I came to Tanzania in 2010, volunteering for a conservation organisation and was quick to fall in love with the country, its beautiful wildlife and people, and a Maasai warrior, who became my husband in 2012.
I have now lived with my husband Sokoine and his extended Maasai family for eight years. We live a traditional tribal lifestyle in the midst of the African bush, living off the land and the cattle we keep.
As one of the last remaining indigenous tribes of our planet, the Maasai play an important role in safeguarding the African Savannah ecosystem. It is one of the reasons why I work for the protection of their tribal culture and their lands.
To do this, I have started several projects to help the Maasai adapt to an ever changing environment by teaching them about land management, conservation, family planning and the importance of education.
The project I am raising funds for now, is our Maasai women enterprise where I am teaching Maasai women to make reusable sanitary kits.
I started this enterprise a year ago by funding training for two Maasai women from our village to be trained at making reusable sanitary kits.
The project was a huge success and we have so far distributed over 500 reusable sanitary kits to Maasai girls and women in our community and beyond.
Our enterprise empowers the women who work for us by giving them an income while at the same time providing Maasai girls with a way of dealing with their menses, therefore making it easier for them to go to and stay in school.
Traditionally Maasai women have no means of managing their menstruation and often miss out on school as economical and cultural obstacles leave them without options.
Many Maasai girls get married off at a very young age and are forced to have many children. Without an education and stuck in an environment bound to ancient traditions, they often live a life of struggle and don't have the foresight to teach their children differently.
With our Maasai women enterprise we try to break the cycle by encouraging Maasai girls to get the education they need to be able to make their own choices.
We have had a great amount of support in the last year and we would like to keep giving you the opportunity to support us.
Our greatest challenge is related to the remoteness of our enterprise: we are located in the midst of the Maasai Steppe with the nearest town a 12 hour bus ride away. There we are able to buy some of the fabric we need but many materials are not available in Tanzania.
I have to frequently find the funds to travel to the bigger towns to pick up material that has been left there for us by friends or to pay import tax on fabric that has been sent to us by post. Sometimes we order cotton flannel from Nairobi, Kenya and pay expensive transport and import costs.
One trip to Arusha or Dar es Salaam (2 days travel and 2 days stay) to buy or pick up fabric, costs an average of
100 € just on transport (35€), accomodation (40 €) and food (25€).
I am running this campaign as our old campaign page (on Indiegogo) had to be closed as they no longer support campaigns run in Tanzania.
I am running it for all the wonderful people who have supported us over the last year - to keep giving them (and now also YOU!) the opportunity to support us.
I am running it to continue our fight for the preservation of the beautiful Maasai tribe through the empowerment and education of Maasai women.
I hope you find it in you to support us.
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