School fee sponsorship
Providing school fees is helping girls to learn useful skills that will lead to a better future, and to stay with their families until they feel ready to get married
The photos above show all of the school girls together and one mother who has benefited from the micro-finance project and her daughters who had their school fees paid. She has earned enough to pay her son's school fees.
As traditionally nomadic cattle keepers, Maasai people typically do not go to school. It seems unnecessary to support their means of income.
The Maasai way of life, however, is changing as pasture for feeding cattle shrinks as the continent develops. Instead the Maasai people are settling into village life.
With the resulting loss of income, girls are being sent away by their families at age 14 in exchange for a dowry of cattle to marry much older men whom they have never met. Liz had seen the girls sobbing uncontrollably - a very countercultural display of emotion - as they realised what lay ahead of them. Just because it is custom does not mean it is accepted.
Being educated is the only way to learn new skills that will support an adapted way of life. After many meetings with parents and village elders and education authorities, it was agreed that if Call the Midwife Tanzania could offer help with school fees, the fathers would delay arranging marriages while the girls were at school. Seventeen out of a possible 121 have taken up the offer so far. The girls have realised that they are valued and love the freedom to be students rather than wives. They have all vowed that when the time comes, they will send their own children to school.
Their own mothers are so proud to have their daughters at school. They are making their own sacrifices, such as taking on many additional time-consuming and tiring chores, to enable their daughters to study.
One woman described this project as a bridge helping many women and girls from a life of poverty to a hope-filled future. What a beautiful picture. If you would like to be a bridge too, then please do get in touch.
Fees are approximately £200 per year in a government boarding school, and about £600 per year in a reasonable private school where the academic results are better. You don’t have to pay the whole fee. Any regular monthly amount or a one-off donation including gift aid goes a long way. Find out more about how to give here.