College for Maasai Girls who have the Courage to Change their World
The SHE Fund was inspired by the courageous and dedicated girls of the Tasaru Safe House in Narok, Kenya. Also known as the V-Day Safe House, the refuge was created in 2002 by Agnes Pareyio, a Maasai visionary, in collaboration with V-Day founder Eve Ensler, to help Maasai girls escaping the tribal traditions of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early childhood marriage, and to provide them with primary and secondary education, a right denied women in the Maasai tradition. Every year 6-10 girls from the Safe House graduate secondary school. In doing so, they’ve already transformed their families and communities by becoming the first females in their villages to go beyond primary school. The SHE Fund is the next step, offering support for two years of college to those students who choose to continue with their education. Those currently supported by the SHE Fund are studying Early Childhood Education, Business, Accounting, and Peace and Conflict Resolution. They will emerge from these programs with the skills and maturity to get good jobs, and, by their example, break to the cycle of oppression in their communities.
Kim Rosen began raising funds for one young woman, Jecinta, to go to college. The student flourished, due not only to the financial support she received but also to the emotional impact of the human connection with those who believed in her. Funders also were profoundly moved by the opportunity to have direct and ongoing relationship with the student. In subsequent years, Kim raised funds for six more girls to go to college. Witnessing the life-changing impact on the young women, and also how they are now transforming their families, villages and tribe as a whole, she was inspired to create the SHE Fund. By the end of 2015, there will be 11 students who have received college funding through the Fund.
The mission of the SHE Fund is to provide college, university or trade school tuition and all educational and living expenses for as many graduating Tasaru residents as possible, so that these young women are able not only to get professional placement in their communities and provide for themselves and their families, but also to return to their tribes and by their example change the story of Maasai women and girls who have been oppressed for generations – denied education, choice, and basic human rights. It is also our passion and purpose to provide as many donors as are inclined with relationships with these young women in the knowledge that the cross-cultural human connection will change the lives of all.
In the last chapter of Saved by a Poem, Kim writes about her first visit to the V-Day Safe House for Maasai Girls in Narok, Kenya. Initially, she was paralysed with shyness, and most of the girls were too. In an awkward moment one young woman, Jecinta, stepped forward and asked her to sing a song. “What I really love is poetry,” she responded. “May I recite a poem to you?” The miracle that ensued forged a life-changing connection for all of them. As the last lines of Mary Oliver’s “The Journey” echoed — “determined to do / the only thing you could do / determined to save / the only life you could save” — many of the girls were in tears of recognition. So was Kim.
It costs less than $3500 per year to send a young woman to a two-year college. This includes tuition and all living expenses – food, lodging, medical needs, clothing, supplies, etc.
91% of your tax deductible donation goes to the student (5% goes to our fiscal sponsor and 4% to Paypal. To avoid Paypal fees, send a check to the address listed below or contact us on how to send through Paypal without the fees). We hear from all directions how less than 5% of your donations to many large, impersonal organizations actually gets to the people in need.This is a radical opportunity to make a difference in a direct and deeply relational way!
There are two ways to offer support — you can be a Primary Funder for one student for two years; or you can make a contribution of any amount to the General Fund.
As a Primary Funder, you contribute $3500/year with a two year commitment to one student. This covers all of the student’s expenses: tuition, lodging, food, clothing, supplies, medical needs, etc. We will facilitate your direct relationship with the student to whatever extent you wish, or you can receive bi-annual reports on her progress.
The General Fund supports students who do not have a one-to-one donor. These funds will be allocated by team members who will develop personal relationships with the students receiving the money.
At the heart of the SHE vision is relationship. Each student who is supported by the SHE College Fund receives not only the money to go to at least two years of college, but also the support of a one-to-one mentor who will communicate with her, encourage her and believe in her. Both student and mentor are deeply touched and changed by this cross-cultural, transplanetary bond.
Each year 6 - 12 girls from the V-Day Safe House graduate secondary school. Let's support these extraordinary young women to get an education that will transform their lives, their culture, and this world we share. Let's do it in perpetuity.
Thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of Belladonna Sanctuary, your donation is fully tax-deductible. 91% of your donation goes to the students (5% goes to our fiscal sponsor and 4% to Paypal. To avoid Paypal fees send a check or contact us on how to send through Paypal without the fees)
Send a check for any amount made out to Belladonna Sanctuary.
Mail it to:
144 Lyman Meadow Unit #D3
Hinesburg, VT 05461
Funding a girl from the Safe House changes things for her forever. But it also really changes things for you. Our family had a real relationship with Regina. It was not just a matter of sending her money. We talked to her on the phone. My kids emailed her. We sent gifts back and forth. I spoke to her regularly and still do. We’ve become a part of each other’s lives in a way that will outlast any need she has for funding.
~ Joan Semling Bostian
My goal in Life is to contribute to what matters. Education matters. Education for girls and young women matters even more. When I heard Kim speak of the Safe House it was as if she was offering me an opportunity to be part of something that really matters and makes a difference. I could not resist and I am so happy I am doing it.
~ Sylvie Daigle
I am touched and immeasurably grateful to be developing a relationship with Eunice and supporting her courage and vision to create a life that is simultaneously independent and focused on serving others as an educator. I am in awe of her courage and devotion to learning, to family, to her faith and community. I have complete confidence in her ability to develop a strongly heartfelt and grounded future. Thank you for this opportunity to serve one who is so dear and may well serve so many.
~ Karin Carrington
I love helping to fund Anne because there is no self-pity in her. She knows she wants to change her life and college is the way to move forward. When I send money, I also tell her I am proud of her and I believe in her. I am making a difference and she is extremely grateful.
~ Donna LaPerle
Kim’s work with these women is truly astonishing. I have seen it change them, and I have felt it change her and the people she shares it with.
~ Pol Stafford
Founder, Author, Guide
S.H.E. Kenya Staff
Financial Manager, Bard
S.H.E. Kenya Consultant
Donor Liaison, Fundrasing
Founder, Tasaru Rescue Center
Visionary Attorney, Bard