To realize the role of Maasai women in their community, you must understand that this indigenous tribe is based on a patriarchal culture that limits women to specific roles. The men are the decisive leaders and the property owners, proud mostly of their livestock which in their culture is just the same as money. More cows mean more wealth to the man. The women own their jewelry and the milk, dung and urine from the cows. Although the women build the manyattas from the cow dung and urine, manyattas are also considered property that is owned by the man. However, compared to cultures in some other parts of the world where women are severely reduced to be less than dirt on the ground, I praise the forward thinking of the Male Leaders in the Olosho oibor village who support their women and thereby are uplifting the entire community.
Women’s History Month is a celebration about advances accomplished by women everywhere; therefore I will write about five Maasai women from the Olosho oibor village who’ve made a difference. Know that behind each of these women there are hundreds of other Maasai men, women and children who are benefitting from the accomplishments brought about through Susan, Sarah, Veronica, Leah and a second Susan. Each of these Maasai women will be featured separately in an upcoming post.
Before you read about these Maasai women, I introduce you to three other ladies from Bucks County, PA–USA– who are instrumental in helping the Maasai:
Cofounded MCEP in 2004 when she first met the Maasai on the Hamilton Train Station platform.
She listened to the struggle occurring in their village of Olosho oibor. Phyllis could not possibly envision the impact that would occur to the 5,000 Maasai in that village when she vowed, I want to raise money for a well. Seven wells are now strategically placed across this “village” that covers land nearly the size of Bucks County.
The other co-founder whose corporation, Frog Pond is the non-profit tax exempt umbrella for MCEP.
This past December 2014 Jen traveled to Olosho oibor during a business trip. On her return to America she shared her observations that became a guide for our February 2015 Kenya itinerary.
A teacher and long time friend to Phyllis. Alice came on board in 2004 and currently administers the education program for MCEP.
She tracks our American sponsors who donate funds so that children can continue their education from primary all the way through high school. And I can’t forget: Four (4!) Maasai young adults are now attending local colleges.
Women’s History Month! Stupendous!