Mama Sarah Obama, President Barack Obama’s 94-Year-Old Kenyan Grandmother, Honored for Advocating Education

Mama Sarah Obama, President Barack Obama’s 94-year-old Kenyan grandmother pictured here with Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis at the United Nations in New York City. (Photo by Charlene Muhammad)
Mama Sarah Obama, President Barack Obama’s 94-year-old Kenyan grandmother pictured here with Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis at the United Nations in New York City. (Photo by Charlene Muhammad)

Mama Sarah Obama, the sole living grandparent of U.S. President Barack Obama, has created a legacy all her own.

The 94-year-old has launched the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF) in Kenya after a lifetime of feeding and sheltering orphaned children and impoverished families.  Now, she’s expanding her mission to educate women and children, particularly the “girl child,” as she says, through her Legacy Plan.

It features a school campus and hospital project for her community in Kogelo, Kenya, as well as an early childhood development center, a primary and secondary school, a vocational training school—all on one campus.

Mama Sarah told the very attentive gathering of female entrepreneurs during the Nov. 19 Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) that school fees for women and girls are a major barrier to education for her community.

“The biggest challenge is because their parents died, especially from her country, their parents died from HIV/AIDS, so these kids are orphans.  There’s really nobody to take care of them,” she stated through her translator, Debra Akello, executive director of the MSOF’s U.S. office.

“That’s what she’s saying.  She picked up that task of getting these girls, these young women, education.  [Through] the Mama Sarah Obama scholarship funds, she’s saying that some of these girls now, some of them are doctors.  Some of them are engineers.  There are some who are in the university so that’s the biggest challenge,” she continued.

While in the U.S., she visited schools in New York and Washington, D.C. and spoke on the importance of education as a speaker on WED’s “The Importance of Education for Entrepreneurs of the Future” panel. 

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Source: LA Sentinel | Charlene Muhammad

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