MEF 2022 Mid-Year Matching Fundraiser

The board approved a 2022 Mid-Year Fundraiser with matching funds at our April board meeting to raise $24,875 in 2022 sponsorship/operating funds and $16,211 to start construction of a boys’ dormitory for a total of $41,086. In addition, we have matching fund commitments of up to $12,700 that will be used to partially furnish the recently completed Girls’ Dormitory and expand the school’s photovoltaic system.


Boys Dormitory Funding Goal: The proposed boys’ dormitory will be a duplicate of the recently completed girls’ dormitory. When completed the boys’ dormitory will house 124 boys and a matron. Phase I of construction will consist for a central hub and two dormitory wings that will house 48 students and their matron. One of the wings is dedicated to Lorene Benham, the mother of Brian Benham (MEF board member). Brian Benham and his family and friends are raising funds to construct her memorial wing. The cost of Phase I is $82,171 and we need $41,000 to start construction. We have already raised some funds and an additional $16,211 is needed before we can start construction.

Recently completed EEMPS Girls’ Dormitory

2022 EEMPS Sponsorship/Operating Funds Goal: Our 2022 Sponsorship/Operating Funds Goal is $60,000, which provides approximately half of the Engaruka English Medium Primary School’s operating funds. The remainder of the operating funds are raised by our partners in Tanzania. The school currently has 185 students in pre-school through 5th grade and only a handful of student’s families can afford the tuition, room and board and other fees. We need to raise an additional $24,875 to meet our 2022 goal. Sponsorship/operating funds pay for teacher and other EEMPS staff salaries and benefits, food for students and staff, teaching supplies and clothing and medical care for the students. If you designate your donation specifically for a child sponsorship ($700/year), you can pick a specific child to sponsor (in full or part) at and then notify us about the child you chose by emailing or calling 540-922-2971.

EEMPS school children, May 20, 2022

Matching Funds: We currently have commitments for $12,700 in matching funds. The first $10,000 in matching funds will be used to help furnish the new Girl’s Dormitory and $2,700 will be used to expand the school’s photovoltaic system until public electric grid reaches the school. We also

Girls’ Dormitory Furnishings: We do not have a specific fundraising goal but we welcome additional donations to furnish the Girls’ Dormitory. Girls’ Dormitory designated donations will be used to purchase the following items: bunk beds (24 @ $209 each); mattresses (48 @ $28 each), and student storage lockers (5 @ $639 each). Eventually the school will need an additional 24 bunk beds, 48 mattresses and 16 student locker units). We hope to furnish the dorm during the student’s August break.

EEMPS Trip Report and Recommendations

May 18-31, 2022

Participants: Jarek Campbell, Steve Conner, Theo Dillaha, Hallie Tucker, MaryGrace Van Dervort


  1. So much progress since our last trip in August 2019. 185 students in 6 grades now and 10 teachers plus staff.
  2. The Crane Classroom and Restroom Buildings are being fully utilized.
  3. The New Girls’ Dormitory is more than 95% complete and children are living in three wings. Electrical and plumbing systems complete. A few brick work deficiencies need to be completed/corrected.
  4. Children and staff seem healthy and happy and enthusiastic about learning and teaching.
  5. Students are very responsible. They do much of the cleaning work (buildings, clothes, grounds) and some older students work in the kitchen and assist with serving food, etc. All students clean their own dishes and clothes.
  6. Response to computers donated by Service without Borders and to computer classes offered by SWB students was great. Neither wanted to leave when classes were over. The school secretary and new public relations person are good with computers and will continue classes for teachers and students. The bookkeeper could probably help also.
  7. Power poles now come to school. During visit to school by district commissioner, he ordered the district electrical engineer to develop a plan to get electricity to school ASAP.
  8. District commissioner ordered water engineer to facilitate water supply improvement for the school (resolve land issues associated with new pipeline to school).
  9. Tom Neils was at the school when we arrived. He inspected the new dorm so he could make modifications to the design of the proposed boys dormitory. He is also working on a comprehensive site plan for the school.
  10. New PR person, Olar Paul seems great. I think we made a good investment. He is also going to teach computer classes at the school.


  1. School has outgrown its water supply. Water inadequate for good personal hygiene and construction of new buildings. Need new pipeline ASAP. Have asked Martha to update pipeline cost estimate given increase in cost of construction materials.
  2. School has outgrown the photovoltaic system donated by Service without Borders. Electricity is adequate during the day but power only lasts until 8:30 PM or so at night. Probably need a few more solar panels and batteries to extend power at night and in the early morning. Martha is requesting an analysis by a solar energy firm to see what expansion is needed to get us by until the school is connected to the public electrical grid (could be months to years).
  3. Cellular modem for wifi at the school works but is very slow. Seems like hotspots provided by newer cell phones are better. Situation not likely to improve until school gets satellite internet connection.
  4. There are currently no funds to buy additional bunk beds and furnishings for students moving to the new Girls’ Dormitory.
  5. Most students are using the Crane Restroom Building and it is overused. Situation should be changing now that the new dormitory is open as each of the 5 wings has 4 bathrooms with toilet, shower and sink. May need new water pipeline for all the new restrooms to be functional but situation will still be better even if water is short as children can bath and flush toilets with buckets of water.
  6. On some days we observed what appeared to be sewage rising to the surface near wastewater lines behind the dining hall. Did not know if this was the result of inadequate sewer line slope, partially blocked pipes or backup from the large septic tank. Construction of a second dormitory will require a second drain pit or other wastewater disposal option. Might be wise to consider putting in a three-cell waste stabilization pond system after the current drain pit. The first two cells would treat the waste and the third cell could be used to grow fish with any liquid effluent being used for irrigation. Wastes could bypass the drain pit and go directly to the ponds when the drain pit is periodically desludged. The ponds would need to be surrounded by a chain link fence or other barrier to keep humans and animals out. See:


  1. MEF should release the remaining $7,874 budgeted for the Girls’ Dormitory so that construction can be completed. These funds should be adequate for completion of the necessary brick work and some minor roof truss issues.
  2. Water supply situation at the school must be addressed. MEF should start funding the new water pipeline ASAP.
  3. Some students are currently sleeping two to a bed and do not have any place to store their few personal belongings other than on their beds or in bags under their beds. Martha is preparing budget request for needed beds and storage lockers/units. Unclear to us how many additional beds are needed, probably about 24 so not a huge expense but also need mattresses, bedding, etc. We will see what Martha requests.
  4. MEF should fund a limited expansion of the school photovoltaic system to tide the school over until the school has public electricity. The photovoltaic system will still be needed after connection to the electrical grid because of public power system outages. There was an outage in Engaruka during our visit.
  5. A small electric drum cement mixer would improve the quality of concrete and mortar used for school construction by facilitating proper mixing and cement/sand/gravel rations. We should recommend its use on future MEF funded construction projects requiring concrete and mortar.

Upcoming Visit to EEMPS

We have not had any posts lately but that will change on May 17! Three students from Virginia Tech and two advisors/MEF Board members will visit the school May 18 to 31. During this period, we will provide daily updates on the school and our activities via the MEF Facebook page at:

The participating students are with Service without Borders and they funded a computer lab at the school with 12 laptops, LCD projector, cellular modem, etc. The team will be training students and staff in laptop use and introducing educational software. Also reading with students daily as well as learning about Maasai culture. I will be interviewing students with sponsors and those needing sponsors and making videos for sponsors. While we are there, the new girls’ dormitory will be dedicated and our dining hall will be named in Peter Ozolins honor.

EEMPS National Exam Results!

𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 4𝒕𝒉 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈!

All 25 of our 4th graders took the exam and here are the results for our Group (schools with less that 40 students in 4th grade).

  • 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 / 𝗠𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: 𝟭/𝟮𝟬 (𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗶 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁?) – 𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲!
  • 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽: 𝟲/𝟮𝟰𝟱 (𝗔𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗵𝗮 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻) – 𝟵𝟴𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲
  • 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽: 𝟲𝟯/𝟯𝟵𝟵𝟳 (𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗮𝗻𝘇𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗮) – 𝟵𝟴𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲
  • 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗔!

We are excited as this indicates that the Engaruka English Medium Primary School is an EXCELLENT Tanzania school. These results compare us with schools that have less than 40 students in 4th grade. Results comparing our school with all schools in Tanzania (regardless of size) are not available yet.


The 2021 #Giving Tuesday/December was a huge success! Our goal was to raise $39,000 in donations to fund half of MEF’s 2022 operating funds commitment for the Engaruka English Medium Primary School and $9,000 towards a new water pipeline to increase the school’s water supply. With an additional $11,600 in matching funds provided by other donors, we raised at least $50,600 and the new water pipeline ($46,000) is fully funded! A huge thank you to all our wonderful donors!

If you want to donate, please donate via the PayPal Giving Fund at:

#GivingTuesday/December Fundraiser Update

96% OF THE WAY TO OUR $39,000 GOAL!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Just 4 days to go in the fundraiser and we are $1,520 short of our $39,000 goal. The $1,520 will go towards a new water pipeline that will increase the school’s water by more that 10 times.

If you would like to help, you can donate by credit card via the PayPal Giving Fund by clicking here: or Facebook by clicking here: You can also mail checks payable to Maasai Education Foundation at 345 Woods Ln, Newport, VA 24128.

#GivingTuesday/December Fundraiser Update

WE NEED YOUR HELP! We have 10 days to go in the fundraiser and we are $3,455 short of our $39,000 goal. The $3,455 will go towards a new water pipeline that will increase the school’s water by more that 10 times.

If you would like to help, you can donate by credit card via the PayPal Giving Fund by clicking here: or Facebook by clicking here: You can also mail checks payable to Maasai Education Foundation at 345 Woods Ln, Newport, VA 24128.

This year with 143 students and 20 or so staff, we ran very low on water periodically and had to decrease showers and toilet flushing. With 173 students next month, the situation will only grow worse. The new water supply pipeline for the school will cost $47,000 and we just need $3,455 for the new pipeline to be fully funded.


#GivingTuesday-December Fundraiser Progress

We are off to a GREAT start on the MEF GivingTuesday through December Fundraiser! So far we have raised at least $13,230.52 or 34% of our $39,000 goal and all donations received today were matched. We still have at least $3,672 in matching funds available so please don’t let them go to waste!

For those that tried to contribute at 8am via Facebook, we’ve heard that this was a challenge with many people getting donation errors or long delays in donation processing. Sounds like Facebook was not prepared for the level of donations.

Our Fall Newsletter Is Out

Our fall newsletter is out! The highlights are as follows:

Message from Theo, MEF Board Chairperson: It has been an incredible year for MEF in spite of COVID-19 and I would like to summarize our accomplishments to date. Greater detail is provided in the rest of the newsletter.

  • So far in 2021:
    • Our incredible donors have donated $133,954 to MEF. Our goal for the year was $110,775.
    • We sent $135,090 to Tanzania for student sponsorships and construction of the new girl’s dormitory.
    • We had $359 in non-program expenses (postage, bank and eBay fees, etc.) so 99.73% of your donations go directly to Tanzania. Possible because we are 100% volunteer run and spend next to nothing on advertising unlike most charities.
  • Our 143 children at the Engaruka English Medium Primary School (EEMPS) are thriving and excelling academically. Our 25 4th graders just completed their first national exams for private schools and EEMPS ranked in the upper 29% nationally. This is our first real and independent measure of the school’s success.
  • Our new 120 bed girl’s dormitory is nearing completion and will house all our girls starting in January. Fundraising for a boy’s dormitory will start next year with construction beginning in late 2022 or early 2023.
  • The school now has a cellular modem and connection to the internet. It has facilitated Zoom video conferencing between the US and the school for volunteer reading sessions with students, sponsor-sponsored student chats, and science lessons.
  • Service with Borders cancelled their 2021 service-learning trip to EEMPS and instead provided funding to start a computer lab at the school to facilitate remote learning. They started the volunteer reading program with EEMPS students.
  • Our #GivingTuesday Matching Fundraiser starts at the end of the month. We hope to raise $30,000 for student sponsorships and $20,000 to construct a new water supply pipeline for the school. As the school has grown our water supply has become inadequate.
  • Two of our supporting families selected MEF to receive memorial donations after their loved ones passed away. These memorials resulted in donations and pledges of $31,730. MEF gratefully thanks these families.
  • We are also grateful to the Crane Family of Columbus, Ohio. They donated $17,500 to fund a wing of the new girl’s dormitory, which we will name in their honor. This is the Crane Familiy’s 2nd major donation to the school.
  • Our 2021 Mid-Year Matching Fundraiser was a huge success! Our goal was to raise $24,000: $17,000 for a new girl’s dormitory wing and $7,000 in sponsorship/operating funds. We received a total of $32,040 in donations and $13,550 in matching funds or $17,000 for the dormitory and $28,590 in sponsorship/operating funds for the school. A HUGE THANK YOU to our 1st Mid-Year Matching Fundraiser donors!