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Naiyobi Women's Project

$3,740 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 33 people in 18 months
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:)
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Thanks to Theresia’s hard work, Laizer’s support, and Elifuraha’s guidance, Nadupoi is now recognized by the Tanzanian government as an official Community Based Organization (CBO)! Our little grassroots effort has grown, thanks to your support, from a hope to a promise. We can’t thank you enough.

The CBO combines my Naiyobi Women’s Project efforts with Laizer’s work to find sponsors for girls in Naiyobi who would otherwise not be able to go to high school. With CBO status, we can expand our fundraising efforts to better support the girls and women of Naiyobi.

In addition to creating a website, I will be applying for NGO status in the USA to make things easier for people to donate and help us do this work. Until that is all established, we’ll depend on this GoFundMe site to ensure that Nadupoi keeps on keepin’ on!

Thanks to my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Tim, Nadupoi women can now better see with their new reading glasses. It is so much easier for them to read, write, and make jewelry. They are so appreciative! The fifteen co-ops participating in the rotating fund this last round will be wrapping things up in a few weeks. In preparation for the next round of the fund, Theresia will be headed to Naiyobi to hold training seminars and proposal writing workshops. We’ll be reviewing proposals and selecting the next recipients of rotating fund loans in early April.

To fund training, support, and the peer teachers into 2020, we still need to raise another $1,000. Please share the word. Please also let me know if you hear of any grants that Nadupoi might qualify for. Much appreciated!

Want to meet Theresia and the women of Nadupoi in person? Laizer will be leading another safari for friends to Tanzanian national parks and Naiyobi this January, and we would LOVE to share the experience with you. Please give us a call so we can fill you in on details.

Lots of love and appreciation, Kim
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11/8/18
Fifteen Co-ops!
The thirteen co-ops funded during the fourth round of the Naiyobi Women’s Project rotating fund had some serious challenges this summer. A cholera outbreak in another region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area prompted government-enforced restrictions on public gatherings and goods exchange. The weekly markets that commonly draw people from far and wide, and upon which many of the women’s co-ops depended for their small businesses, were prohibited. Also banned was the sale of food items from “roadside vendors” and shops that did not pass the inspector’s inspections. Nonetheless, all the co-ops managed to repay their loans to the rotating fund on time, and most applied again for another chance at small business. Resourceful and perseverant they are!

Thanks to those who donated to the Naiyobi Women’s Project earlier this year, the fifth round of the rotating fund is now supporting 15 women’s co-ops! This means 75 individuals have the chance to help their families through small-business ventures. Many of these women have been attending classes that peer teachers have been offering (also with your support). Although they are learning basic arithmetic as well as how to read and write, a common challenge for them is seeing the chalkboard and/or text on the page. If anyone has spare reading glasses, please send them our way so Laizer can take them to Naiyobi next month. Cheers!

Theresia continues coaching the co-ops monthly and offering training sessions as well. None of the strides we’ve made would have been possible without her. Though her help is funded through the end of this rotating fund in April, I am seeking means to support her and the Naiyobi Women’s Projects efforts through next year. We are hoping to be granted Community Based Organization status in Tanzania so that we can apply for grants and enhance the opportunities we are providing. Until then, here we go!

As Thanksgiving draws near, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with Theresia, Julius, Lazier and all those in Naiyobi. I am also filled with appreciation for all the love and support of friends and family. You are making a difference!
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April 24, 2018
Thirteen Co-ops!

Thanks to your generosity and on-going support, thirteen women’s co-ops received loans this round of the rotating fund! This means that over the next six months, 65 women will be working with their co-op members on small-business projects that should help them purchase food, medicine, clothing and other needed supplies for their families. Without the Naiyobi Women’s Project and your help, these opportunities would not exist. We can’t thank you enough!

We have also raised enough to allow for continued coaching, training, and peer-teaching for most of this year, but not quite. My priority is to raise enough to fully fund 2018, and ideally the beginning of 2019! Once we reach this goal, we can focus on raising funds to bring the total number of loans the rotating fund can supply to 15. If you are so willing, please share these hopes and intentions with others you know who might be interested in supporting the work we are doing with the women in Naiyobi.

Lots of love and gratitude, Kim
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We are nearly half way there! THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping us get closer to our goal so quickly:) When we have reached it, I will transfer the funds GoFundMe is sending my way to Tanzania where those dollars will be put to work.

The next round of the rotating fund starts in May, so I am hoping that we reach the $3,000 mark by the first of April at the latest. That way an additional four co-ops (20 additional women) will have the opportunity to start their small business projects and bring more food, medicine, clothing and other needed supplies home to their families.

Yours in sharing the love, Kim
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$3,740 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 33 people in 18 months
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