Tareto Maa Organization

Tareto Maa is a community based organization in rural Kenya. The self-help group runs information campaigns on Girls' Rights and Child Health, and aims to overcome the outdated traditions of female circumcision and forced marriages within the Maasai community. Tareto Maa offers a Relief Center for young girls in our community, who refuse to be mutilated and married without consent. By this means we aim to overcome outdated, illegal and violent traditions which cause so much harm to the girls. The group's work focuses on the region where we are seated: Kilgoris and the surrounding area in Transmara District. The local pastor is a member of the community project and acts as a contact person ...
Apr 14, 2014

FGM on the decline! And more good news to celebrate

Tareto Maa, April 2014
Tareto Maa, April 2014

The year 2014 started with great news! During the “circumcision season” in December, no girls sought shelter at Tareto Maa to escape female genital mutilation (FGM). Though we do not know whether FGM in the area is completely eradicated, this evidence suggests a rapid decrease in the number of mutilations occurring in Kilgoris, Kenya. This is a huge success, and we are very positive that Tareto Maa has contributed to this important social change.

But there were even more good news. As many of the local families have abandoned FGM, Gladys Kiranto and the Pastor met with the families of 18 girls who were at the Tareto Maa Refuge. It was determined that those girls could now safely return home. Their parents have promised not to force mutilation or marriage. The Pastor will check in with the families to verify the girls are safe and continuing to attend school.

This is the first time that girls who had fled to Tareto Maa were able to return home. We are really happy for these girls and about this progress in general.

However, the work of Tareto Maa won’t stop here. We will continue in our pledge to aid the vulnerable children of Kilgoris. Most of all, there are many abandoned orphans who came to Tareto Maa and asked for shelter. To help these children is a pressing task.

Time to celebrate: Tareto Maa’s 5th anniversary

On April 9, 2009, Gladys Kiranto and some of her friends and relatives founded and registered Tareto Maa. That means: it’s time to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Tareto Maa!

We created a special “anniversary logo” which we will post during the month of April in honor of all people who supported Tareto Maa in the past 5 years.

Furthermore, we celebrated Tareto Maa’s anniversary with a charity run: at the Vienna half marathon! By this means we raised funds to sponsor the education of girls in the Tareto Maa Refuge. (See: www.tareto-maa.org/celebrating-our-anniversary-with-a-charity-run.) Besides, of course, we prepared personal presents for the team members in Kenya.

But there is another anniversary to be celebrated! One year ago, Jackie Adams joint our team and started to found the Tareto Maa group in the USA. In a very personal article, Jackie shared how deciding this has had an impact on her life: www.tareto-maa.org/one-year-later-changing-my-life-while-working-for-change/

(By the way, in honor of her efforts to help abolish FGM in Kilgoris Jackie was recognized in March 2014 as one of the top 25 Movers and Shakers under 35 in Northeast Ohio!)

Annual Report 2013, and our tasks for the months ahead

Tareto Maa has published its 2013 Annual Report which includes factual and financial information about all our projects and also a comprehensive photo timeline of this past year’s activities: www.tareto-maa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Tareto-Maa_Annual_Report-2013.pdf  

Now it is time for us to look ahead and face the most important challenges for the next months. We now have 106 girls at the center and with more girls moving on to secondary education the costs are still increasing. Further challenges for 2014 will be to build a dining hall for the refuge and to establish a training and farming center. This training center shall improve the job prospects of the youth in the refuge and the community and shall help to increase food supply.

We would be happy if you accompany us on this path, and we appreciate your help.

Tareto Maa, Anniversary Logo
Tareto Maa, Anniversary Logo

Links:

Jan 14, 2014

A book, a choir and news from Austria and the U.S.

Thank you very much for your support in 2013
Thank you very much for your support in 2013

In November 2013, an official Tareto Maa group was registered in Austria. The Austrian group will help to find financial support for the children of Tareto Maa and to raise awareness about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In addition to that, the group’s main goal is to extend and deepen the network with organisations and other partners.

Also the Tareto Maa group in the USA reached another important milestone: The required papers and documents for the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service of the United States federal government) have been completed in the beginning of this month.

A book about Tareto Maa

Tareto Maa has published a book! The book contains 44 pages with photos that Caroline Annandale took at Tareto Maa, and with the stories of the girls why they had to escape to our refuge. The girls themselves picked the name of the book: „Tumaini“. That’s Swahili and means „Hope“.

These are some short links to find the book in the Internet:

English edition (Amazon U.S.): http://amzn.to/17fmEpB

German edition (Amazon Germany): http://amzn.to/1dUD7Es

English edition (Amazon Europe): http://amzn.to/1hIInjH

The Tareto Maa Christmas Choir

In appreciation for all the generous support we’ve received over the past year, Tareto Maa proudly presented its very first Christmas Carol! This video stars a Japanese high school, U.S. families, a choir from Finland, an opera singer in Germany, Tareto Maa board members, lots of supporters, friends and relatives – and even a zebra and an elephant. Many thanks to all who participated in our global choir: http://youtu.be/xhc-GUcotuY

Some more news

We made an improvised eye test for the girls in the Tareto Maa Center. The girls who were having problems with their eyes were sent to an eye doctor in Kisii. Now 9 of the girls in the refuge are wearing glasses.

Members of the German business network BNI donated 1,700 euro for Tareto Maa (= 2,250 USD). Our project manager Rona and three of the children travelled to Nairobi, to receive the symbolic check and to talk with the donors.

A communications agency from Berlin has donated a rain water tank for Tareto Maa as a Christmas present. The tank is containing the rainwater from the roof of the dormitory. The water will be used as drinking water and for farming.

The Tareto Maa Book
The Tareto Maa Book
New glasses for some of the girls
New glasses for some of the girls
Meeting with donors in Nairobi
Meeting with donors in Nairobi

Links:

Oct 18, 2013

A visit at Tareto Maa

The girls turning Jackie into Pipi Longstocking
The girls turning Jackie into Pipi Longstocking

In August, Jackie Adams, the chairwoman of Tareto Maa USA, and Armin Erkens, chairman of the German group, visited the children at Tareto Maa. During their stay, they handed over several gifts and conducted some projects together with the kids.

Jackie published a personal travel report, including many photos of the trip: http://www.tareto-maa.org/my-first-visit-at-tareto-maa/

For instance, a Tareto Maa Library (with official office hours) was opened, as the Tareto Maa Center has received 50 pounds worth of children’s books from the U.S. now, including Dr. Seus and the Bernstein Bears. The girls love spending the afternoon gathering in groups to read aloud together.

The “Buffalo Bikes” which were funded by a donor from Germany and which are tailor-made for roads in rural Africa, also meant great fun for the children. They taught each other how to ride a bike. There were many small accidents and bleeding knees. But the girls just put some band-aid on it, and continued to cycle.

While Jackie and Armin were visiting, some movies were screened: with a projector that was donated by a European company and a white bedsheet on the wall. The girls‘ favorite movie was: Pipi Longstocking.   :-)

Together with Jackie, the girls crocheted recycled plastic bags into change purses and made traditional Maasai bracelets (using the colors of the Tareto Maa logo). These items will be sold in the U.S. with half of the proceeds going to support the efforts of Tareto Maa and the other half benefiting a project of the girls’ choice.

During their stay in Kenya, Jackie and Armin also met many people in Nairobi and Transmara to talk about the development of Tareto Maa, and how to cooperate. These talks included the Kenyan Government (Ministry of Agriculture and the department that is in charge of fighting Female Genital Mutilation), the British DFID, the German GIZ, World Vision Kenya, the founder of the SupaMaasai Foundation, and the Kilgoris Project.

Together with the local team, Jackie and Armin also met the District Agricultural Officer in Kilgoris to talk about the current food crisis.

Food crisis: the corn disease has spread all over the country

The plant disease which is destroying the corn/maize harvest has spread all over Kenya by now. The Tareto Maa team is working on long-term solutions to improve food supply. However, the situation will be tough and challenging for the next 2 or 3 years (until resistant seeds might be available).

Tareto Maa successfully completed a fund-raiser to buy food for the next months. Many thanks to all people who supported this task!

Some more news

In Jackie’s hometown, the regional newspaper, the News Tribune, published a series of articles about Tareto Maa and the work of the U.S. group. See, for instance:

www.tareto-maa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2013-June-July_Articles-News-Tribune_Hicksville.pdf

www.tareto-maa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/131004_Fundraiser-in-Hicksville.pdf

Reading books on the swing
Reading books on the swing
Working on the Maasai bracelets
Working on the Maasai bracelets
Learning how to ride a bike ...
Learning how to ride a bike ...
... is a tough challenge
... is a tough challenge

Links:

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