MARA GIRLS LEADERSHIP PROJECT
SCHOOL OF PROMISE
We're developing a comprehensive library and related enrichment activities for Mara Girls Leadership School, an extraordinary upper primary school in Talek, Kenya, on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In an area where few girls have the chance to stay in school, Mara Girls provides a quality education for highly motivated girls from across the region, in a boarding-school setting modeled after the circular Maasai style of family living. This is a life-changing opportunity for girls aged 11 to 15 to focus on education — and to grow into confident thinkers and doers, courageous future leaders, and mentors and role models for other girls.
Mara Girls was built and is managed by Basecamp Foundation Kenya, in partnership with the community. Together, our goal is to nurture the hearts and minds of these future leaders.
When girls and women are educated... families, communities, and whole nations prosper.
Mouline, Jackie, and Sarah the day we finished Phase 1 in April 2019
"Mara Girls Library has already become of great help to the girls at school. They are able to study quietly in their free time now, which we never had before. The readers have been especially helpful for the beginners in building their language skills. We have seen that the girls are also becoming more confident from reading and learning. Three of the girls participated in the local music festival in June for the first time and proved to be eloquent public speakers at the event."
~Mouline Otieno, Head Teacher
What's in the library?
A breadth of high-quality fiction and nonfiction, both African and international, for all reading levels
A "nature corner" with the complete set of wildlife and conservation books and guides recommended to us by the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya
Biographies of inspiring people, with a focus on women and Africans
"Golden Tips and Kenya Certificate (KCPE) texts" in all subjects, recommended by the Kenyan Ministry of Education to boost the Kenyan standard curriculum
Easy readers in Swahili and English for building comprehension
RACHEL Plus servers for access to digital content including Wikipedia and the African Story Project
village of Talek
Narok County, Kenya
Mara Girls Leadership School has a strong connection to the Wangari Maathai Foundation, which aims to build integrity and courageous leadership in the next generation. Wangari Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in the 1970s, inspiring thousands of women to plant trees, and was the first African woman and first environmentalist to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We share these principles and the enthusiasm for this remarkable role model for women. The first books we brought, in 2017, were by or about Wangari Maathai.
Please help Mara Girls grow and thrive!
This program is funded entirely by your support.
Build local partnerships
Develop the library in collaboration with teachers & community leaders
ASSESSMENT & ENRICHMENT
Study & measure the impact of the library
Fill gaps & improve the library from our learnings
Develop a database & checkout system to enable future expansion
Our approach is grassroots and collaborative. Everything is purchased in Kenya.
Ultimately, this library will be a model that can be replicated.
Phase 3: The Solar Library
Our long-term vision is to open up Mara Girls Library to others: to conservationists, to community members, and to children attending the 6 nearby public schools, all of which have no libraries or enrichment of this kind. We will begin this as a pilot in early 2020 with Talek Primary School, right next to Mara Girls. With their teacher's participation, students will be able to check out a book to bring home — along with a SunBell Smart solar lantern big enough to light up a Maasai mud home and to read by (provided by Basecamp Foundation Kenya). We will include extra children's books for this purpose, in English, Swahili, and Maa; and the students at Mara Girls will even help run the program!
We expect this program to reach 1000 Maasai children each year.
Talek Primary School, a public school just down the road from Mara Girls. Students here and at other local schools will also benefit from Mara Girls Library.