Instead of dropping out of school at age 12 and becoming a teenage wife and mother, as is traditional in the Maasai community, young Kakenya Ntaiya courageously fought to continue her education. In exchange, she promised to return to her village to help others. Today, the Kakenya Center for Excellence is changing the paradigm for girls’ education and empowering young leaders in rural Kenya. A boarding school (grades 4-8) provides 270 Maasai girls with a safe place to live, high-quality education, and enrichment activities. The girls consistently score among the top students regionally and nationally, and all have avoided harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation and early marriage. Once they begin secondary school, services like mentoring, career guidance, tutoring, and financial assistance ensure that alumnae stay on track. KCE reaches an additional 3,000 children through Health and Leadership trainings, extending the network of young leaders across the region. And demand for these programs increases each year, revealing a remarkable cultural shift in support of girls' education – a right that every girl should have.

Awards & Recognition



    Budget (FY2015)

    • $3 million or higher
    • $1 million to $3 million
    • The current budget for Kakenya Center for Excellence is: $500k to $1 million
    • Less than $500k

    Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

    About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

    Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

    The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

    If you like Kakenya Center for Excellence you might also like