My friend Crystal is the CEO of the Olare Orok and Motorogi Trust and is based in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We keep in touch via facebook and I am accustomed to seeing her posts - usually they make me smile; this one had me in tears.
Natii is 11 years old. Her father died when she was young and since then her eldest brother has sold all of the family's land. Three years ago she decided that she wanted to go to school but her family wouldn't let her. She ran to her community leader for help and he enrolled her in her local primary school. The cook at the school took pity on her and bought her a uniform. She had been doing well in school for the last three years, until 5 weeks ago.
Late at night some men came to her village and Natii heard them talking, She realised that her brother was marrying her off to one of these men in secret. She was even more shocked to find her future husband was 55 years old. Natii fled in the dark and ran 6km to the next village where she found their chief. The following day the chief called her brother, mother and proposed husband together to say that the marriage could not go ahead.
Since this time Natii has returned to her family's homestead but she says that she feels that they do not love her anymore and they treat her very badly because she betrayed them. Her dream is to go to a boarding school so that she can live there away from her brother. She insists that she still loves her mother but despite this, she does not feel safe living at home. Her brother is an alcoholic and is using his siblings to try and make money. Even Natii's 8 year old brother has been sent out to be a shepherd for another family nearby.
The next school term starts in September and Crystal is desperately trying to raise the $1800 (£1160) that will provide everything Natii needs to reach the end of primary school. The trust will continue to support Natii and will work with her to find the most appropriate route for her to fulfill her potential in life.
All the money raised will go towards helping Natii and if more than the target amount is raised, this will be put towards helping Natii's siblings attend school. If you can, please donate!
UK Donations - https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/crystal-courtney
US Donations - http://www.africaexchange.org/donate - you will be connected to the network for good portal. As the designee within this please put 'OOMT'
For any further information, please email Dr Crystal Courtney at email@example.com