About Pastoralist Child Foundation
Pastoralist Child Foundation was formed when Sayydah Garrett, a teacher in New Jersey, went on safari to Kenya in August, 2012. The safari included a visit to a Maasai village in close proximity to the lodge where Sayydah resided for 4 days. She was welcomed by the beautiful Samburu tribe with songs and dances and was happy to join in the celebration.
Sayydah was fascinated by the tribe and excitedly returned to the lodge with many photos. She called to Samuel, a waiter in the restaurant, to show him the photos. Samuel knew everyone in the pictures because this was his village – Namayiana Village. He spoke at length about the harmful effects (he called them “vices”) of FGM and forced marriages in his community. He said, “Sayydah, I want to start a community based organization to eradicate female genital mutilation and forced early marriage before it’s my youngest sister’s turn to get cut. Girls should be allowed to go to school.”
Sayydah was shocked to hear this but at the same time delighted to hear a man voice his concern about the plight of girls in his community. She responded with, “Well, I live 8,000 miles away but I’d like to help you. I used to work for a homeless agency and have nonprofit experience. I can help with fundraising, write proposals and raise awareness.” Samuel smiled, pointed at Sayydah and said, “Great! YOU will be our President!” Sayydah said, “Ok!” Pastoralist Child Foundation was co-founded right then and there.
Samuel registered the organization as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in Kenya within 2 weeks and Sayydah also started the 501C3 public charity registration process in the USA. Pastoralist Child Foundation was incorporated in April, 2013 and granted tax-exempt public charity 501(c)3 status in August, 2013.