We need to acquire knowledge. Education is not only recognized as a fundamental human need, but is recognized as a basic human right. We need education in order to master and conquer the world around us, to unwrap the mysteries of life. We need education to invent and discover. We need to understand not only all what is happening around us, but also how it affects us now and in the future.

Starving one's mind is as bad as starving one's body. We need to understand our social, economic, political and cultural milieu in order to be able, not only to fit into it, but also to make meaningful contribution to shaping it. Therefore the role to the education person should be to demystify what looks mysterious to others. Cherish Others Organisation Kenya is dedicated and emphasize on girl child education 'EMPOWER ME WITH EDUCATION'

Supporting System for Education

The girl child, who grows up within the Maasai-community has to face many difficulties concerning her independence, since it is the man who makes all the relevant decisions. A girl has to deal with issues like FGM and early marriage and she does not have any possibility to create her own life, because she was raised with the idea she is first part of the fathers property and later, after marriage, turns to be one of the husbands belongings. Cherish Others believes that the position of the affected girls needs to be improved and that the girls have to be empowered to expose their state of mind.

This can only be possible by giving them the full access to proper education. In the TransMara district it is still special for a girl to complete education and to work for her own income. Therefore, it is the wish of Cherish Others to support those girls in the district who are refusing to undergo the harmful practice of FGM and to be married at an early age, even before they are 18 years old. They have to get the chance to take the full responsibility over their personal life's decisions. Cherish Others is supporting the girls in finishing their primary school and further to complete a higher level of education, such as secondary school.

The girls who have completed their secondary school then get the opportunity to continue their studies according to their personal wishes and abilities. A girl then can decide whether she wants to attend in a vocational training or rather take part in a course in college or even join university. Cherish Others will support the girls throughout related to their individual situation. There are four groups of girls whose situations need to be approved. One group is the girls who have refused to undergo FGM and whose families are now refusing to accept them back in their middle without them being circumcised.

The second group is including all those girls who ran away from their homes, because they were about to be forced into marriage. The third group is made out of those girls who have lost their parents or one parent and there is no relative or family friend who can cater for them and support them in completing their education. In the fourth group are all those girls who are coming from extremely poor families and there is no way for the families to pay for the child's education, even if they are willing.

By giving the girls the basis to be educated Cherish Others intends to strengthen the position of the woman within the Maasai-community and to improve their general situation, which will bring an improvement for the whole society. Cherish Others believes that there is no difference between men and women. There are only human beings in this world and they are all born with the same rights, also te right to create their own life as they wish to. Education is the tool to be able to make decisions for life.

The ANTI-FGM RUN an annual event was organised by Cherish Others Organisation Kenya in order to involve the community in actively sponsoring their girls in pursuing higher levels of education. The event is both meant to awaken the awareness of the community on the harmfulness of FGM and also to emphasise on the importance of educating the girl child.

The findings of FGM in relation to low levels of education is stated in October to December 2005 quarterly report as follows "…All the leaders who were contacted welcomed the initiative and pledged full support, since there was a general understanding amongst them, as local leaders and development conscious community members, that the practice of female circumcision and early marriage led to low girl child education which consequently inhibited effective participation of women in economic productive activities and made it one of the major causes of poverty in the district.

The District Commissioner Mr Mathenge in particular, expressed that he would support the (anti-FGM) project in total. He said he abhorred the practice as it infringed on the rights of the girl child. "The cutting does not benefit her in any way, it is butchering in the name of traditional practice…it has caused gender inequality and underdevelopment in TransMara," he said. He went on to site an example whereby the women folk visiting a local health centre for treatment requested that they wanted to be given injections by female nurses instead of male nurses.

The District Commissioner asked them to produce ladies from their area so as they could be employed in the health centre to serve them but they could not produce even one lady who met the qualifications suitable for taking up the posts…" He also said in his speech on the day of the Anti-FGM run in 2006, 'educating the girl child is like educating the Nation'. Cherish Others Organisation- Kenya has demonstrated that the community empowerment is a precondition for any sustainable development. Empowered communities can mobilize internal resources and needs. Once the capacity of the community is strengthened, they can explore the possibility of acquiring additional external resources


Cherish Others Organisation is operating a resource centre at the Kilgoris office. Publications and training materials on topical issues such as HIV/AIDS, Gender, and Agriculture were stocked. The resource centre is open to members of the community throughout the period. Counselling services and Question and Answer services are also provided in the centre.