The Amazing Maasai Marathon is the primary fundraiser for The Girls Project (Kenya), which is a program to educate and empower young women. Although public education is considered “free”, there is an annual price tag of nearly $400 to cover uniforms, transportation and other necessities. Families struggling in poverty typically prioritize education of their sons over their daughters. So, by the time these young women turn 13, many are married off for hopes of a better life.
The annual costs for boarding schools, such as Daraja Academy, are a bit higher; however, they provide a stable “home” environment where students have basic needs met — including food, clothes, shelter and electricity so they may study.
A picture is worth a 1,000 words. I experienced such a sense of hope, faith, and of community as we toured the Daraja Academy school property.
The entire property has motivational quotes with reminders to dream BIG and an understanding that we are spiritual beings on a human journey.
Every Daraja Girl understands they are part of something much greater and take accountability for their own actions…their own success. They are the dreamers who will return to transform their own communities. Only opening their doors about five years ago, it was exciting to hear that three Daraja graduates are now in the United States attending college. They believed they could…so they did.
A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. Humility is the true key to success.
Listening to the stories of just a few Daraja Academy girls, which are indicative of the plight of them all, was humbling and heartbreaking. They touched our souls and not one of us departed with dry eyes.
Diana is one such story. Diana is a first year Daraja student who wants to work in medicine. She is the only one of eight children attending school. It became emotional for all of us as we listened to how no one knows where her mother is since her parents divorced. We also listened to the story of a fourth year student who said that Daraja saved her life. Had she not been accepted into school, she would be married with two children of her own by now.
Have you fallen in love with the strength and fortitude of these young women? If so, a new crowdrise page was set up for online donations: http://www.crowdrise.com/AmazingMaasaiMarathon2015