100% of your donation goes directly to the care of the girls. Because the Founder, President, Board of Directors, Angel Donors, and Fundraising team members are all unpaid volunteers, our charity management expenses are zero. This support makes it possible for us to keep our promise: “that we will never use public donations to pay for our administration or fund raising expenses." Our operating efficiency combined with the buying power of US and European currencies give your dollars a monumental impact on the lives of the girls at our center.
Yes, we are a 501c3 based in Arizona. When you donate you will be emailed a receipt to help you keep track of your donations.
The MGRC girls that we take come from the poorest of the poor in Longido District of Tanzania. The government brings us girls that they rescue from forced early marriage, we have grandmothers and mothers who can not feed their girls come to us looking for help.
We have developed a guide for each ward councillor to screen the girls and assure us that they are truly from a needy family. We have close relationships with government officials, especially the Member of Parliament of Longido district that looks to the entire district so we do not favour a particular family or village.
Areas in Tanzania at least 30 km from a paved road, with no water, no electricity, no shops, no schools, no village are commonly referred to as “the bush". It is just a single mud hut built far from anything, even neighbors, to give the livestock space to roam around.
There are multiple ways to sponsor a girl, and you can actually sponsor a girl for $30. The $30 is 25% of the full cost per girl. The summary of expenses can be found on our budget page. Cost to fully sponsor a girl is $120 USD per month. This covers full-time, quality housing, full healthcare and medical expenses, sets of new clothes, food, and an education at a Christian school. Essentially, when you take on a full sponsorship you aren’t just covering food or clothes, you are giving someone a whole new life.
When we have either 4 sponsors at $30 each or $120 per month, we will add the girl to the Center prioritized on need or urgency. At any time we have a large waiting list of at risk girls desperately needing rescuing.
This is Africa and many people know that a typical family who lives here survives on less than $2.00 dollars a day. At MGRC we basically adopt each girl, raising them as we would our own children. We provide everything a girl needs to grow into their full potential. We provide a clean, safe, dormitory with full time Matrons who mentor and teach each girl essential tools for facing life challenges.
Each girl receives a medical check up at the local hospital upon arrival at MGRC and continued full health coverage is provided by us. We have several girls who have been treated for worms, club foot, floriosis (bent leg), ear infections, head fungus, skin disorders and vision issues.
We have a full time cook who prepares all meals. The meals always consist of foods the girls may never have experienced before, such as meat, fruits and vegetables. We strive to provide a balanced diet so the girls not only can grow into healthy adults but also learn the importance of nutrition for their future children and families.
We provide clothing, everything from school uniforms, athletic track suits, dresses for church and after school, underwear, shoes, socks and personal items that many have never been exposed to. We also provide new Maasai shukas, the traditional dresses of the Maasai women and girls. None of our girls have ever had a new shuka. The practice in the bush is that a father hands down his old shuka to his wife then the wife cuts hers to fit the children. Imagine the condition of these garments once a child receives them. It is not easy to describe but once you witness this you will be compelled to help.
MGRC believes that it is important to keep the girls connected to their Maasai traditions. We have a grandmother come once a week to teach traditional bead making and our Matrons teach traditional Maasai songs and dance.
Our tutors help the girls with their homework and assists them in learning how to study and prepare for their assignments. This is not a practice that they have ever seen. The results are showing in the school reports they bring home.
You can help in many ways. MGRC is determined to teach our girls not only in academics but also life skills. We have projects in the planning stages that are just waiting for funds. Projects like sewing classes, gardening techniques in an arid environemnt including aquaponics methods, raising zero grazing dairy cows as a business, and chicken farming. You can donate any amount and designate it to a specific project. You will be kept informed as to the projects status and results.
You can also volunteer! Visit our volunteer section to learn more.
A volunteer can provide many added benefits to our girls. Exposing the girls to other cultures is the best way to prepare them for competing in the world. Depending on the length of time a volunteer is here one could teach english classes, bible study, sewing, or for the non- teaching types there are always projects like painting, fixing buildings, developing the gardens or the skills that can assist us in helping the girls. We get many great ideas from our volunteers.
Longido, Tanzania is in East Africa. We recommend you review the Tanzania Government website to see what vaccinations are necessary. They vary from time to time so it is best to review several months prior to coming. We have mosquitoes and thus malaria is a possibility. Your doctor can prescribe medicine that can prevent you from contacting malaria while on your visit. We also have mosquito nets and spray as an added protection at night.
Yes a visa is necessary to visit Tanzania. The cost is $100 USD and can be obtained at the airport upon arrival or you can procure prior to arriving. You can find the procedures for procuring the visa by viewing the Tanzanian Government website.
There are many different methods of FGM, what the Maasai practice is classified as Type I by WHO, meaning total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy).
Boys and girls are both “circumcised" in Maasai culture, although for girls the term used is FGM (female genital mutilation). Both are brutal operations performed on children who have no voice in the matter. For girls the procedure is much more invasive and dangerous and runs a much higher risk of complications or death. The side effects are also much more extreme and long lasting. Examples include increased risk of complications during childbirth that put the mother and her baby’s life at risk, and fistulas (a vaginal fistula is an abnormal opening that connects your vagina to another organ).
The girl sits on a cow skin with one woman holding her back. After the cutter opens the legs and pinches the clit. Two more women hold the girl’s legs open, and the cutter removes all the meat using razorblades. Some cut the vulva as well using the same procedure.
It is a maasai tradition that a girl must be cut in oder to be considered a woman and be eligible for marriage. Most men expect their wives to be cut.
In the Maasai community, a girl being cut(FGM) is one of the most important traditions that marks a women’s passage to womanhood. It is also their belief that this cutting of the girl’s genital organ will lower her urge to have sexual interaction, thus mimizing prostitution and pregnancies before marriage. A girl not being cut is taboo and is called, entaapai, which is a very bad stigma for a girl carry into her adult life. At a girls wedding, if a she has committed entaapai, she will not be allowed to pass through the normal boma gate. A temporary gate will be created for her, and immediately after she passes through the gate will be re-fenced. It is a sign that she has broken with the traditional practice of the tribe.
A Maasai girl is cut as early as the age of five. The Maasai have several different Clans, or extended family identities, and each Clan has their own age and circumstances that dictate when a girl is cut. The father is the one who decides when is the right time.
After the FGM ritual is complete the girl must wear a black shuka and a wreath around her head made of white small sea shells and colored beads sewn to a strip of animal skin. The girls must dress in this fashion for at least four months while she is healing from her FGM procedure. The girl does not cut her hair during this “dark” period, and she is not allowed to wash or use water for any reason.
In Tanzania it is estimated that 99% of the Maasai girls have this procedure done. If the father wants it to be done, it is very hard to refuse his orders without a safe place to run away to.
It is difficult but can be done. The educated girls are learning they have rights and they can refuse. Some families do not care what the others think and let their girl decide. These families (most of which are Christian) are in the minority and often have some girls cut and some not.
The government in the past has let the Maasai govern themselves in the traditions of FGM and even early marriage, but recently they have been enforcing the law especially when it is brought to their attention from pastors, school officials, or even the girls themselves. There are not many if any places for these girls to escape even after they are rescued from these old Maasai traditional abuses. The government will write a letter and have social services talk to the parents and warn them of an impending arrest if they do not let the girl achieve legal marrying age. There is no effective protection from FGM unless the girl has a place to run away to.
Yes. We hope to reconcile the girls with her family if she decides not to be cut. Some families are even having fake ceremonies where the village does not know she was not cut. Rare but it does happen. The traditional Maasai will not consider her an adult, and it will be difficult to marry inside the tribe since most men expect their wives to be cut.