The Nanginyi Foundation currently has two projects that focus on the support of Maasai families: we make sure that several children can go to school and offer support in the provision of their basic needs. Look at our webshop how you can contribute to our projects by buying food, paying for schoolfees or buying a uniform or school supplies for our children!
Education for Maasai children from poor families
Many Maasai children in Tanzania do not get the opportunity to go to school. Despite the fact that education has become more popular in the Maasai communities, most families do not have the means to send their children to school. The Nanginyi Foundation currently takes care of the school fees of seven children: Nanginyi, Lepapayai, Nemeyei, Mayon, Janeth, Seema and Sinyati.
In Tanzania children start at the nursery school in baby class when they are 4 or 5 years old. In the following years they go to middle class and top class to complete the nursery school and go to primary school. In primary school they start in standard 1 and study until standard 7 before they go to secondary school. In secondary school they go to form 1, form 2, form 3 and form 4. By the end of form 4 only the children who succesfully completed form 4 have access to form 5 and 6 which gives them the opportunity to enter university afterwards. The children who did not complete form 4 succesfully can excess professional education. A school year in Tanzania is the same as a calender year (January-December) and in June the children have a month holiday, which period is often filled with extra tuition. During national and religious holidays the schools are closed.
The children who participate in the project are enrolled at the Sasa School, a school where the lessons are given in English. Sasa School has a nursery school and a primary school in the same place. Next to learning English, the children learn Swahili (the official language in Tanzania), math, writing, geography, history, religion, science and they learn more about different professions. The Sasa school is located on the edge of the Maasai area and the children currently walk to school every day. The Nanginyi Foundation is working hard to collect money in order to buy bicycles so that the children can bike to school! Their lessons start at 8:30 and in the morning the children get tea for breakfast. They also get a good lunch at school: something they really need as they do not always have enough food at home. The Nanginyi Foundation has established good contact with the school in order to keep track of the progress the children are making. Our local coordinator often visits the school to check if the children are doing well.
Nanginyi in her school uniform
A school class at Sasa School
Families in the provision of their basic needs
Many Maasai families can occasionaly use some support in the provision of their basic needs. The families do not always have enough food to survive, while they need a lot of energy for the physical work they do daily. They are also very dependent on the environment. For example, the drought of the last few moths caused a great food shortage and a large number of cattle died. The Nanginyi Foundation helps families in the region when they need it most. Our local coordinator Mathayo brings food packages including for example rice, beans, maize/corn, vegetables and fruits to the families that are sponsored by the Nanginyi Foundation. He keeps track of who needs support and makes sure (in consultation with the board in the Netherlands) the families get the help they need.
Employment opportunities for Maasai women
Maasai women depend on their husbands when it comes to money for food, clothes and other materials. We are trying to give these women an opportunity to generate their own income so they do not only depend on their husbands anymore. Research shows that women use their money to support their families. Therefore we started the first employment project for Maasai women in January 2018. In the boma of local coordinator Mathayo we started a solar project. We installed a solar system that brings lights to all the huts in the boma, but also gives people from the neighbourhood the opportunity to charge their phones and other devices. They pay a small amount of money to charge their devices, which gives the women in the boma a small salary. They save this money to buy for example vegetables, fruits, sugar or tea. We think it is important to work on women empowerment in the Maasai communities and we hope to start more similar projects in the near future.
The solar panel on a hut in the boma
Local Nursery School
During spring 2018 we started with a new project: a local nursery in the boma of our local coordinator. We selected 16 children from the neighbourhood between the age of 4 and 6 (8 boys and 8 girls) who will be educated in the boma. A local Maasai women who had the opportunity to finish her education will be the teacher. We would like to show that education is also for girls. The children start their day with a breakfast together and they will eat some fruit later on the day. In this way we can make sure they have enough energy to study well. We teach them different subjects, but also sports and creativity are part of the curriculum. We believe that every child has the right to education, also girls!