A Generation of Hope

Kakenya’s Dream Annual Report 2023

A Message from Our Leader


at a glance

Staff Demographics

Aged 30 & under
Senior leadership positions held by women
Indigenous Maasai
Local to the communities
we serve

At Kakenya’s Dream, we mean it when we say that we are an organization by, of, and for the people we serve. Our workforce is predominantly individuals who hail from the communities in which we operate. Many are also indigenous Maasai. Hiring from the local community not only ensures the sustainability of our programs, but also creates jobs in a region with high unemployment, contributing to long-term economic growth and stability. Our programs are designed and led with local indigenous knowledge and expertise, ensuring optimal cultural relevance. This leads to more nuanced and effective solutions to the complex social issues we address every day, from child marriage to female genital mutilation (FGM). 

But embracing localization is not merely a practical approach; we believe it’s a moral imperative. It shifts power dynamics, redistributing power from foreign actors and traditional top-down models into the hands of local communities. In essence, localization isn’t just about doing the work differently; it’s about doing it right, with a genuine commitment to creating positive social change from within.

We also believe in living our mission and values. We have many women and young people on our team because access to meaningful employment opportunities is critical to their empowerment. And most senior leadership positions are held by women, exemplifying our dedication to cultivating girls’ and women’s leadership and promoting gender equality.

At Kakenya’s Dream, our demographic makeup is a reflection of our moral compass. By embracing localization, prioritizing indigenous knowledge and leadership, and promoting youth empowerment and gender equality through our hiring practices, we deepen the impact of our programs and serve as a model to others for how to successfully and ethically create lasting social change.

Kakenya's Dream


a generation of hope

For Kakenya’s Dream, 2023 was the year of the alumna.

With each passing year since 2021, a new cohort of young women graduates college, emerging into the world as empowered adults, poised to make an impact and pave the way toward a more equitable future. They symbolize change for the older generations, who never imagined witnessing girls being supported to pursue higher education. And to younger generations, they represent hope and a world of possibilities. 

With three such cohorts of college graduates, we now have the beginnings of an alumnae community. We dedicated 2023 to cultivating programs that will allow them to build their professional networks, secure their first jobs, and maintain strong connections with their former classmates and the Kakenya’s Dream community.

By the Numbers


young women newly enrolled in college in 2023


young women graduated college in 2023


of our high school graduates (class of 2022) enrolled in college in 2023


of our high school graduates (class of 2023) intend to enroll in college in 2024

College Graduates: Where Are They Now?

Alumnae Employment
by Industry

Alumnae Network Launch

We collaborated with alumnae from our pioneer classes throughout the year to lay the foundation for an alumnae network. Their leadership was instrumental to ensure that we created a resource that adequately meets their needs and their own vision for the future. With our new alumnae network, our graduates will always be a part of the Kakenya’s Dream community, no matter where life takes them.

Alumna Spotlight: Tecla Manyishoi

Tecla grew up in Isampin and joined Kakenya’s Dream in 2010. In 2023, she earned a diploma in land surveying from Eldoret Polytechnic Institute and walked at our first-ever Kakenya’s Dream graduation ceremony in November. That very celebration led Tecla to her first job. During the event, she crossed paths with the Transmara West Sub-County Administrator, who told Tecla to come to her office and submit an application. Tecla heeded that advice and landed a position as a land surveyor for the county.

“Being a lady and doing survey work is so tough being that we are in a community that values men. In my class in college, I think I was the only Maasai lady. It seems the community is not so confident in women. I think that by coming here, I’ve shown that ladies can also perform this job. I knew I could become a land surveyor because of my confidence and my passion. I built that confidence at Kakenya’s Dream. Kakenya’s Dream also helped me gain leadership skills and exposed me to new people. I learned the qualities of a good leader and how to communicate well with people. If it weren’t for Kakenya’s Dream, I wouldn’t have become a surveyor. I would have been married off at a young age.

I want to give back to the community what I was given at Kakenya’s Dream. I’m mentoring three girls now and I’m involved in the Alumnae Network. I hope that by talking to other girls, I can encourage them in their education, answer their questions, help them build confidence, and show them that anything is possible.”

Generational Progress

“Women in my generation never had the chance to pursue our education because of the retrogressive culture in our community that consistently robs girls of their rights and dreams. But we have vowed to ensure that our daughters get an education.”

In defiance of societal norms that once stifled girls’ opportunities, Kakenya’s Dream is sowing seeds of change by championing gender equality and girls’ education. With each girl who passes through our programs, we’re rewriting the narrative for future generations, ensuring that every young woman can claim her right to learn, thrive, and shape her own destiny.

Previous Generation

Age 5-9

Her marriage is arranged.

Age 9-12

She is forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in preparation for marriage.

Age 13-18

She becomes a child bride.

Age 13-18

She is forced to drop out of school to take care of the household.

Age 13-18

She becomes pregnant at a young age.

Age 18+

Without an education or professional development opportunities, she is often trapped into a lifetime of poverty. 

Current Generation

Age 9

She enrolls in our schools.

Age 9-12

She is protected from FGM and taught her legal rights and how to protect and advocate for herself.

Age 13-18

She is protected from child marriage, able to stay in school, and complete her education.

Age 18+

She has the skills and education to get her first job and gain financial independence.

Age 18+

She has the opportunity to pursue the career of her choosing.

Age 18+

She gets to decide if, when, and whom to marry.

Her life and her future are all her own.



of 2023


construction on our youth-friendly health clinic.


members of the public reached through our Linda Dada campaign, which fosters community dialogue to combat child marriage, FGM, and teen pregnancy across Kenya.


girls educated and supported at our world-class boarding schools.

1.2 million

people reached across Kenya via educational health and rights segments over radio and television.


youth educated on their health and human rights through our Jijue Health & Leadership Training program.


local employment opportunities created for young adults as facilitators of our Jijue Health and Leadership Training program.

our supporters

and funders

Giving Circles

  • Alice Ball
  • Bruce and Charlene Bainum
  • Stuart and Lynda Resnick
  • Roger Sant
  • Mary Jo Arnoldi and Craig Subler
  • Lee Compton
  • Mr. Robert T Greig and Mrs. Susan M Greig
  • Marlene M. Johnson
  • Scott and Allison Mellon
  • Judy and Kevin Moak
  • Joanie D. Nasher
  • Peggy and Brian Sassi
  • Dottie and Ken Woodcock
  • Tara Bunch
  • Brian Corcoran
  • Diane and Lee Crockett
  • Dempsey/Lightfoot Family
  • Norma Dicker
  • Linda Howard
  • Betty Hudson and Boyd Matson
  • Amy Kaslow
  • Jeanie Milbauer
  • Wendy Munger
  • Harold Newman
  • John and Bev Reno
  • Harriet Saperstein
  • Lee and Sam Wood
  • LaNitra M. Berger, PhD.
  • Amy Blackwood
  • Joseph and Maury Bohan
  • Denise Bordonaro and David Johst
  • Cheryl Brink
  • Stephanie and Harold Bronson
  • Leslie Calman and Jane Gruenebaum
  • Deborah Crewe and John Davis
  • Hilary A. Cusack
  • Kelly L. Denson
  • Karen and Leslie Desnick
  • Jim Dieter and Helene Shore
  • Jeff and LeeAnn Ettinger
  • Lionel Euston
  • Barbara Evans
  • Folake Fabunmi-Vining 
  • Linden Foos
  • Jeanna French
  • Frederica Gamble
  • Anne-Marea Griffin
  • Linda Gottlieb and Rob Tessler
  • Kathy Hall and Mark Dwyer
  • Martha Harnly
  • Alison Head
  • Shanika Hope
  • G and M Hutchins
  • Christopher and Lockie Inlow
  • B. Wayne Johnson
  • Marlys Johnson
  • Rich and Gina Kelley
  • Kate Lehrer
  • John Macomber
  • Marian P. Mancini and Jay C. Mancini
  • Carolyn Martin
  • Morris Matson
  • Sara McCracken
  • Francesca McLin and Veronica Betancourt
  • Tia and Maurice McNair
  • Lynn McNicol
  • Jamelia and Dennis Meals
  • Richard Murray
  • John Nixon and Shawna Reed
  • Tam Nguyen
  • John Ott
  • Nancy Brand Patel
  • Collin Peterson
  • Suzanne Petroni
  • James Radner and Mary Paul Wells
  • Diane Ragg
  • Peter and Elsa Recco
  • Pamela Reeves and Jeffrey Goldberg
  • Sharon and Brad Sanders
  • Isabel Sawhill
  • Joanne Serrels
  • Perry Smith
  • Elizabeth and Robert Soppelsa
  • Elizabeth and George Stevens
  • Rabbi Shira Stutman and Russell Shaw
  • Ness Sufrin
  • Elizabeth Duggal Taghipour
  • Yiin Tham
  • Melissa Tidwell
  • Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Triano
  • Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Tyson
  • Kathy Calvin Walters
  • Eric Waxvik
  • Sally Wells
  • Linda Winslow

Kakenya’s Dream strives to be complete and accurate in recognizing the generous support of our donors. We regret any omissions or errors.

Foundation / Institutional Investors

  • Rainwater Charitable Foundation
  • Straus Family Foundation
  • Tides Foundation
  • Woka Foundation
  • AJG Fund
  • ERIKS Development Partner*
  • Greater Washington Community Foundation
  • The Montei Foundation
  • Peter Cundill Foundation
  • Population Connection
  • Segal Family Foundation
  • Social Initiative Educate Girls
  • ELMA Masana wa Afrika*
  • Harl & Evelyn Mansur Family Foundation
  • The Lester Fund
  • O’Kane Family Foundation
  • Coca-Cola
  • The David R. and Patricia D. Atkinson Foundation
  • InMaat Foundation
  • Journey Foundation
  • Katonah Education Exchange Program
  • Public Interest Registry
  • Roger and Katherine Flahive Foundation
  • Sybiel B. Berkman Foundation
  • Tate Family Generosity Fund
  • Wallace Global Fund
  • Adventures for the Mind Foundation
  • Freddie Mac Employee Funds
  • Gipson Family Foundation
  • Henry E. Niles Foundation
  • IBM
  • Stichting Miss Maasai
  • Williams Family Foundation
  • Zonta Club of Washington Foundation
  • Google Inc. 
  • Ruparel Family Foundation*
  • Starlink
  • AMPLIFY Girls
  • The Coalition For Adolescent Girls
  • Girls First Network
  • Girls Not Brides
  • Girls Opportunity Alliance
  • Global Alliance for Communities
  • The Gratitude Network
  • Hali Access Network
  • LBW Trust
  • Kenya Anti-FGM Board
  • Kenya Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology
  • Kenya Ministry of Health
  • Regional Education Learning Initiative
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Women for Change

* Revenue that was sent directly to Kenya is not included in the U.S. financials.

Pledge payments made in 2023 against multi-year pledges are recognized above regardless of the year in which the original pledge was made.


Total: $2,091,803

Total: $2,032,984

The financials above are audited figures for the U.S. 501(c)3.

Your support ensures that every girl in our programs blazes her own trail, passing the gift of hope to generations of girls to come. Thank you.

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