World Vision

This Maasai Woman Is Changing the Future for Girls Like Her

Born in the Maasai village of Loodariak, Kenya, Teriano Lesancha was the eldest of 15 children. At birth she was promised in marriage to the 27-year-old son of the midwife who delivered her; Teriano was supposed to marry him when she turned 12, as was the Maasai custom. Most Maasai women do not have access to education -- in fact, 99 per cent of women and girls in Loodariak are illiterate. But Teriano's mother wanted a different life for her daughter.

The War on Girls Starts in the Womb

Girls are too often subject to harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, which increases their risk of maternal mortality or childbirth injury, HIV infection and domestic violence. Young women from marginalized social groups, girls living without their parents, and displaced girls are particularly vulnerable to violence.