The Mara Girls Leadership School, in short "MaraGirls", is set at the edge of the Masai Mara Game Reserve in South-West Kenya. This is one of the World's wildlife richest areas and, at the same time, one of the poorest regions in East Africa, far from the political and financial decision-makings of Nairobi.
The story of the Maasai in Kenya is one of up-rooting and moving. Having been evicted from ancestral land several times, a portion of this small tribe finally settled in Masai Mara. As a tribe, the Maasai have always held a strong grip on their culture and maintained many of their values and oral traditions. This provides an opportunity in preserving the original expressions of the Maasai culture. At the same time it's a challenge for any community today - facing rapid change - how to adapt to new and modern lifestyles without loosing touch with traditions and history.
There's a need for a young courageous leadership – leading the Maasai and Masai Mara into the future.
Still, many girls in the region are not able to attend school due to prohibitive costs.
Amongst those that do, many will not reach graduation day due to traditional practices.
"MaraGirls" started as a proactive step in securing quality education and leadership training for gifted Maasai girls. With an intake of only 16 students per year and a carefully designed selection process we aim to achieve three overarching goals.
- Secure primary education and successful graduation for the most talented girls during their most sensitive school years (years 6, 7 and 8).
- Provide opportunity for higher education for all students that graduate from "MaraGirls" and,
- Create community role models through enhanced personal leadership-skills and life-skills.
The school follows the curricula set out by the Kenya Government and, in partnership with the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), explores extra curricula activities on courageous leadership for youth (WanaKesho). Click below to read more.
Click and take a peek at the school's Vernacular Design. Site plan developed by our partners Melbye Architects of Norway and Florence Nyali - Wangari Maathai Institute scholarship sustainable architecture.