Maasai Woman's Empowerment Program

Maasai Tribe communities are traditionally patriarchal, but now these amazing women are beginning to give themselves a chance for a valuable education. This project educates and empowers the Maasai women, who have not had the chance for an education. This project provides a unique insight into Maasai culture, focusing on teaching basic skills and financial literacy to the local women. You can help these women learn how to earn a living so they can support themselves and their children.

 

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Program Description

The Maasai people are a massively symbolic tribe, known for their large amounts of jewellery and colourful clothing. They have a traditional dressing style, traditions and way of life, dating back centuries. Their unique dress is locally known as Shuka in Swahili and comes in various different colours. The majority of Maasai in Tanzania and Kenya have lived a life of poverty and cultural oppression. Men have the all control, being the heads of the households and the village. They have say in almost every aspect of life and occupy almost all the leadership roles.

Maasai women do make an income through selling their traditional beaded jewellery. However, due to their vulnerability and a lack of education, the women do not have an organised way of protecting their hard-earned finances. This is the area where you can massively support the Maasai women, in teaching them informative and helpful ways in order to protect and save their earnings.

The women from Maasai tribes work hard every day milking cows, taking care of calves, and domestic work and looking after the children. This daily work is the priority in the Maasai tribe and there is much less emphasis on education and community engagement, which would allow women to have more options for a sustainable future.

The majority of the women in the village do not speak English, to help, you will be supervised by a local and trained coordinator. This ensures much easier communication between the women and yourself. The main aim of this project is to enable Maasai women to prepare for their future and give them the skills and confidence to do so.

Due to this project’s remote location and limited local transportation, volunteers may need to stay the first night in Monduli and travel to the village the following morning. Volunteer placements are available in a Maasai village in Arusha, but to increase immersion you may volunteer across various villages.

Aims & Objectives

  • To ensure Maasai women have the knowledge to use their income generating activities to cover costs for their children, such as pens, exercise books, food and security.
  • Assist and encourage the women to contribute to their community development through their active participation.
  • Find and provide solutions to the challenges faced by the women.
  • To encourage women to send their children to school and educate them in the prevention of early marriage.
  • To run workshops on how to save money, loans and basic financial advice for the women.

Schedule

Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Meet the Maasai women group and provide insights into a healthy lifestyle to help them cater for their children and themselves
  • Discuss and teach sustainable projects with the Maasai women, encouraging them to be financially independent
  • Lunch
  • Teach the importance of education with the Maasai women
  • Engage the women and teach various ways of using their own resources (Table Banking and Saving Strategies)
  • Dinner

Location

You will stay in a very simple, traditional, family home in a Maasai Village in Arusha (or surrounding villages). Moita is quite a bit off the beaten path. Located several kilometres away from the main roads near Arusha, there are many smaller towns along the way to this small village. The terrain is rough with patches of grass, bushes, and trees. In the dry season the community of Moita village must walk several kilometres to gather water for cooking, drinking and sometimes for bathing.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

Expect a ‘back to nature’ and very simple accommodation during your stay here. You will sleep in a local homestay which may include a traditional house made from wood, sticks, cow dung and clay-soil. The Maasai mostly live without any electricity, and although some houses have recently put up solar cells, it should not be something to expect. There is no running tap water and no western toilets. Expect squat toilets and the occasional showering is only done by using a bucket. All volunteers are asked to be environmentally considerate and to use all resources with extreme restraint, particularly water, paper, and electricity. This accommodation is located in a Maasai village in Arusha, but for more cultural immersion you may be placed in various surrounding 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 usually in the local cuisine and consist of a lot of corn, rice, potatoes, and bananas. Beef, goat meat, beans, and a few green leafy vegetables make up your daily nutritional meals. There are no shops within walking distance, so if you are a picky eater or have certain food requirements then we advise you to pick up supplies from Monduli or Arusha. Just be aware that there is no refrigeration available.

Facilities

There are no ATM machines nearby. The village is about 45 minutes from an ATM, bank and post office and there are local shops around one and a half to two hours away.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On your first Monday in Monduli, you will take part in our orientation day, to familiarize yourself with the local areas and Tanzanian culture. Your project will continue from Tuesday onwards throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, General rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and insuring you have all your documents.
  • Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Cultural introduction, learning about Tanzania’s history and Intensive Swahili Language classes.
  • Tour around the accommodation and local area. We will show you where to find local amenities and where you can buy a sim-card.
  • Lunch
  • Trip to a Volcanic Crater in Moita.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the project.

Sights & Surroundings

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Home to the Ngorongoro Crater, this stunning area of vast plains, green forests and wild savannahs, sits next to the Serengeti National Park. You will see the highest concentration of animals here from lions, zebra, wildebeest and elephants. The views from the crater are absolutely stunning, with an atmospheric mountain backdrop. This should be at the top of your bucket list for Tanzania!

Serengeti National Park

Another one for your bucket list and a perfect way to spend your weekend off. The Serengeti is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the big 5 (lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo & elephant). You will also find zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, hippos, baboons, hyenas, ostriches and many more incredible animals. The best way to explore is by camping out in the open or in one of the many lodges. The area is huge, and we recommend at least 2 days here.

Tarangire National Park

A quieter park in Northern Tanzania, Tarangire is known for its large population of elephants and the incredible Baobab tree. In dry season you can spot all kinds of amazing animals that congregate to the Tarangire river. Spot anything from zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and even lions of you’re lucky.

Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro

Moshi is about a two and half hour drive from Monduli and can be easily reached using a “dala dala” or taxi to Arusha and then changing again onto Moshi from there.

Moshi is a quiet town with several Western cafes and coffee shops. It is also the closest town to the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro trek. On a clear day, you can get excellent views of Kilimanjaro right from the roadside (Tip: Moshi Train Station, which is no longer is use, has fantastic views of Africa’s highest mountain, with locals selling drinks and snacks up the top).

Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

Mount Meru is located in Arusha National Park and is the second largest mountain in Tanzania. If you’re looking to Climb Kilimanjaro ,then Mt Meru can be a great acclimatisation trek, taking you through various types of vegetation. There are also scenic trails around the mountain at ground level. Other attractions include Meru Crater, the Jekukumia River, Ngurdoto Crater and the Momelia Lakes which are known to change colour! You might even find wildlife here including giraffes, warthogs, cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more.

Lake Manyara National Park

If you love bird watching, then head to Lake Manyara during the dry season where pink flamingos flock to the vast lake. During wet season see if you can spot the lions, leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs roaming the park.

Kikuletwa Hot Springs

A somewhat ‘secret’ pool of clear blue water, situated in between Arusha and Moshi is the Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot but totally refreshing after the dusty drive getting there. Enjoyed by tourists and locals, this is a beautiful spot for relaxing and swimming in the crystal clear water, surrounded by jungle. There’s even a rope swing into the water for more fun and games. If this wasn’t on your list before, it should be now.

Arusha

Just over an hour’s drive from Monduli, Arusha is a large city in Tanzania which has many Western style eateries, a cinema, Maasai markets, shopping malls, supermarkets and a cultural centre. There are a lot of things to do here and a great way to spend your weekend. Close to the Serengeti, Arusha is a popular starting destination for wildlife safari tours.

Hiking Around Monduli

If you’re looking for off the beaten path trails then there’s no better place to look then in Monduli. There are numerous treks, one even takes you to a beautiful waterfall. You will need to ask your local coordinator to arrange certain visits, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots, this is to conserve the area.

Iringa and Ruaha National Park

If you have the time after finishing your project, Ruaha National Park is a quieter and much less visited place for wildlife viewing. It’s located in Central Tanzania, near the small and quiet town of Iringa (which is a great stop off for visiting Ruaha). The park is actually the largest in Tanzania but less frequently visited by tourists, although visitors are rarely disappointed by its natural beauty. It’s home to cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!

Zanzibar

A little further afield, it is still possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha (although several days here would be ideal). Zanzibar is known for its sandy white beaches, turquoise water and unique culture. Stone Town is an interesting town, known for its mazes and spices. Other things to do is a visit to Prison Island, where prisoners were once held but is now home to giant tortoises. You can also spot dolphins and try snorkelling off the island. The North and East of Zanzibar have some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world.

Transportation

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

  • Monduli
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