I was catching up with some blogs last spring when I came across a story of a Maa lady who, like me, had come to the United States and studied at a small college as one of very few Kenyan students. The blogger had paraphrased a Washington Post article series where the reporter, so intrigued by the story of Kakenya Ntaiya, the Maasai lady who was trailblazing from her village in Kenya, and whose journey to escape early marriage and attain the highest level of education was truly a triumph of the human spirit.
Amy Argetsinger wrote the series of 2003 articles titled ” Her Extraordinary Education” and I relished her description of Kakenya’s journey through undergraduate days at Randolph Macon Women’s College – and her progress to graduate school. Kakenya expressed a wish to make a tremendous impact in the community that had given so generously from the abundance of their often shallow pockets to send their first girl to university in the United States.
Fast forward to 2008, and Kakenya’s Dream has taken off. Kakenya Ntaiya Mugoh has launched a platform to share her efforts to build a girls’ school in Transmara district, and since 2006 has been working to ensure that all the girls in her vilage can go to school. She writes
“Education for girls in my culture is not a priority. Most families consider a daughter’s education to be unnecessary and a poor investment. For those lucky enough to finish primary education, only a handful of girls ever make it to secondary school- instead they are wed- young & uneducated…as children.”
The Kakenya Center for Excellence will be the first primary boarding school for girls’ education and is projected to open in January 2009. You can learn more about Kakenya’s Dream and the school by visiting the website : Kakenya’s Dream and about how you can support this awesome endeavor.