Maasai Mara Woman's Empowerment

Maasai Women are doing it for themselves, but they can use your help to continue their goal of educating their daughters and feeding their families. Join Maasai village mothers and grandmothers as they pave the way, one bead at a time, for the next generation of girls who want to have opportunities besides marriage and motherhood at a young age. Enhance the collective resolution to reduce poverty, hunger and educational disparities for women and girls with your expertise and hard work!

accom photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1Z5UQC1m29cDfNAHFWvVDkdJ8q2kulKgX

project photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1JlSRG2WBKosvJiBu-LGUaQAuUOB_VrG-

 

Program Description

You’ll be part of the collective effort to support the educational goals of Maasai girls. These village mothers and grandmothers are using their skills and abilities to create unique and intricate beadwork jewelry and accessories knowing that every piece they make and sell gets them closer to earning enough to cover school fees and to supplement the household income enough to provide nourishing meals to their families.

Your efforts can go towards the creation of a database, building a roadside stand to sell items, teaching the women basic English or math, help complete the concrete floor at a local church where they currently meet underneath a tree, or help  to build a proper stand for access to the water tank at the church. The ways in which you can be of service are many. The life lessons and sincere smiles you will receive in return are invaluable. A portion of your program costs goes directly towards reinvestment in the group by providing bead making supplies and other resources to sustain and further expand their collective efforts.

There is also the added bonus of being so close to the Maasai Mara National Park that you can go there on the weekend and have a chance to catch a glimpse of the Big 5 (Elephants, Leopards. Lions, Buffalo, and Rhinos). Depending on the time of year, you might even get a chance to see the Migration of the Wildebeest as they cross the Mara river back and forth between Kenya and Tanzania. You will of course have to arrange these types of tours on your own, as they are not included in our program, but it is very easy to do, considering your close proximity.

Program Duration & Availability

Min duration (weeks):2

Aims & Objectives

  • Assist Maasai village women and girls educational prospects and self-sufficiency
  • Gain invaluable experience at the grassroots level
  • Assist the local community improvement efforts
  • Learn more about the Maasai Mara region and the Culture

Schedule

Monday to Friday

Your day will likely be 4-6 hours of assisting at the Maasai Women Collective on achieving a variety of goals including basic communication with tourist customers, basic accounting, building a roadside stand, completing the concrete floor at the local church meeting point, collecting materials and supplies, etc. Some days will be busier than others but there will always be something to do and things to learn along the way.

You will be staying on or near the school grounds in a very basic, no frills-accommodation. There is no flush toilet and you will need to be conscientious about conserving water. You will have very simple homestyle dishes that are typical of this region and there will be limited opportunities to go to the bigger town which is more than an hour away.

Location

Located in Narok County, the Maasai Mara is one of the gems of the southwestern region of Kenya. Named for the ancestral people of the region whose villages can still be found throughout this vast area, this National Reserve borders on Tanzania and is home to a multitude of amazing animals including the Big 5 (Buffalo, Elephants, Leopards, Lions, and Rhinos), but you should also expect to see Wildebeest, Hippos, Cheetahs, Crocodiles, and Zebras throughout this park as well.

The Mara’s well-preserved wilderness landscape is full of the acacia trees and tall savannah grasses where the wildlife inhabitants are able to blend into the background when necessary for survival. But when it is cooler in the morning and evenings they come out to roam, bathe, or search for food and that is when you just might catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures in action.

Many people flock to this region at different times of the year just to witness the great migration where more than a million of the Wildebeest make their way across the river to Tanzania and then back to the Mara months later, dodging crocodiles, lions and others who lie in wait for the opportunity to make them their prey. It is the circle of life and the nature of the wild that intrigues people from all over the world to come and witness this marvel and enjoy this riveting and magnificent sight.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

The accommodation will be on the school grounds or in a nearby homestay. The lodging will be very simple with few amenities, toilet and bathing area will be away from the sleeping quarters, but efforts will be made to help you adjust to a simpler way of being during your stay. Resources are limited and power outages and shortages in the water supply can occur. We ask that you do your part to conserve water and energy, but to also help to keep the room and other common spaces tidy. We also request that you are mindful of the close proximity to school-aged children and refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol or using profanity as school staff is held in high regard in this community. There will be no WIFI onsite, but you are encouraged to get a local SIM card on arrival so that you will be able to access the internet and stay in contact whenever possible.

Available Room Types

Standard Room

All meals included

Yes *

Free beverages

Yes **

Persons per room

2- 10

Wifi in public areas

No

Laundry facilities

No ***

Safety box

No

Lockable rooms

Yes

Hot shower

No

Private bathroom

No

Western toilet

No

Bed linen

Yes

Towels

No

Air conditioning

No

Heating

No

Fan

No

Mosquito protection

No

* 3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
** Free drinking water provided
*** Expect to wash your clothes by hand

Food Arrangements

Food will be simple homestyle meals prepared by locals, which are typical to the region, based on whatever fruits and vegetables are in season at the time. You can expect lots of rice and ugali with small portions of vegetables, occasionally meat and/or chapati will be provided as well. While we do our best to accommodate our participants, if you are a picky eater, have dietary restrictions, or if you think that you will not be satisfied with the local dishes provided you might want to consider supplementing our menu with your own western type foods and snacks that are more to your liking.

Facilities

Due to the remote location, there are no places to shop or banks/ATM’s to withdraw money within walking distance of the program or the accommodation. All of those things will need to be done in Narok (more than an hour away) which is the nearest large town with a variety of shops, supermarkets, banks, and a mall.

Mandatory Orientation Day

At this location there is no mandatory orientation day offered.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Maasai Mara is a must visit for anyone in the region. It has many tours for game drives and overnight stays nearby. You will need to book these on your own, but that will be fairly easy and cost effective considering the close proximity to this National Reserve.

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and it is about 3-4 hours away by local transport. There you will find everything that you would expect from a metropolitan city, including fine dining, high-end shops, and nightclubs. There are also attractions such as Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Center, the Elephant Sanctuary and Bomas of Kenya.

Narok is the largest town nearby the program location and here you will find a variety of shops, restaurants, clinics, pharmacies, banks/ATM’s and supermarkets.

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