Madison High School Interact Club is a school service club.  Students with the support of faculty advisor  Carole Rawding and support from members of the affiliated Madison Rotary, identified the Maasai Girls Fund, a local NJ foundation that makes possible scholarships for young Maasai village girls in rural Kenya.  Without the Fund’s help, these girls would have only a few basic grammar school years, then lives of hard servitude, being sold in exchange for cattle as genitally cut child brides into polygamous marriages.  The Fund, led by Paul and Avery Mantell of Kinnelon, also Rotary members, arranged to stop cutting, and has helped dozens of these village girls attend four-year boarding school including tuition, uniforms, room and board.  MHS Juniors Nina Kornchankul and Owen Weller led a successful Walk-a-Thon fund raiser campaign in Madison back in May that, combined with a follow-up online fund raiser, netted over $2,600, enough to fund four years of high school for one young lady, Leah Malano, pictured.  
Click READ MORE for additional details and information.
But there is more to the story.  The Interact Club under Nina and Owen’s leadership established a personal connection with the village that the Mantells made the focus of their foundation – Ngong’Narok.  The Interact Club started a letter and video exchange program with same-age high school students from the village.  Several videos and 40 letters of encouragement have been sent to individual girls through one Moses Saruni, a Maasai who acts as the Maasai Girls Fund local coordinator.  In return, the girls have written back about their experience in high school and what they aspire to do when they graduate to help their village and Kenya at large.  The Club continues to raise money to help support other village needs including clean water and sanitation, and purchase of goats that provide milk and cheese, and when bred, product to sell.  The Maasai people are hardworking but poor and small amounts of help, by U.S. standards, can make big differences in their lives – especially education. 
Nina and Owen have connected with another NJ foundation indirectly affiliated with the Maasai Girls Fund that takes high school students to Maasai Land in Kenya for two weeks of adventure and service projects.  It is their hope that they can join the trip scheduled for June 2022, which will include 5 days working with the Mantells in the Ngong’Narok village when they can learn more about the Maasai and meet the girls they are corresponding with, including the girl they sponsored for four years of high school, Leah Malano.