Meet Magdalene

 

Magdalene, age 17, is one of our three girls who received scholarships to attend universities in
Australia. 

Magdalene comes from a polygamous family and is the fifth born in a family of 15 children. She was at high risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. Her family struggled to support her education.

In 2009, she was selected to join the first class of fourth graders at the Kakenya Center for Excellence (KCE). KCE provides high-quality education, a safe place to live, freedom from FGM and child marriage, and healthcare to all its students.

 Magdalene as a high schooler, where she was part of Kakenya’s Dream Network for Excellence

Magdalene as a high schooler, where she was part of Kakenya’s Dream Network for Excellence

Prior to attending KCE, Magdalene understood very little English and lacked the confidence she needed to express herself. She says, “I did not know how to speak well in English, and therefore I would shy away whenever I was required to speak or write in English. At the local school I attended, students spoke and were taught in Maasai, my mother tongue.”

She continues, “All this changed when I joined KCE where I received extra tuition not only in English but other subjects as well that resulted to great improvement in my performance. Now, I am an all-rounded empowered girl that is confident and capable to write and express myself very well.”

 Magdalene says goodbye to her parents. Her father gives her a traditional Maasai blessing by placing his hand on her head.

Magdalene says goodbye to her parents. Her father gives her a traditional Maasai blessing by placing his hand on her head.

Magdalene is now attending Sydney University, where she is studying for a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science degree.

 Magdalene packs for the trip to Australia.

Magdalene packs for the trip to Australia.

 Magdalene hugs her mom before she says goodbye.

Magdalene hugs her mom before she says goodbye.

 Magdalene says goodbye to other members of her family.

Magdalene says goodbye to other members of her family.

 
Andrew Isaacs