Kakenya's Dream Founder and President, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, is a world-renowned educator and activist for girls' rights who has channeled her own life experiences into creating lasting change both in her indigenous Maasai community and across rural Africa.
In the Maasai tradition, women’s only accepted roles in society are as wives and mothers. The majority of girls in her community are forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice considered to be a rite of passage that prepares girls for marriage and marks an end to their education and dreams for their future.
This was supposed to be Kakenya’s path, but she dreamed of a different life. After surviving FGM, escaping child marriage, and negotiating with her father and village elders to stay in school, she became the first woman from her village to attend university in the United States. Kakenya went on to receive a PhD in education and returned home, determined to provide a pathway to education and empowerment for every girl in her community and beyond.
And so, Kakenya's Dream was born.
Our programs operate in southwestern Kenya, one of the most marginalized regions in the country, where nearly 80% of girls undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) at puberty, 50% are married before the age of 19, and only 17% complete a primary education.
Kakenya’s Dream has grown up right alongside our students. We began as a single primary school, educating 30 vulnerable girls beneath the shade of a tree. As their needs grew and evolved, so too did our programs.
Today, Kakenya’s Dream operates two world-class boarding schools and several other interrelated education, health, and leadership programs that serve thousands across rural Kenya each year. Kakenya’s Dream has evolved into a global team building a replicable model of education and empowerment for underserved African communities.
From quality education to healthcare, community support, career counseling, and leadership training, our wraparound programs provide each girl with a comprehensive support system and skills for the future. Developed and led by our community, our programs nurture and support the whole girl and all of her unique needs from childhood to adulthood, because we believe an educated and well-supported girl has the ability to transform her family, community, and the world at large.