In Tanzania, we have brought marketplace literacy education to approximately 10000 Maasai women in the Arusha region through a close partnership with Oikos East Africa. With a team of more than 50 passionate Maasai trainers, our efforts steadily reached large numbers of Maasai women.
Our instructors often visited rural tribal areas, located in the vast outlying areas of the grand Mt. Meru. Here they met women on the cusp of a changing world, fighting their hardest to hold onto their culture and families. Many Maasai in these regions are facing hard times, located in an area that once amply supported their pastoral lifestyles. Now grazing lands are quickly disappearing due to a slew of modern influences. These women find themselves at a great disadvantage, doing everything they can to overcome, if not for themselves, but for their children and the preservation of their culture. Many women we have met live on around five US dollars a week.
Through an education in Marketplace Literacy, these women start small incoming-generating activities. Less likely to be cheated in the marketplace, they are engaging in exchanges that stretch their very limited budget further. They also learn how to more sustainably and efficiently run the businesses they own through an understanding of consumer needs and value in its many forms.
Our current work in Tanzania is focusing on sustainability literacy, particularly for farmers. We are designing a new program that is customized to unique current and project environmental challenges due to climate change.