HELLEN NKURAIYA - KENYA
ENKITENG LEPA SHELTER
Providing Shelter and Education to Widows and Girls to Transform Their Future
In East Africa’s Maasai tribe, owning cows is considered more important than educating girls. So when her father married her off to gain more cows, Hellen ran away. She never completed high school. Now Hellen plans to expand Enkiteng Lepa Shelter, which she established in 2004, to provide a safe haven for girls and women escaping abusive cultural practices—including female genital mutilation. Hellen will give them the academic and entrepreneurial skills to improve their own lives and the welfare of their families and communities. She is committed to stopping the practice of marrying girls in exchange for cows.