SPONSOR A GIRL
“When you educate a woman, you educate a whole community”
Neema, a bright, determined teenager from Ngorongoro – one of the poorest and most isolated areas of Tanzania – had passed her exams with flying colours. She wanted to go to Emanyata school and she had certainly done well enough to get in.
Emanyata school was set up by the local community and since 2005, it has been run by the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), a local NGO working to address the disempowerment and marginalization of women and girls in Maasai land.
Not only is Emanyata community-owned, with the primary aim of educating pastoralist children, but 70% of it’s students are girls. It is the only school of its kind in Tanzania. Attitudes towards educating Maasai girls are slowly changing and many parents are supportive of their daughters’ hopes and dreams beyond marriage and childbearing.
Neema’s academic success should have been cause for celebration, but her father had left the family, so Neema’s mother shouldered the financial burden alone. Although she supported her daughter’s desire to get an education, she just could not afford it.
The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) learned that Neema’s mother did not have the means to support her daughter’s education and agreed to allow her to study for free at Emanyata. Over the last year, African Initiatives has supported 58 of PWC’s sponsored girls. All of them, like Neema, unable to get an education without financial support.
Neema is now doing very well at school. She is able to dream of a future and hopes one day to become a nurse. Currently there are no qualified Maasai nurses who speak Kimaasai, so people seeking medical attention are often unable to communicate their problems effectively.
Neema’s story and many like it have been made possible by the hard work of PWC and support of African Initiatives.
It costs £400 a year to sponsor a girl. If you are interested in learning more, please email José@african-initiatives.org.uk with “I’m interested in sponsoring a girl” in the subject line.