Maasai Woman's Empowerment Program

Maasai Tribe communities are traditionally patriarchal, but now these amazing women are making their own way, which allows them to have their own say! This program provides insight into the unique culture of the Maasai Tribe and the impact that is felt when the education of girls is not prioritized. The primary focus is on the development of basic skills and financial literacy of the local women, who are learning how they can earn funds to support themselves and educate their children.

 

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Program Description

Maasai society have their own lifestyle which differs from other societies in Tanzania. They have their dressing styles, decorations and way of living. They wear the rectangular fabric popularly known as Shuka in Swahili language and which come in different colors. The majority of Maasai women throughout the many Maasai communities live a life of poverty and cultural oppression. Men are the heads of the households and the village. They have control of almost every aspect of life and hold almost all the leadership roles.

Moreover, Maasai women’s main source of income is through selling traditional beaded jewelry. However, due to their vulnerability in lack of education, women do not have a systematic way of financially protecting their own economic interests. In this regard, here is where you can support the Maasai women through a mutually beneficial exchange of information in making informed financial decisions.

In its essence, most of the women from Maasai tribes devote their time to milking, taking care of calves, and domestic work. This kind of labor is currently the priority allowed for women as there is less emphasis on education and community engagement which might allow women to have more options for sustainable development in the future.

The majority of the women in the village do not speak English, as such, you will be supervised on the ground by a locally trained coordinator to ensure there is a smooth communication between the women and yourself. The main goal is to facilitate Maasai women with a view to prepare their future that will guide them to have fruitful life into their old age.

Due to the remote location of this program and limited local transportation, you may be required to stay the first night in Monduli. Additionally, placement is in a Maasai village in Arusha, but to increase immersion you may get spread across various villages.

 

Aims & Objectives

  • To help Maasai women to have income generating activities in order to cover costs for common service for their kids like pens, exercise books food and security.
  • To assist the women to contribute to community development through their active participation.
  • Strengthening the group and initiating subgroup projects to find and provide solutions to the challenges faced by the women.
  • To mobilize and encourage women to enroll their kids (boys and girls) to schools and prevent early marriage.
  • To facilitate workshops on Saving, loans and financial literacy for the group.

Schedule

Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Meet the Women of the group and provide insight into healthy measures to cater for their children and themselves
  • Discuss sustainable projects with the Maasai women to be financially independent
  • Lunch
  • Discuss the  importance of education with the Maasai women
  • Engage with the women in different ways of mobilising their own resources (Table Banking and Saving Strategies)
  • Dinner

Location

You will be staying a very simple, traditional, family home in a Maasai Village in Arusha. Located many kilometers away from the paved main road which leads into the nearest large city Arusha, with many smaller towns along the way. Moita is quite a bit off the beaten path. The terrain is rough and scantily covered by grass, bushes, and trees. In the dry season inhabitants of Moita village must walk several kilometers to fetch water for cooking, drinking and occasionally for bathing.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

Expect a very ‘back to nature’ approach during your stay here! You will live as a visitor in a homestay residence which may include the traditional house made from wood, sticks, cow dung and clay-soil. The Maasai generally live without any electricity, and though some houses have recently acquired solar cells, you should not expect it. There is no running tap water and no western toilets. You can expect squatting toilets will be available and the occasional showering is done by using a bucket. All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with extreme restraint, especially water, paper, and electricity. This accommodation is in a Maasai village in Arusha, but to increase immersion you may get spread across various villages.

Available Room Types

Standard Room

All meals included

Yes *

Free beverages

No **

Persons per room

4-8

Wifi in public areas

No

Laundry facilities

No ***

Safety box

No

Lockable rooms

No

Hot shower

No

Private bathroom

No

Bed linen

No

Towels

No

Air conditioning

No

Fan

No

Mosquito protection

No

* 3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
** Clean drinking water provided
*** Buckets and brushes available

Food Arrangements

Meals are inspired by the local cuisine and consist of a lot of corn, rice, potatoes, and bananas. Beef, goat meat, beans, and a few green leafy vegetables will help to add nutrients to your daily meals as well. There are no shops within walking distance, so if you are a picky eater or feel that you may not be amenable to the local style meals, please feel free to bring these types of items with you from Monduli or Arusha, with an understanding that there is no refrigeration available.

Facilities

There are no ATM facilities nearby, but the local shops are around 100-120 minutes away. This village is about 45 minutes away from an ATM, bank and post office.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Intensive Swahili Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Excursion to a Volcanic Crater in Moita.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

National Parks

There are many national parks not far from this location where you can explore the wildlife and environment or take a safari trip on the weekend. Lake Manyara, Mount Meru, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro can be found nearby and are the wonders of the region. Speak to a coordinator about where you can access the internet to help you get this arranged!

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Expanding over plains, forests, and savannas, Ngorongoro Conservation Area hosts Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera where incredible wildlife coexists with the Maasai. In here, you will be able to find wildlife… in a crater! A must when in Tanzania as it is one of the most emblematic locations of the continent.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is famous for its population of elephants and the symbolic Baobab tree. During the dry season, wild animals inhabit the park and you will be able to find zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and more! While not as common, you might be able to find a lion here as well if you are lucky!

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is probably the most worldwide known National Park in the world. It is believed to hold the largest population of lions in the world! Aside from that, cheetahs, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos live here. Make sure you allow yourself at least two days to visit and stay overnight in either a campsite or a lodge. Serengeti cannot be done in just one day as it is so huge!

Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

The home of Mount Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. While it is not the best place to spot wildlife compared to Ngorongoro or Serengeti, it is still the home of many species including giraffes, warthogs, Cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more! However, the main attractions here are the landscapes that line the park to every side: to the west, you will find Meru Crater and the Jekukumia River. To the south, you will find Ngurdoto Crater and to the north.east, Momelia Lakes, which vary in color due to algae and are made even brighter by many different species of birds who love to have a swim in the water!

Lake Manyara National Park

During the wet season, pink flamingos brighten up the lake, which make it the go-to place for bird watchers. They do leave during the wet season, but Masai Lions, Leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs can be found here year-round!

Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro

Moshi is located about two and half hours away from Monduli and can be easily reached from Monduli by taking a “dala dala” to Arusha and then another one to Moshi from there.

Moshi is a sleepy town with a Western vibe as it is the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb! On a clear day, you can get excellent views of the highest mountain in Africa (tip: head over to Moshi Train Station for a top-notch view. This station is no longer in use for transportation purposes, but the locals have made the most out of it by placing some chairs and selling drinks and snacks with a view!).

Kikuletwa Hot Springs

A lesser-known but still amazing attraction located between Arusha and Moshi are Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot, but its temperature is perfect for swimming and relaxing. It is known as an oasis as it is covered with jungle and the water here is so blue that you wouldn’t believe! It is a favorite go-to place for locals and expats alike and there is even a rope you can use to dive into the water with style.

Arusha

Arusha is one of the main cities of Tanzania and is easy to reach from Monduli in less than an hour and a half. From here, most safari companies depart to many of the national parks surrounding it, so it is your go-to place for wildlife! In Arusha you will be able to find a myriad of things to do – from Maasai markets selling crafts to bring back home, to cinemas, shopping malls, Western food, and more!

Hiking Around Monduli

Monduli is set amidst lush mountains that are a great opportunity for hiking off-the-beaten path. There are numerous trails, one of which leads to a gorgeous waterfall. Speak to our coordinator to arrange, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots in order to conserve the area.

Iringa and Ruaha National Park

Not that close by, but an interesting place nonetheless if you have the time after finishing our programs! Ruaha National Park is a much lesser visited place for wildlife, but its few visitors are never disappointed by its beauty! In fact, it is the largest National Park in Tanzania and boasts cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!

Zanzibar

While a bit far, it is possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha airstrip, a small airport that operates domestic flights and is not too far from our center! Zanzibar is known for its sandy white beaches and unique culture. While here, don’t miss Stone Town, a place that is emblematic for its mazes and spices (take a spice tour for sure!). Another must is a visit to Prison Island, where you can spot dolphins and marine life. Travel north or east of the island for some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best!

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Monduli
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