CMEP is a small charity with a big dream.
We want to educate every child and leave them equipped to take on the world. We work hard to protect children from harm and help them access quality education and health services.
The Children of Maasai Educational Programme (CMEP) is a not-for-profit registered as both a Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Kenya, and also a Charity registered in Australia. Mary Saruni and Jackson Maya had received teaching volunteers from around the globe to their home in Kumpa, Kajiado district of Kenya for a number of years and whom, after leaving Kenya wished to contribute in another way. The visit of Australian volunteer, Lauren Jackson, got the ball rolling on the development of a charity, and the Children of Maasai Educational Programme was founded in July of 2015.
With children still dying of preventable illnesses and starvation in Kenya, we work to reduce the underlying causes of poverty and improve health services and food security. CMEP aims primarily at providing basic needs such as health care, to children in the Maasai area of Kenya, to promote a fulfilling and prosperous education. We believe the best investment for the future is in a child. Educating children will help save lives and will contribute to ending poverty.
MEET OUR TEAM
Jackson lives in Kajiado County, where CMEP primarily operates and is married to our co-founder Mary. Jackson is the Head Teacher of a local primary school and has a passion for helping children. In 2014, they began hosting overseas volunteers through the company IVHQ, and had done so ever since. Jackson is mainly responsible for liaising with various schools and assisting in running CMEP projects in Kenya. He has developed great relationships with local authorities to ensure we can keep on running! Jackson and Mary have one son, Gadiel, two girls, Naitawang and Tupet.
Lauren grew up in the South-West of Western Australia, where she currently resides. Lauren stayed with Mary and Jackson when she volunteered in Kenya in 2015 and loved it so much that she has recently returned from her third trip! Lauren is in charge of administration, most of the human relations and correspondence, and also extensively fundraises to ensure that as many children can go to school as possible. She also holds a Master of International Development degree from the University of Western Australia!
Mary is married to our co-founder Jackson and is a well-respected teacher at Kumpa Holy Mothers Primary School in Kajiado County. Mary has a deep passion for helping children in need and is often sacrificing her income to make sure others get an education. She is mostly in charge of distributing the funds to our projects and prioritising our campaigns in order of necessity. If people have a problem, they will come to Mary first, because they know she will do anything to fix it. Mary and Jackson have one son, Gadiel, a girl, Naitawang, and a baby girl, Tupet.
Zoe is from Invercargill in New Zealand's south and first stayed with Mary and Jackson in 2017. Zoe has a big heart with a soft spot for the children in Kenya and mostly runs our fantastic Special Needs Centre. Zoe is our fundraising pioneer and has been working closely with Days for Girls to give all girls the dignity they deserve. Zoe is studying Nursing at university and was the recipient of a $10,000 ANZ Grant in 2019!