Maasai Education Foundation

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela


Thank you to all that have contributed to MEF 2020 Giving Tuesday!!!!!

(Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020)


The MEF 2020 Giving Tuesday Matching Fundraiser is going great! Including donations through the PayPal Giving Fund, checks received, pledges and matching funds, we think we have raised $39,500 so we just have $8,500 to go to reach our $48,000 goal! Thank you to all our generous donors that have contributed and we still have 9 days to go for those that have not. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

BY CHECK: Send checks payable to the Maasai Education Foundation, 345 Woods Lane, Newport, VA 24128.
BY CREDIT CARD: (with no fees):
Via Facebook if on Facebook:
Via PayPal Giving Fund (anyone):
CORPORATE MATCH? If you work for a company with a corporate match program, please be sure to sign up for the match. Please contact us and we’ll help you with the process.

Please donate today and Thank You if you have already donated!

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

Lots of Developments at MEF

  • The Engaruka English Medium Primary School reopened June 29 after three months of shut down due to COVID-19 with 110 students. All the boys are now boarding at the school.
  • During the shut down, the Peter Ozolins Dining Hall and the Crane Classroom and Restroom Buildings were completed. See pictures below.
  • MargieLeeMEF welcomes Margie Lee, our newest Board member. Margie is a Professor and Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. She obtained her BS degree in Biology from Virginia Tech, her D.V.M. from Virginia Tech and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology from The University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of meat and poultry-borne food safety pathogens, microbial pathogenesis, and ecology of poultry intestinal microbiome. In addition to research, she teaches microbiology to veterinary students, graduate and undergraduate students and veterinary residents. She is formerly the coordinator of Graduate Affairs for the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and graduate coordinator for the Masters of Avian Medicine program. She is an avid motorcycle rider.
  • MEF will be having its first major matching fundraiser from August 15 to September 13. The first $8,770 in donations will be matched by Theo Dillaha and Rebecca Caldwell. The first $10,000 in funds raised will go towards sponsorships for children and the remainder will go to start construction of a new dining hall. More details about the fundraiser soon!


Our #GivingTuesday Fundraiser was a huge success! A huge thank you goes out to all our donors for their $30,408.18 donations on #GivingTuesday. In addition to those donations, Facebook matched $13,482 in donations that were made in the first 13 seconds of the Facebook #GivingTuesday fundraiser. This means that our #GivingTuesday fundraiser raised a total of $43,890.18!  Special thanks goes out to the following people (listed in order of the quickness of their donation) who donated quick enough for the Facebook match: Rebecca Caldwell, Karen Scalf-Benham, Brian Benham, Essra Kibler, Steve Conner, Essra Kibler (again), Theo Dillaha, Rebecca Patrick and Audrey Spielmann. These and additional funds have been sent to the school to complete construction and furnishing of the Peter Ozolins Dining Hall and the Crane Classroom and Restroom Buildings and for 2020 student scholarships. Classes started in early January for the 1st to 3rd grades and in February for pre-schoolers.

Classes were suspended on March 17 throughout Tanzania due to the COVID-19 crisis and our children were sent home. We expect schools to reopen soon. As of April 25, there are 299 reported COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths in Tanzania and no reported cases in the Engaruka area where the school is located. In the meantime, construction finishing touches are being completed on the Crane Classroom and Restroom Buildings and the Peter Ozolins Dining Hall.


MEF holds its major fundraising activity on Giving Tuesday each year. Last year, we raised $32,700 on Giving Tuesday and later received matching funds of $7,650 from the Facebook Network for Good as a result. This year our #GIVINGTUESDAY goal is $36,390, which will be used for the following:

  • Completion and Furnishing of the Crane Classroom and Restroom Buildings. $74,400 has been spent on construction and approximately, $13,831 is needed to complete construction. An additional $12,917 is needed to furnish the Crane Building with desks and chairs and to purchase bunk beds so several of the classrooms can be used as dormitories until a real dormitory is constructed.
  • Completion of Dining Hall/Kitchen/Laundr The 7,000 ft² (650 m²) dining hall cost $62,152 including furnishings. MEF has provided $52,500 for its construction. An additional $9,642 is needed to complete the dining hall. These additional funds will be used for ceilings, electrical and plumbing systems, and kitchen and laundry furnishings.


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

BY CREDIT CARD: Facebook’s match for #GivingTuesday 2019 begins at 8:00 AM EST (5:00 AM PST) on Tuesday, December 3. Last year the match was exhausted in 8 seconds, so it is critical to make your donation at 8:00 EST if you want to try for the match. The best way to do this is to make a small donation prior to 8AM so your credit card info is entered and saved and then open the donate window again before 8AM, enter your donation amount and wait until a moment after 8AM EST to hit the green donate button. Then click the blue Donate button at:

Last year, a maximum of $2500 could be donated but you could make multiple donations. If you do not like to donate via Facebook, you can also donate via the PayPal Giving Fund at:


MEF 2018 Accomplishments

  • Received $108,900.83 in donations
  • Total expenditures of $107,547.65 with 99.43% going to scholarships, EEMPS construction, Service without Borders work at the school and travel expenses for Martha Olemisiko (EEMPS Executive Director) and Maria Paapa Kingi to visit the US in August.
  • Provided $44000,000 to start construction of the dining hall
  • Provided $36,000 to start construction of Phase II classroom/library/restroom expansion
  • Provided $1,150 to start construction of a two-unit prototype guesthouse
  • Provided $14,970 in scholarships for 25 EEMPS students in 2018
  • Provided $10,000 in scholarships for 2019 EEMPS students
  • Provided $2,539.70 scholarship for Maria Paapa Kingi to attend Arusha Meru International School

April 25, 2018 fundraiser video

Has video of school, volunteers, and why you might want to donate.

Posters from fundraiser.

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