- Maji Masafi director Euginia Konya starts training sessions in Ilaramatak.
A good start: Despite the challenging heat and rain, 30 women turned out for the training sessions. This was very encouraging and more women than was expected.
Euginia introduced the project objectives and explained how and why the project is designed with them taking on a central role. Women introduced themselves and talked about the challenges they have faced with the water crisis and the benefits having access to water would bring to the community. Next they talked about water management, local resources, past projects and how to avoid some of the past mistakes.
The women liked the fact that Euginia wears pants, drives a car and tell the fundis (construction workers) what to do. They were excited to see a woman in charge.
After class we provided juice and bread and the women talked a little more openly about their experience. Some of the hardships that these women endure daily would crush most people. They are really quite remarkable.
- In this picture we handed out Nasaru Water Project T- shirts. The t-shirts were designed and printed by US volunteers and shipped to Kenya . The women were thrilled to have them. The word got out and at the next meeting some 50 women showed up to participate. A little can mean a lot here.
Why women - Women are the key because they are the ones most affected and the silent backbone of the community. They are responsible for water collection and caring for their families, but with few resources they are basically left to fend for themselves. They walk long distances, are forced to use contaminated water and their children miss school. These are just some of the reasons they are highly motivated to find a solution.
In the spring and summer of 2012, MMI Operations Director, Euginia Konya, met with the women in each village. We conducted a series of interviews and conversations with the women to better understand their situation and find out what they thought were the problems and solutions. We came to understand the conditions that these women faced everyday and used these interactions to help develop a curriculum for the training program. The training and education sessions are specifically designed toaddress the issues that Masai women face. Some of the issues are environmental and some are cultural.