Cousins Edward Ernest Kutingala and Justin Julius Kisota grew up in Ekenywa Village, where most of their fellow Maasai people could not afford to educate their children. Through their own hard work and using their own money earned as guides on Mt. Kilimanjaro, the two cousins launched the Maasai Joy Children’s Centre in 2006 with dreams of breaking their village’s poverty cycle.
Using a local church as a classroom, Ernest and Justin hired their first teacher, Giddeon Matthew, for $80 a month, and asked fellow villagers to send children ages 3 to 6 to class. With the generous support of donors, the school quickly grew. By 2014, the school had grown to a full seven grades (plus kindergarten and pre- kindergarten) and graduated its first class in December 2014. All 12 of the graduates have successfully continued on to secondary school.
The Maasai Joy Children’s Centre’s mission is to break the poverty cycle of the Maasai community in Ekenywa Village of Arusha, Tanzania, by providing young children with a primary education that will equip them to continue on to secondary school, to develop the skills and knowledge to seek and procure good jobs, and to improve their lives as well as those of their families and the community.
The School’s website is: http://maasaijoytz.org/