This hero’s dream is freedom for women and girls

For my first Hero in the Field profile in 2022, I’m excited to highlight the life and work of Kakenya Ntaiya, the founder of a school for girls and a leader in the effort to end child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

As a girl growing up in rural Kenya, Kakenya learned from an early age that her future had already been decided for her.

By age 5, according to local Maasai custom, she would be engaged to be married. By 13, she would go through female genital cutting and leave school to become a wife and mother. Her days would be filled with chores, fetching water, collecting wood, cooking, and cleaning. And she would be expected to raise her daughters to follow the same path.
But Kakenya had a different plan for her future. By challenging her local traditions, she changed her own life and the direction of her community.

You can read more about Kakenya’s amazing life and how she is bringing freedom to girls here.

This year I’m looking forward to sharing more stories about heroes like Kakenya who are making a difference in the lives of others.

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Bill Gates