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TEPESUA is a community organization located in the Loita Plains area about 30 km from Maasai Mara.It was founded by Hellen Nkuraiya a local teacher by profession. The social and economic challenges and the need to create sustainable solutions to the challenges that face the Maasai community led to the establishment of Tepesua community Organisation. These are access to education where there is a school now. Tepesua school, Economic empowerment for the widows; the plight of the widows that had lost their cattle due to drought now have a place they call home in Tepesua Manyatta where they engage in beadwork, handicrafts and sewing eco friendly handbags,washable sanitary pads and backpacks to sell to visiting tourists and locals.Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), where Enkiteng Lepa school was started as a rescue center for the girls as well as a school for mentorship and training. We promote eco tourism through Tepesua cultural Eco camp where the camp is 100% authentic and from natural materials which makes one get the true experience of the Maasai culture. Tepesua cultural eco camp sustains the projects that Tepesua school and Enkiteng Lepa School is undertaking.
About the Founder- HELLEN NKURAIYA
Hellen Nkuraiya,a teacher by profession was raisedfrom a traditional maasai family, she was married off twice by her father (in exchange for cows),the first time at the age of Twelve. She ran away from this life later to receive a scholarship from a well-wisher to complete her schooling.
After completing her college education she felt the need to address the challenges that affects the Maasai community that range from Early child marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), women Economic empowerment, Fighting for girls education, and the rights for Widows.
Hellen founded two community villages for widows in Tepesua (who had lost their cows due to drought, and can never remarry) so they can find support, safety and economic growth. The women are engaged in bead work where they make beaded ornaments and she helps them source for market which are mostly Tourist going to the Maasai Mara and the locals.
Her desire to see young Girls succeed and get equal opportunities led her to start a campaign against what was denying the Girls education: FGM(Female Genital Mutilation) and Early marriages, for more than 20 years she has been fighting for these girls sharing 70% of her income to the rescue center and school. It was in 2009 that with the help of well-wishers that she was able to build a school called Enkiteng Lepa which also served as a rescue center for the Girls with a motto slogan” DON’T EXCHANGE GIRLS FOR COWS, GIVE THEMEDUCATION’’ this has always been her driving force.
Her passion has earned her national and international recognition in her fight against FGM. With the most recent being a prestigious award from Egerton university in recognition for her perseverance, persistence and championing Gender rights.
To boost her income for the widows and Tepesua school for the community around,Hellen has ventured into Eco tourism in her Tepesua cultural Eco camp which is constructed from 100% local materials yet elegant, Natural and peaceful. The Lodge is an income generating project that she uses to generate income to support and sponsor some of the rescued girls, Buy beads for the widows, support Tepesua school buy a school bus and install a biogas eco friendly sewage system at the school which will stop deforestation and provide cheap and clean energy for the cooks to work in a healthy environment.
Hellen has also been nomitated to be a cultural ambassador for Kenya Kenya where she has visited many countries around the world to promote Kenya on eco-Tourism campaigns.
She is still fundraising from well wishers and donors to bring these projects to completion and bring about a positive change to this community and kenya as a whole.
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