It has been a very busy and interesting couple of weeks. MGRC is currently at capacity renting the LOOCIP hostel and facilities. The government brought four girls last week to us who they are protecting from forced marriage. Even though we are full, Sayuni who just had thyroid surgery is still only half sponsored, and we have eight desperate girls on our waiting list, we agreed to house the four girls until the government can find a safe place to put them. These girls are between 11 and 13. They never attended school and were being forced by their fathers to marry older men.
This is common with the Maasai as they do not see educating their girls as a benefit to them. A girl can be financially beneficial to a man if he sells her in marriage. Cows, which are a sign of status to the Maasai are usually the payments.
Our growing waiting list is heartbreaking
MGRC has been blessed to be able to start our charity in LOOCIP existing facilities. These facilities are good but not ideal. There is room for 30 girls and 8 female staff. I have already stated that we have 4 girls the government brought and 8 desperate girls waiting to join us. What I didn’t say is that I am approached every week by a mother or grandmother begging us to take their child. The most painful thing I do is tell them that they need to be put on a waiting list.
The latest example is a very old grandmother brought her granddaughter to us for the fourth time yesterday. The girl, Ngashumbai, is 7 years old. Her mother died during her child birthing and the grandmother has raised her ever since. The grandmother is not only very old but is a widow with no support. She is not well, and is afraid if she dies (her words) that no one will care for Ngashumbai. It breaks my heart to tell her to wait. She does not understand that we have no room, as a Maasai would always take one more child and fit them into the family.
Please pray for us as we seek sponsors for these girls and that we can build our own facilities that will house additional girls. The situation is desperate and the success we are having is making more and more people come to us for help.
My ambitious plans to meet the need
MGRC has plans that will help us grow in the event we get support to build our own facilities. We expect to raise some of our own monies by implementing projects that will be cash positive. These projects are:
- Dairy cows. Our newest cow, Joy just gave birth to a bull calf yesterday. We now have three females that are lactating and three calves – two female and one male. We are able to provide milk for all of our girls and staff now, and with the addition of the new calf we will have extra to sell. If we are blessed with the continuation of this project we should be able to pay for all the overheads of the dairy cows, have milk for all the girls and maybe even extra cash for other expenses.
- Goats. Our goat project is going well, despite a few set backs. One goat died, but we are blessed to have four that are pregnant and should give birth in the next 6 weeks. Our hope is that this project will provide a sustainable source of meat and milk for the girls, as well as money from the sale of goats that we deem non-productive.
- Gardening. We developed a vegetable garden this year but after 4 months of harvesting the crops we were hit by a lack of water. Longido suffers from water issues and during the dry season water is rationed to users. We needed to prioritize our water usage and the garden suffered. We are in a severe drought now and will restart the garden once the rains come. If we had our own land we would drill a well and make sure we were self sufficient with water.
- Chickens. We do not have room at LOOCIP where we are renting facilities to raise chickens. Chickens are a great source of protein at very little cost. If we had our own land we could raise chickens to feed the girls eggs and meat.
- Farming. A small farm is also being planned so we could grow crops such as maize and sweet potatoes to feed our girls, using the maize stocks and sweet potato vines as fodder for the dairy cows. Both are excellent food sources that we need to purchase now for our cows.
You can see we have ambitious plans. These plans are to try and provide as much as we possibly can in order for MGRC to serve as many girls as possible. We know we can not support all but we pray to be able to increase our numbers so I do not have to turn so many away.
I encourage any and all who read this to visit us and see first hand the extreme poverty and hard life of the girls who come to our facility. I guarantee you will not go home feeling the same.