Instead of dropping out of school at age 12 and becoming a teenage wife and mother, as is traditional in the Maasai community, young Kakenya Ntaiya courageously fought to continue her education. In exchange, she promised to return to her village to help others. Today, the Kakenya Center for Excellence is changing the paradigm for girls’ education and empowering young leaders in rural Kenya. A boarding school (grades 4-8) provides 270 Maasai girls with a safe place to live, high-quality education, and enrichment activities. The girls consistently score among the top students regionally and nationally, and all have avoided harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation and early marriage. Once they begin secondary school, services like mentoring, career guidance, tutoring, and financial assistance ensure that alumnae stay on track. KCE reaches an additional 3,000 children through Health and Leadership trainings, extending the network of young leaders across the region. And demand for these programs increases each year, revealing a remarkable cultural shift in support of girls' education – a right that every girl should have.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: Internationally; ; Kenya

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Kakenya Center for Excellence


  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) we serve annually:   4,000
  • Percentage of girls who have avoided FGM and early marriage:   100
  • Percentage of girls who successfully transition from primary to secondary school each year:   100

Awards & Recognition

n/a

Press

  • No stories found

Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Kakenya Center for Excellence is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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