Masai Women’s Empowerment
Building resilience in the Masai Mara
In Kenya’s Mara region, the closure of the tourism industry throughout the global pandemic has left masses of people unemployed. With diminished income and increased uncertainty, women and children have found themselves on the receiving end of emotional challenges as well as socio-economic challenges arising from these difficulties, including an increase in intimate partner violence and cases of child abuse.
Through our Community Kickstart Project, and their engagement with Masai communities, our local operator was able to plan and run a Masai Women’s Empowerment workshop. This focused on building financial, social, and emotional resilience, and equipping women with parenting skills in hardship situations. Throughout the workshop, participants were equipped with the skills they need to manage their stress and emotional well-being, how to respond to and report gender-based violence, and how to better communicate difficult or sensitive news to their children. The women also joined training sessions on soap making and knitting, to help them explore new ideas for income generation to help supplement their household budgets. By the end of the workshop, the participants had all the skills they needed to help build a network for personal and community empowerment in the wake of the pandemic.
“Tourism is our major source of income here and when the pandemic hit, it affected us badly. From the monthly land leases and fees that we get from the conservancy to our beading business – we couldn’t sell anything as there weren’t any tourists. I learnt many things [at the workshop] that were different from the usual common beadwork we do in Maasai. In fact, I’ve learnt a new skill which has now become an alternative source of income for me. I’ve made it into a small business, which has helped to improve my family’s financial situation.”– Naomi Nasha, Workshop Participant, Kenya
To read more of Naomi Nasha’s story, take a look at our International Women’s Day 2022 blog, here.
“This 5-day workshop’s main objective is to provide a safe space for women’s emotional wellbeing while equipping women with socio-economic skills to steer their families towards stability post the COVID-19 pandemic. This facilitation will be done in Masai with live examples and case studies to ensure participants’ total understanding of the concepts such as to develop a realistic and cost-effective action plan for activities they wish to implement as individuals and as a group from the ideas and opportunities arising from the workshop.”– Natalie, Exodus Operator in Kenya
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