Namelok-Naretoi is a grassroots organization with a mission that provides holistic care for children with physical disabilities.
Located in a village through the winding rural roads and natural landscape of the Maasai region of Kenya, it is a community with limited access to support services- the nearest town and hospital an arduous six-hour journey away.
There is a long history of stigma toward disability within the culture and community, impacting family, human rights, and individual safety. Children bearing these physical challenges were seen as a curse – hidden from society, used as child laborers, and even tragically killed.
A priest set a life-saving and community-changing mission on course when he founded Namelok-Naretoi. He identified a local, young Maasai woman named Franciska, to manage the mission and carry it forward. With passionate drive and commitment to children and to growth for her community, Franciska has overseen a program that has made it possible for hundreds of children to receive corrective surgeries as well as provided long-term housing and education through secondary school. An extraordinary individual who has devoted herself to bettering society and advocating for those vulnerable in her community, she continues to impact a culture to create safety, dignity, and freedom.
Through her leadership, Namelok-Naretoi responded to a community crisis and need for intervention for young girls and women, specifically. In 2016, a Female Awareness Campaign was launched to prevent forced early child marriage and FGM (female genital mutilation). Since the inception of this campaign, they have completed their Awareness Program in 20 schools, as well as holding workshops for parents and community stakeholders in more than 20 villages. This program has been effective in challenging these practices in ideology as well as practice, has successfully protected young girls from these forced traumas, and taken action through an education scholarship program that is radically changing the life trajectory for young girls as it also transforms community.