MEF Nov 2022 Newsletter


Nov. 15 – Meta Recurring Donation Matching Program

Nov. 29 – Dec 31 MEF #GivingTuesday Matching Fundraiser


Message from Theo, MEF Board Chairperson: It has been another amazing year for MEF and the Engaruka English Medium Primary School (EEMPS). Highlights of the past 12 months are listed below and detailed in the newsletter.

  • So far in 2022:
    • We have received $134,388 in donations.
    • We sent $156,486 to EEMPS for student sponsorships/operating funds, finishing construction and furnishing the new girl’s dormitory, and constructing the new waterline to the school.
    • We had $348 in non-program expenses (postage, bank and eBay fees, etc.) so 99.74% of your donations go directly to Tanzania. We are 100% volunteers with no salaries.
  • For 2022, we have 185 children at EEMPS in pre-school through 5th grade. We will have a new pre-school class and our 5th graders will become 6th graders in January. In 2024 we will complete our planned pre-school through 7th grade.
  • In October 2021, our 4th graders took the school’s first national exams and ranked in the top 2% of Tanzania schools with less than 40 students per class. Our 2022 4th graders took the same exam the last week in October 2022, and we are hoping for similar results.
  • Our 120-bed girls’ dormitory is complete, partially furnished, and was occupied by 96 girls and 24 boys in May.
  • A new 2-inch water supply pipeline for the school was completed in October. Previously, the school obtained water from an inadequate 1-inch shared pipeline. The new $53,000 pipeline was funded by MEF and Brand g Vacations.
  • MEF board members traveled to EEMPS with Virginia Tech Service without Borders (SWB) students in May. The SWB students donated a computer lab to the school with 12 laptops, LCD projector, etc. and trained students and teachers in the use of the computers. An EEMPS staff member is continuing the computer classes at the school.
  • Planned 128-bed boys’ dormitory – we have raised approximately $55,000 to start construction of a boy’s dormitory, initially identical to the girls’ dormitory. Because of the increased construction costs, we are exploring ways to reduce costs. We hope to start construction in early 2023 with 32 boys living in one dorm wing by the end of 2023.
  • The school has a cellular modem and connection to the internet, but the bandwidth is inadequate for reliable Zoom meetings and the computer lab and has been unreliable for the past 4 or 5 months. Consequently, funding a satellite internet connection or possible 5G cellular service is a priority for the Nov. 29, 2022 GivingTuesday fundraiser.
  • Our 2021 GivingTuesday and 2022 Mid-Year Matching Fundraisers were huge successes, raising $51,345 and $54,601, respectively! Both fundraisers exceeded our goals. Funds raised were used primarily for construction of the completed girl’s dormitory and water supply pipeline, furnishing the girls dormitory, school sponsorships/operating funds and they will be used for the proposed boys’ dormitory. A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS!

Nov. 15, 2022 Meta Recurring Donation Matching Fundraiser

Make a recurring donation of up to $100/month on the MEF Facebook page and MEF will receive up to $100 match from Meta after you make your second automatic donation. You can continue monthly donations or cancel them after the second donation, and we will still receive the match (until Meta matching funds run out). Detailed instructions are available at: Donations will go towards scholarships, an internet connection, photovoltaic system improvements, dormitory furnishings and a planned boys’ dormitory. Our goal for this fundraiser is 50 recurring $100 donations and $5000 in Meta match.

#GivingTuesday Matching FundraiserNov. 29 to Dec 31, 2022 – Double your impact!

Our biggest fundraiser of the year starts November 29, 2022, 8AM EST and runs through December. Our goal is to raise $35,000 for 2023 school sponsorship/operating costs and $5,000 for an improved school internet connection, girls’ dormitory furnishings, refurbishing the school’s photovoltaic system and the proposed boys’ dormitory. This goal includes funds received through the Nov. 15 Meta Recurring Donation Matching Fundraiser. MEF donors are currently supporting 57 primary school students and $39,900 is required to fund these students again in 2023. Only 18% of students attending EEMPS come from families that pay tuition and fees. The rest are classified as charity students by EEMPS and are supported by MEF and other donors. The cost to sponsor a boarding student for the 11 months that they are at the school each year is $700. This pays for their tuition, room and board, school uniforms, medical care, etc. MEF is committed to providing $70,000 in sponsorship/operating funds to EEMPS during the 2023 school year. If you donate after 8AM ET on Nov. 29, 2022, MEF donors have pledged to match at least the first $15,000 in donations. The first $35,000 in donations will go towards school’s 2023 sponsorship/operating costs and additional donations and match will go towards improving the school’s internet connection, photovoltaic system, etc. To donate by credit card via Facebook go to and click on the blue DONATE button. To donate by credit card via the MEF PayPal Giving Fund go to: Donations from either Facebook or PayPal Giving Fund are eligible for the MEF match depending upon the time they are submitted with first come, first serve. Checks payable to Maasai Education Foundation may be mailed to 345 Woods Ln, Newport, VA 24128. Please help us make this fundraiser a success. If a corporate match is possible for your donation, please sign up for your corporate match. Pledges – If you want to participate in the fundraiser but plan to make your donation after the first of the year, please email, text 540-922-2971 or mail us your pledge.

Message from Martha, EEMPS Manager: The Engaruka English Medium School (EEMPS) seeks to provide a safe home and learning environment that promotes enthusiasm and passion to the neediest students from pastoralist Maasai communities. Our focus has always been on making our students wonderful human beings, both personally and academically. The nurturing community we provide ensures a thorough grounding of students for overall personality development. As we come close to the end of our 4th year, we would like to recognize and thank the Maasai Education Foundation, other educational partners and donors, our staff, parents, and our students for making our success possible. Extra activities and academics are blended to create unique learning experiences for the students. The school aims to develop tomorrow’s leaders in the field of sports, academics, sciences, administration, and social welfare. The basic moral values at EEMPS, such as respect for others and our nation, truthfulness, and basic sets of behavior and principles, are inculcated to enable students and to understand our rich cultural Maasai values. Together, we are creating an educational environment that prepares our students to be good citizens that will contribute to the prosperity, integrity, and survival of Maasai society. In a more special way, we sincerely express our thanks and appreciation to the Maasai Education Foundation and Brand g Vacations for funding the school’s new water line project, which was completed this past October. As the school enrollment increased and particularly over the past two years, we have experienced water shortages that made good personal hygiene on campus difficult. We now have sufficient safe and clean water for many years of future growth and excess water for the school’s livestock and gardens.

Girl’s Dormitory Completion: Our new 120-bed girls’ dormitory was completed, dedicated, and occupied in May 2022. Wings were dedicated to Theo A Dillaha Jr. (memorial wing), the Crane Family Foundation of Columbus, Ohio, and Maria Paapa Kingi and Daphne Kibler (the two young girls whose friendship led to the founding of MEF). Another memorial wing will be dedicated this coming summer. Each of the five wings houses 24 girls and has 4 restrooms and a laundry area. The central hub between the wings has an apartment for the dorm matron, a small library, and a large study area.

Service Without Borders (SWB) Update: SWB is a student organization at Virginia Tech that volunteers in communities around the world. Working with MEF, SWB students have worked at EEMPS since 2017 and most recently May 2022. During COVID, SWB funded a cellular modem for the school, a satellite TV connection, and a large screen TV and then started a weekly reading program with students in the reading club via Zoom. For their May 2022 trip, SWB funded a computer lab at the school with 12 laptops and an LCD projector and then taught students and faculty how to use the laptops. They are continuing a bi-weekly reading program with students. A short video of SWB reading session is available at: SWB will return to the school in May 2023 for a new service-learning activity.

New School Water Pipeline: When the school opened in 2018, its water supply was a shared 1-inch community waterline from the Engaruka River. For the first two years when we only had 40 or so girls living at the school and the boys lived with local families, the existing water supply was adequate. However, in 2019 as enrollment continued to increase, the school began to experience significant water shortages. In 2019, a group of tourists visiting the school with Brand g Vacations donated $11,000 to the school for future water system improvements. By late 2021 the water situation had become critical and EEMPS requested assistance from MEF. A fundraising campaign for a new water system was started and MEF raised an additional $42,010 to construct the pipeline. Construction started in September and the pipeline was completed in October 2022. The new 2 mile long 2-inch pipeline will supply the school with all the water it ever needs and there will be adequate water for the school livestock and gardens.

Safari Anyone? If you are interested in visiting the school and going on safari or hiking up Kilimanjaro, MEF can put you in touch with great Tanzania safari companies that cost a fraction of US travel companies. Trips are with guides and companies that we have used and trust. For more information, please email and we’ll arrange a phone or video conference to discuss.

Boys Dormitory Plans: The school desperately needs a boy’s dormitory. Boys are currently living in our future library and one wing of the girl’s dormitory. We currently have 7 classrooms, and they will all be used in 2023 for pre-school through 6th grade. In 2024, will need to use the future library for 7th grade and the boys will not have a place to live. Originally, the boy’s dormitory was to be identical to the girls’ dormitory but due to the increased costs of materials and labor, our price estimate for the boys’ dorm is now 60% higher than the girls and more than we can afford. Consequently, a new design was developed that concentrates all the restrooms and laundry facilities in one wing and the dorm in phases. Phase I will consist of one dormitory wing, the partially completed restroom/laundry wing and the completed central hub. Additional wings will be added and completed as funding becomes available (approximately $20,000 each). The central hub portion of the boy’s dormitory will be used as temporary dorm area until the additional wings are added. Each of the four wings will house 32 boys. We are waiting for a Phase I cost estimate. We already have $55,000 set aside for Phase I and hope to start construction by March 2023. We will probably need to raise another $35,000 to $45,000 to complete Phase I.

Student Sponsorships: Lomayana Lemaina is a 10-year-old boy from Engaruka. His father has two wives and Lomayana is the 5th of his mother’s 8 children. He was bitten by a cobra and lost his leg. Lomayana currently attends the local public primary school but misses a lot of school because the school is over 2 miles from his home, and he has difficulty walking that far. Lomayana will be admitted to EEMPS in January 2023 and will start in a combination of 1st and 2nd grade until he catches up. At EEMPS he will be within 100 yards of his classrooms. He says he is very thankful that now he is going to live at school, receive good food and have a nice place to sleep. Lomayana needs a sponsor. Interested in sponsoring a child such as Lomayana? A student sponsorship is $700 per year and supports the child for 11 months and includes their tuition, fees, clothing, room and board, medical care, etc. You can also provide partial support for a child. For more info, please email


BY CHECK: Send checks payable to the Maasai Education Foundation, 345 Woods Lane, Newport, VA 24128.

BY CREDIT CARD (with no fees):



Text: 540-922-2971

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