The Jecinta Fund
College Scholarships for Girls from the Vday Safe House
in Narok, Kenya
Funding the college education of Jecinta has been one of the most profound gifts of my life. The love and communication between us is a life-changing experience for both of us. Jecinta is the first young woman of her village to receive a post-secondary education and her hard-work and commitment has changed not only her own story, but that of her family and her tribe. Traditionally Maasai girls are not allowed to go to school. Although it is against the law, many girls are ‘circumcised” (Female Genital Mutilation) when they reach puberty or before, and sold into marriage to a man often 4 or 5 times their age. The VDAY Safe House provides a sanctuary for those girls who are courageous and fortunate enough to run away. The girls are sent to school and all their needs are provided for.
The legal mandate of the Safe House is to protect, provide for and educate the girls until they graduate secondary school. At that point the girls must find someone to fund their college education or their future is uncertain.
Currently there are four girls seeking funding for post-secondary education. I know them all personally and believe that they are young women who will not only succeed in college but will return to their communities and create manifold transformation. Over the last two years, I not only had the deep joy of supporting Jecinta to flower in business school, but I also was able to connect a young woman named Regina with a family here in California who funded her through two years of teachers college (Regina is pictured to the right at her college graduation this December). The three daughters in the family consider Regina their sister. They speak by phone and email with her regularly. When I went to Kenya, I carried personal gifts from each of them — fuzzy socks, handmade cards and a framed picture of the family. Regina wept as she pointed out each family member by name to me — her American “mum” and “dad” and each of the three girls. When I returned I carried a beaded gourd and traditional beaded necklaces – one for each of the daughters – from Regina.
Please consider if you or a group of your friends or anyone you know might want to support a Safe House girl to go to college. It is an incredible blessing to have such an immediate and tangible relationship with a bright young woman, to be able to change her life story in such a tangible way, and through her the story of her family, her tribe and women on this planet. Your support of the girls is fully tax-deductible thanks to the collaboration of Belladonna Sanctuary. If you are interested, I am overjoyed to offer you more information, as well as photos and videos of the girls seeking funding. If you decide to make the commitment, I will continue to facilitate your relationship with the student to whatever extent you choose.
Email me for more information.