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!

In Memoriam – Mary Ann (Hebenstreit) Sporl

Mary Ann (Hebenstreit) SporlOctober 6, 1943 – July 18, 2021

Mary Ann Sporl passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her husband of 58 years, Robert D. Sporl, and their three children Robert Sporl Jr., Jennifer Sporl and Ellie Sisson.

Mary Ann was born in Canton, Ohio, the only child of William H and Helen K Hebenstreit, and grew up in Southern California- a real California Girl! She met Robert at St. Mary’s College when he was attending Notre Dame. A chance meeting in 1961 was love at first sight. That was the start of a beautiful love story and their many adventures across the country.

Her two biggest passions in life were her family and gardening. She had the greenest thumb of anyone we knew and could rescue a plant from the most dire condition and turn it into a thriving specimen. She spent hours in her garden and was always willing to help a friend select just the right plants for the right light. She found so much joy in the simplicity of a beautiful backyard vegetable or flower garden.

She loved her family so much and her children were her proudest accomplishment.  She had a child-like wonder and excitement about life, was so curious about everything and was a life-long learner.  In fact, at 50, she went back to college and finished her Bachelor’s Degree at University of San Diego. She was eating organic before it was cool. Mary Ann lived her life present to the legacy she was leaving behind. She is survived by her husband, 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Our hearts are broken and she will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Mary Ann was committed to making a difference and supported multiple charities. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to be made to Maasai Education Foundation the PayPal Giving Fund ( or by sending a check payable to the Maasai Education Foundation to 345 Woods Lane, Newport, VA 24128.

Note: In honor of Mary Ann, the Maasai Education Foundation will name one of the wings of our new girl’s dormitory (currently under construction) the Mary Ann Hebenstreit Sporl Memorial Wing.

You Did It!

YOU DID IT! The May Matching Fundraiser raised a total of $51,216.10 including match. $34,000 will go towards constructing two new dormitory wings and $17,216.10 towards child sponsorships. Our goal was $48,000 so we exceeded that by ALMOST 10%! The central hub and first wing of our first dormitory is nearing completion and as soon as that is finished we will start on construction of three additional wings. The 3rd wing is thanks to the generous support of the Crane Family of Columbus, Ohio. There will eventually be 5 wings each housing 24 students, The first dormitory will be our girls dormitory. We hope to complete a second dormitory for boys in 2023.

You can help us complete the girls dorm by clicking on the donate button below.

Help MEF with Amazon Smile

Did you know you can support the Maasai Education Foundation (MEF) with almost every purchase you make on Amazon? Amazon donates 0.5% of most purchases to the charity of your choice that is registered with Amazon. So far, AMAZON has donated $536.77 to MEF and all you have to do is designate MEF as your AMAZON charity. It is easy. Just click on the link, log into your account, designate MEF as your charity and you are ready to go.

Thank you to all that contributed to MEF’s 2020 Giving Tuesday Successful Fundraiser!!!!!

The MEF 2020 Giving Tuesday Matching Fundraiser exceeded expectations thanks to you! Including donations through the PayPal Giving Fund, checks received, pledges and matching funds, we raised $45,284.22, just shy of our $48,000 goal! Thank you to all our generous donors!

With the funds you donated, we have started construction of our 1st dormitory for 124 children. Information about the dormitory is available here.

With our thanks, The MEF Board Members:
Brian Benham (Treasurer), Kerry Brisco, Rebecca Caldwell, Theo Dillaha (Chairperson), Margie Lee, Karen Scalf-Benham, Audrey Spielmann, Randy Stith