We envision a community whose youth have access to education and basic necessities like potable water so that they can live to their fullest potential.
Empowering the Maasai youth in being independent, proactive and high-achieving through improving access to education and a healthy lifestyle.
MAYOO is a community based youth outreach organization formed in the year 2006 and registered in May 2009, with the Ministry of Social Services of Kenya. It is an indigenous Maasai community based group that was formed to address community needs such as youth empowerment, gender equality, and health awareness.
MAYOO seeks to aid the predominantly indigenous 20,000 Maasai people who live in the Intashat area of Ewuaso division, Kajiado district.
We focus on young girls who are at risk of early marriage and female genital mutilation. These girls typically come from unfortunate situations where their primary care-giver can no longer provide for them and therefore wants to sell them into marriage. Therefore, the target group mostly includes orphans, widow’s children, runaways, school drop-outs, and others from poor socio-economic backgrounds.
- International networking and collaboration for maximum impact
- Capacity building for long-term sustainability
- Free education for all is key to unleashing potential
- Transparency and accountability
Challenges facing Maasai youth and their communities
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriages
- High school dropout due to early pregnancy and early marriage among girls.
- Lack of education regarding life skills, health, and careers
- Access to clean drinking water
To address these challenges MAYOO has implemented the following programs in its area of operation:
Child Marriage Safehouse Rescue Program
- MAYOO finds long-term sponsorships for girls at-risk or fleeing from FGM and Early Marriage
- After establishing a sponsor, MAYOO ensures the girl is enrolled in our Safehouse
- The Safehouse is a modern boarding facility that is attached to to the competitive Olosha-Oibor public schools in Kajiado. The Safehouse is equipped with two boarding houses, a kitchen, and study facility while it also employs a matron, security, and cooking staff.
- The sponsorship provides all of the daily costs of living and education that the girl requires until she graduates high-school
- We foster a human relationship between sponsor and benefactor so that they can establish an enriching long-term bond bond. The idea is to keep the sponsor updated surrounding how the girl is doing, while the girl can have an opportunity to give thanks and have a role model to keep in touch with.
- Currently, MAYOO is responsible for over 30 Safehouse sponsorships and is actively looking to expand the program.
- Within the Intashat region there are many settlements and communities that suffer from a lack of access to clean water. This issue creates numerous detrimental health and socio-economic side-effects. Using common dirty water sources such as dams and rain-water creates a high risk of harmful diseases like trachoma and diarrhea. In addition to the high number of sanitary and contamination issues regarding stagnant water there are also the effects on daily life to collect potable water. Often times, Maasai women are forced to walk over two hours to reach a clean source, which is both debilitating to their health and daily life. Furthermore, scarce water access is a women’s issue because of the time consuming nature which jeopardizes their ability to study, work, or provide for their children.
- At MAYOO we believe that clean drinking water is a human right and that no one should have to walk several kilometers or have to drink dirty water as a normal part of their life
- We have spearheaded several fundraising initiatives to pipe clean drinking water to remote villages who are in dire need
- Once the fundraising is complete we get receipts from the contractors and take pictures of the water piping in order be accountable to our donors
- After the fundraising campaigns we ensure that the system has two tanks for no cross contamination between life-stock and people
- MAYOO also puts in place a sustainable system by collecting minute usage fees to an employee who ensures the usage and maintenance is in order
- In this way we can provide sustainable clean drinking water systems to those who most need it through the generosity of our donors
Life Skills, Health Education, and Career Advice for Youth
- Despite the excellent academic facilities at Oloisha-Oibor public schools and surrounding private schools, MAYOO has witnessed a huge lack of education surrounding career advice, health education and other basic life skills
- MAYOO has developed workshops and seminars after class in order to raise awareness surrounding the importance of preventative health. These issues range from contraceptives to mitigate the risk of HIV/AIDS to sanitation measures to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.
- Furthermore, MAYOO has instituted career counseling in order to raise awareness for the many paths young students can take with an complete education.
- We hope with these new facets of education students will see a brighter future for themselves and believe in their own potential to succeed
- In the future, MAYOO hopes to develop their own center which can offer all of these extra-educational services as well as be a foundation for student scholarships
MAYOO Strategies in Program Implementation
- Volunteer hosting to utilize the expertise and networks of activists around the glove
- Community collaboration and use of locally available skill-sets to keep projects self-sufficient
- Youth mobilization and education for action