By: David Gido, owner of Make a Difference Foundation Tanzania
P.O. Box 1916, Arusha
31st August 2020
In the area Mererani (close to Kilimanjaro Airport) live about 2000 Maasai. We own a piece of land of 3 acres there where we want to build schools and a health care center. There are no other schools or hospitals in the nearby area.
Boys are trained to be Maasai worriers which means that they have to take care of the animals, protect the family against tribes that want to steal cows from them, and also against wild animals. They’re trained to make and use weapons and local medicine. When they slaughter an animal, men eat the best part of the animal. As they grow older they train their children the same.
Girls get married when they’re very young (in the age of 10 to 15). Their job is to provide food for the family, bear baby’s, cook and fetch fire woods. They’re not valued by men. Women are mistreated. When they make a mistake, the men even beat them with sticks in the middle of the night. They’re all circumcised in a local (very painful) way.
When young people will be educated well, the future generation will change. They have to change!
educate all the children in the area
educate the adults
The building will be done by specialists helped by local Maasai so that they can learn how to build a proper building.
We’ll pay special attention to women and girls, even if they don’t follow lessons or go to school. Everyone will find a safe place at Maisha Maasai and is welcome to tell about the problems they face. Together we’ll try to find solutions. Still our aim is to teach as many girls and women as possible and when parents send 2 of their children to the school, we’ll insist that at least 1 of them is a girl.
The children of this area don’t go to school. The government build a local school at a distance of 20 kilometer walking. This is too far and it’s also not a proper school. There’s a lack of school materials and good teachers. They don’t teach English.
Many women die because they’re still using the local ways to give birth; other women help them to deliver the baby’s and there are no specialists or doctors in the area. Also many people die because of waterborne diseases. When a person for instance gets typhoid fever which is mostly caused by infected water, he or she may die because there is no doctor to subscribe them any medicine. Sometimes Maasai drink the urine of cows because there is no water available.
During the past 4 years we have been providing health education programs to the families and treated the sick ones. We’ve also trained them about hygiene.
Everyone in the area; at least 2000 people! Not every child will go to school since most couples have 10-12 children and the parents wont’t be able to pay school fees for all of them. They’ll send 1 or 2 children to school and these children will teach their brothers and sisters at home. During the weekend, the playground will be open for every child and later on that’s also the case for the sports field. Also the events and movie/theme nights will be for everyone. They have nothing now.
We’ll stimulate the parents to send their other children, who don’t follow the regular lessons, to school on Saturdays so that they can learn – for instance – to work on a computer or better English. We’ll charge very small amounts for such lessons because we have to give these children chances in life too.
Due to the training programs that we have been giving in the communities, we were able to convince many Maasai about the need of good education for their children. As we keep on training in the communities, we’ll learn more and more parents the importance of education. We’ll persuade them to send their children to the school.
During the same training programs, we’ll also learn the Maasai to visit a hospital when they’re sick. We’ll advise the Maasai to use the modern treatment and medicine, since many people die because of using local medicine made by the Maasai themselves.
The Maasai know that they have to change their lives. We don’t give money; we give tools. When they have the tools, they’ll use them. Without getting the tools, it’s almost impossible for a person to change.
The director of the school is responsible for:
The law in Tanzania requests 2 teachers per classroom at pre- and primary schools. In the future we’ll invite internship students and volunteers. The law also requires that a teacher gets a small private house in the area. Therefor we need to build small houses/apartments.
As soon as we start building, we need to hire a guard (a local Maasai) for the nights. When the school starts running, we need 3 guards so that the school will be protected 24/7.
After a building is finished, it’ll be independent. The Maasai have money to pay for the school fees for their children where from the teachers, the staff and the bills can be paid.
We’ll ask local seed companies to provide us with (free) seeds and use our own grown vegetables and herbs for lunches as much as possible. We’ll also plant fruit trees.
We’ll open a small shop where the Maasai can sell their hand made crafts (that they made at the workshops) and where we will also sell seeds for the farmers.
We’ll try to find a company oversees to provide the school with free solar, and books and computers for the library and we’ll try to find funds to build a health care center.
Our best students will be our future teachers!
Let’s make a difference and give thousands of people a healthier life and a better future!