Nashipai Maasai Community Projects


Nashipai Maasai Community Projects was officially launched in 2017 to promote education among the Maasai community in Mosiro, Kenya, to create a society free from all forms of violence against women and children and to ensure every child is given a chance to thrive.

‘Nashipai’ is the Maasai word for ‘happiness’. This grassroots organization was founded by Selina Nkoile, who grew up in the Maasai community and wanted to empower other women and girls. When the local girls’ boarding school, Naning’oi (of which Selina is an alumnus), was on the brink of closure in 2014 due to insufficient funding, women of the community, led by Selina, stepped in.

Nashipai Maasai Community Project seeks to rehabilitate and restore Naning’oi so that it can give Maasai girls from Mosiro access to free, high-quality education far into the future. The number of Naning’oi students has increased from 30 girls in 2017 to 400 girls in 2023.

While child marriage is illegal in Kenya, it is still common in rural areas like Mosiro due to lack of enforcement. In addition, many girls are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) and gender-based violence. Naning’oi provides a safe haven and education for girls so they can be free of these injustices. The students also receive training on reproductive health and rights.

Photo: Girls’ mentorship on Reproductive Health and Rights. © Nashipai

Nashipai uses advocacy and grassroots campaigns to encourage the local community to embrace girls education, and abandon the harmful practices of FGM and child marriage.

Women in the community are also taught income-generating activities, such as bead work, tailoring, and carpets and basket weaving to help them support their families and make it possible for their children to go to school.

Additionally, Nashipai is introducing the community to permaculture and sustainable agriculture — a necessity in light of increasingly frequent droughts, which are making the nomadic pastoralism tradition of the Maasai unsustainable.

Photo Credit: Nashipai

Learn more about Nashipai in this Q&A!

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