For a young Maasai girl, the chance to complete secondary school is often slim. Household responsibilities, harmful cultural practices, and early childhood marriage are all barriers to a formal education. Even if they weren’t, poverty often restricts how many children a family can send to school, and more often than not this will be a boy.
That is why the Amazing Maasai Marathon raises money to provide scholarships to girls from the Maasai community. It has been going for 5 years, and runners come to Kenya from all over the world to participate. Engaging young warriors in sport is becoming more of a focus for the NRT peace teams, as they look for ways to give idle young men a focus, achieveble goals and incentives to engage in their conservancies. Last month, NRT sponsored 11 young warriors (morans) from the different conservancies to run in the Amazing Maasai Marathon, in support of educating girls from their own communities. Rising to the challenge, the 11 young men enthusiastically took to the race their trusted comrades.
It’s not about an individual finish” said Simon, one of the warriors, “it’s about the support of the team and getting to the finish line together in the name of something great.”
The NRT team scooped the top 8 positions in the half marathon (21km).
“The marathon focuses only on girls’ education” said another runner, Ruso. “But as a young moran, I have participated in this run for the last 5 years... and scoping top position in the half marathon run is a dream come true. The challenges that girls face in the Maasai community is heartbreaking. I think there are solutions to them and grassroots solutions are often the best, I truly believe this run will make an impact for our girls.”