Naiyobi Women's Project

Naiyobi Village holds a special place in my heart. It sits on the northern slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania, looking across the Great Rift Valley and up at impressive Ol Doinyo Lengai. It is the birthplace of my husband, the home of his family, and the center of a Maasai community of about 10,000.

Though the grass is green in the rainy season and the setting idyllic, life is far from easy there, especially for the women. The women live within the restraints of both traditional Maasai culture and the regulations of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (for example, they cannot grow food for their families and can only graze their livestock in certain areas). Inadequate access to water, transportation, hospital services, and reliable communication heightens their struggle. Despite these incredible challenges, the women's smiles, warmth, and laughter prevail; their tenacity endures and inspires.

I chose to focus the efforts of my graduate work on women's development in Naiyobi to help the women help themselves and their families. To learn more about their greatest needs and challenges, their perspectives of education, and their interest in pursuing women-centered training and development opportunities, my local friend interviewed women in the village. The responses were both illuminating and inspiring. In a nutshell, the women highly value educational opportunities for themselves and their children and are excited to learn to speak their national language, to learn about women's rights and acquire better business skills. They are eager to participate in women-centered training and development opportunities and cited savings and loan co-ops, small livestock/business co-ops, and artisan co-ops as ventures they feel would best work in Naiyobi. 

I have been searching for grants that align with the women's motivations. I've also been looking for organizations that focus on women's empowerment and work with women on development projects that benefit entire communities. Most of the opportunities I have found require that the women's group be successfully established for a few years before even applying. Some organizations will only partner with groups within the vicinity of their main office in Tanzania. Others have simply not replied to my messages.

This is where we and this GoFundMe effort come into play! I am hoping that you will help me raise  funds that enable the women to establish their co-ops and implement their training and development projects. Funds may be used to purchase supplies/capital, contribute to base funds for the savings and loan co-op, pay local trainers/teachers, and/or cover travel expenses for women attending training sessions.

Thank you for supporting the Naiyobi Women's Project in any way you are able. I wish I could take you with me so that you too could be touched by Naiyobi and the people who have captured my heart:)

Donations ()

  • Kathy Paxton 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Jan Schultz 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 1 mo
  • Kathleen Keller  
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Catherine Collamer 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer

Kim Laizer 
Organizer
Yosemite National Park, CA
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