Inspired by Livelihoods through Livestock

Helping Maasai women generate an income from goats.We’re delighted to hear that our partner in Tanzania, the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), has been selected as one of the ten finalists for the UN’s ‘Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World’ competition.

Launched in 2011 to celebrate the ten year anniversary of International Women’s Day, Project Inspire is an initiative to help young change-makers create a better world of opportunities for women and girls in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. It gives 18 to 35 year olds a five minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to the world online to win a $25,000 grant.

PWC, which works to promote the position of marginalised Maasai women in Northern Tanzania, has been selected for one of its major projects ‘Livelihoods Through Livestock’. This project focuses on women, giving them goats to help generate an income and in turn to bring about wider societal and attitudinal change in relation to property rights and women’s rights in general.

It’s an extension of a previous and successful project which PWC has been involved in, equipping Maasai communities with goats which they can use to breed and generate income from milk or meat. This new project will work in four communities in Northern Tanzania, directly benefiting 200 women annually, and an additional 200 women each year thereafter. With Maasai women having an average of five children, it’s estimated that this project will reach in excess of 1000 each year.

PWC was founded to implement long-term structural solutions for poverty and marginalisation of Maasai pastoralist women and children. Normally, Maasai women are expected to concentrate on building and repairing houses, fetching firewood and water, and milking animals, as well as raising and feeding children and cooking for the male family members. The lack of educated and professional Maasai women to fight for gender equality and against patriarchal household structures becomes self-perpetuating.

Projects like ‘Livelihoods through Livestock’ are working to break down some of these barriers so if you do two things online today please watch their video (below) and give them your support by voting online via the Project Inspire Facebook page. Voting closes on 29 August.

Lilian, PWC’s gender officer, is travelling to Singapore at the end of the August and we’ll bring you the latest news as soon as we get it!

Watch the video and vote now
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=moYZHqanSVI[/youtube]