
2. Established strong working partnerships with the Engaruka Community Initiative Organization and Virginia Tech Service without Borders Student Organization.
3. Raised sufficient funds for the construction of the first classroom building (two classrooms, toilets/showers, nurses room, teacher's room, administrative room, water supply). Construction to be completed in August 2017.
4. Facilitated the Virginia Tech Chapter of Service without Borders students and 2 faculty advisors participating in the construction of the school (May 2017).
5. Created Facebook and web pages for MEF and Engaruka Community Initiative Organization (ENCO).
6. Assisted ENCO in obtaining a $70,000 grant from the TX Foundation for 1st phase school construction.
7. Had our 1st four board meetings and developed written bylaws and other organizational policies (see web site at https://maasaieducationfoundation.org).
8. Worked with Peter Ozolin Architect, P.C., to develop plans for phase 1 of the school.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We provided a grant to complete the construction of a classroom building at the primary school in Tanzania that we support. The construction costs exceeded the grant amount. The school board convinced us that the increased construction costs were justifiable and we increased the grant to complete the school.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Maasai Education Foundation
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Maasai Education Foundation

Board of directors
as of 6/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Theo Dillaha

Maasai Education Foundation

Term: 2016 - 2022

Brian Benham

Virginia Tech

Theo Dillaha

Virginia Tech

Kerry Brisco

Krogers

Karen Scalf-Benham

Rebecca Caldwell

Retired

Audrey Spielmann

Vancouver General Hospital and the University Hospital

Randall Stith

Retired

Margie Lee

Virginia Tech

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/16/2021

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.