Ruth is one of many young girls in the Maasai community, in a remote village in Kenya, where it is common for girls her age to stop going to school after finishing their primary education. In fact, many do not even get this far.
Without further education, these young girls are faced with female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. The Kenyan government estimates that 32% of all women between the ages of 15 and 49 in more than half of the country’s districts have undergone FGM. The prevalence among Maasai is still a shocking 95-97%. (Maasai-Rising.org 2014)
But not Ruth. Ruth was provided a New Vision Portable Solar Power Pack & Light in 2013. By the end of the school year, she not only passed the national exam, but was given the title of “Position One Girl.” Ruth’s mother made sure her daughter was allowed to attend secondary school – and not be married off nor subjected to the gruesome reality of mutilation in the tribal community. Her mother attributes her success in school to the extra hours of studying at night with the New Vision solar-powered light. The village is very proud of her and so are we. Having light to study at night empowers women and children and provides them with the opportunity to change their lives.
Leonard Wambua, Pastor of Eagle Rise Church and Director of the Africa Capacity Building Initiative, works with a large network of over 200 churches and encourages children to finish school. He also the Director of Eagle Rise Girl's Center and School. As a New Vision Outreach Partner with "feet on the ground" he ensures that when someone receives a New Vision light, a life is changed or empowered that will help better their situation or the community. Wambua followed up with the village leaders to ensure Ruth is now going to secondary school. The Maasai school does not perform well and both the parents and the school management agreed to monitor the children's performance together now that they have New Vision solar lights. Wambua will visit periodically the community for monitoring and prize giving for children who show tremendous improvement after completing exams.
Raising awareness is at the cornerstone of women’s empowerment programs because it can transform the way communities think about women’s roles, rights, and responsibilities. Gender inequality is prevalent in global poverty issues. New Vision partners with organizations that provide more opportunities to empower women to become small business owners, helping to bring an end to poverty around the world.
ABOUT NEW VISION:
New Vision Renewable Energy is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization launched in Philippi, West Virginia in 2009 as a grassroots Christian Community Development organization working to ReEnergize Communities to implement renewable energy solutions in their own neighborhoods through hands-on community development efforts. New Vision is an educational and innovation movement focusing on applicable technologies with renewable solutions and serves as a hub of collaborative discussion, training and invention bringing together green innovators, community leaders, youth and their mentors, companies, organizations as well as public and private partners. As a member of the United Nations Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network, New Vision helps to eradicate the effects of poverty in the developing world. For more information, visit www.NVRE.org, follow @ItsNewVision on Twitter or find us on Facebook at New Vision Renewable Energy.