Successful lawyer leaves corporate life to help girls in Kenya

- After acting as a successful lawyer for more than two decades, Carla Maresca Eichler decided she was done climbing the corporate ladder. Having accomplished her career goals, Eichler shifted her efforts toward helping kids.

Without children of her own, Eichler was able to devote her full attention to an entire city of kids as she served on the board of Philadelphia’s Children’s Literacy Initiative.

Inspiration to help the young children of Kenya came to Eichler during her travels when she learned of The Amazing Maasai Girls Project. Founded in 2010, the non-profit provides high school scholarships to academically gifted girls from Maasai tribes in central Kenya whose families would otherwise not have the means to fund their secondary education.

The initiative aims to help Maasai girls avoid childhood marriage and empower them through education to find employment and independence as adults.

In Africa, girls are often priced out of schools since, after age 12, school is no longer free. Eichler learned, however, that the cost of excluding girls from school is extensive, as adolescent pregnancies run rampant.

At the time of Eichler’s travels, jewelry-making had also become a passion project, and she wanted to marry her craft with her desire to help these children.

“I didn't want to be this person that grows up to be this selfish, wealthy woman who does nothing to give back,” she told FOX 29.

When her jewelry-making started to pick up some steam, Eichler started to sell it full-time, giving up the comforts of her law career and infusing charitable outreach into her mission. A portion of her proceeds, she decided, would go directly to The Amazing Maasai Girls Project.

“There are people out there in the world who are rooting for them,” Eichler explained.

And cheering meant changing these girls, one at a time.

On the non-profit’s website, one girl explains that “In my home, my parents started respecting me” thanks in part to the non-profit’s initiative. Another writes: “I have seen that I can make it.”

Eichler always knew the jewelry was just a means to an end.  And she has no regrets.

“The children are our future,” she says. “Whatever you're capable of giving, give it.”

If you would like to donate to these girls, see here. If you love the jewelry and want to support The Amazing Maasai Girls Project in that way, you can find Eichler’s creations here.

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