The Maasai Community
These are a Maa speaking Nilo-Hamitic group who have in large part retained their traditional culture. They are purely pastoralists inhabiting the northern part of Tanzania. They are a spectacular group of tall slender people living off milk, blood (especially where water is scarce), and meat. Few Maasai receive the education that we believe is vital to equip them to master their environment in a way that will sustain themselves for the years to come. We therefore warmly welcome you to join hands with us in assisting this work for their community.
In Maasai Land our volunteers are often involved with:
Tree planting projects. The greater part of Maasai Land is now so dry that some areas are fast becoming semi-desert. For some families with young children who lack even a little tree shade in their homesteads, life can be very uncomfortable. We aim to work towards planting trees at different homes and on bare hills as we work towards being instrumental in there being a better place for future Maasai generations to live. This effort will go hand in hand with providing education and training about the ongoing importance of conserving and adding to tree populations.
Assisting the teaching of English, maths and sports, etc. Though English is an international language and the second national language of Tanzania there are nonetheless very few Maasai that speak English. The majority of Maasai families do however recognize the importance of their children learning even a little English. In this Maasai community there is a great shortage of English speaking teachers. To fill this gap your own volunteer contribution in teaching English and other subjects such as maths and sport would be greatly valued and appreciated.
Working with women’s groups. Maasai women are not given much say by their husbands and yet it is the woman’s responsibility to build and maintain the house and to make sure that the family is eating, and so on. To deal with these challenges they nowadays form themselves into social and economic self-help groups. Some pioneering women are becoming involved with one of a number of small enterprises such as jewellery making and vegetable growing. Your voluntary contribution with this, such as by helping them to learn about small loans and marketing their products, will serve to help the whole of the community as there is a widespread belief that in educating and helping one woman you touch many people’s lives.
Assisting in establishing cultural tourism programmes. There is a wealth of discovery to be explored throughout the Maasai community: the people, the history, the customs, traditional foodstuffs, etc. Nowadays most travellers are wish to visit a local community and to see and hear with their own eyes and ears something of its hidden treasures. It has been a formidable challenge for local people to prepare brochures and organize some tours by themselves. We welcome volunteers who can offer their creativity and guidance in helping towards such work and in leading small communities in generating an income which that can be used to improve the living standard of the local groups it is our wish to help.
Assisting with labour power in community development projects. In the course of daily life different projects are now being introduced in order to improve life, both socially and economically. Projects such as schools, hospitals, churches, road repairing and water projects need considerable labour power. Volunteers are encouraged to spend some time in donating their own time and energy to these rural area projects. For those interested in working in the farms we arrange a local small scale farm worker to work with them.
Accommodation in Maasai Land
Volunteers working in Maasai Land will stay in a local style mud hut, a typical Maasai abode. At the weekend any culture shock is ameliorated on return back to the relatively civilized world of Arusha, where you can relax and spend your free time exploring the cafes, restaurants, craft stalls and local markets, etc.