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 The self-help group runs information campaigns on Girls' Rights and Child Health, and aims to overcome the outdated traditions of female circumcision and forced marriages within the Maasai community.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 By this means we aim to overcome outdated, illegal and violent traditions which cause so much harm to the girls.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 22, 2013

Tareto Maa is growing and dedicated to development

Greetings from the Tareto Maa Center
Greetings from the Tareto Maa Center

Project target on GlobalGiving increased

From when we first applied to be on Global Giving back in 2011, we have seen the number of girls, needing our protection and shelter, increase from 70 to 104. Due to the tremendous support we have received here on GlobalGiving our initial target amount of $16,000 is nearly achieved and we are able to raise it now to $20,000. Many thanks to all of you for supporting us so far and making this success possible.

Positioning and strategy for the continuation of our work

In the previous months, members of the Tareto Maa team in different countries (Kenya, UK, Austria and Germany) worked together to discuss different options for Tareto Maa’s work in future: how to develop the project, how to extend our activities as a community project and efficiently connect them. How to make Tareto Maa more independent from donations and external support, and how to explain to potential partners what is unique in the way Tareto Maa is fighting against FGM. Plans for the future of Tareo Maa as a community based project include a center for professional training and higher education, increased sustainability through farming and food production and a medical clinic. This would increase the benefits to the wider community. As these ideas develop we will keep our supporters informed.

Raising funds for school fees and farming

On April 14th one Austrian supporter named Philippe participated at the Vienna Marathon and combined his run with a fundraising project for Tareto Maa. The initial aim was to raise 300 Euros, the fees for one child’s schooling. At the end, more 1,600 Euros have been raised, enough to send five children to school! Thanks to Philippe and to all the people who supported his charity run!

Sponsorships for the girls are always welcome, and the sponsorships we have are vital for the success of Tareto Maa. A special sponsorship that we have at Tareto Maa, is a group of students from Keimei Gakuen Junior High School in Japan who jointly sponsor one of the girls in the Tareto Maa Center. In February, these students started a fundraising project at their school and asked their classmates to support Tareto Maa.

Furthermore, early in the New Year, instead of Christmas presents for its clients, a Berlin communication agency donated a new kitchen for the children in the Tareto Maa Center, and a vocal piano sextet from Germany sold CDs for Tareto Maa after a concert.

One new fundraising project has already begun. Further land has been purchased for farming and the funds for fencing and seeds are now being raised (see: http://www.betterplace.org/en/projects/1707). The girls in the Tareto Maa Center have already seen the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables and increased protein thanks to milk cows and egg-laying hens. Preparation of the land is now underway for planting the crops.

New Annual Report released and personal blog post on FGM

In April we have published our Annual Report for 2012, including financial information about the work of Tareto Maa. Here it is: www.tareto-maa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Tareto-Maa_Annual-Report-2012_020413.pdf

Furthermore, Helen from our team UK has published a blog post acknowledging International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM (6th February). It is a personal blog post but linking it to Tareto Maa’s work: onevoice1freedom.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/international-zero-tolerance-day-of-fgm-6th-february-2013/

Girls graduated

In December and January, eight of the girls in the Tareto Maa Center passed their National Exams to complete primary school and can now go on to secondary school. We wish them every success as they have worked really hard. Furthermore, the first girl in the Tareto Maa Center completed her secondary school education. Congratulations to all of these students!

In addition, a new class of pupils started at our primary school and the newly built classroom opened. Now the Naitawang Riverside Academy offers education for standard 1-4.

We want to thank everyone for making all these achievements possible. Keep donating please, so we can develop and expand this work. Without you we could not achieve this.

Thank you!

Learning for the exams
Learning for the exams

Links:

Jan 22, 2013

A New Year for Tareto Maa: Final Spurt in 2012, More Challenges for the Year Ahead

Some small Christmas presents for the girls
Some small Christmas presents for the girls

Happy New Year to all of our supporters at Global Giving. This year brings fresh challenges and new goals for the Tareto Maa team. Once again your continued support is vital to our work, not only to ensure the welfare and safety of the girls in our care, but also to continue the momentum in eradicating the harmful practice of FGM in the Kilgoris region and within the wider Kenyan communities.

December Campaign: successful community event

During the December “Circumcision Season” the refuge admitted eight more girls who had asked for help. This number was within the predicted ten that we thought might ask for shelter. It also showed that, for the second year running, a decline in the numbers needing to be rescued was achieved. It further demonstrated that the message is being heard within the Massai community that FGM is harmful, not to be tolerated and those who persist will be prosecuted and brought to justice.

The December Campaign – a week’s long community event to achieve this result was very successful. The event was conducted by Tareto Maa in cooperation with other local organizations and the district government. Local elders, doctors, community leaders, former excisors, girls from the rescue centre as well as the local community came together to hold a series of lectures and seminars to inform about the harmful practices of FGM. The event's conclusion was to declare a united voice to end this practice. Of the eighty adults who attended, such a declaration was made. This was seen as an enormous step in achieving “zero” circumcision in the Kilgoris region. While this practice is not going to be stopped overnight, the campaign shall be an important turning point for this to be achieved in the longer-term. For more specific information about this event visit: http://www.tareto-maa.org/successful-community-event-a-boost-to-fight-the-mutilation-of-girls/

Fundraising during the Christmas season: many new sponsors

Our Christmas fundraising campaign resulted in more sponsors coming forward. We now have a total of 72 girls, out of our new total of 104 girls in the refuge, having their school fees paid for by private donors. It would be wonderful if we could see this number increase further this year and we thank very much indeed to all those who have made this pledge.

One of our new ideas for fundraising was the implementation of Tareto Maa Gift Cards and this can be used all year round. So if you want to give an alternative gift to somebody who might already have all they need, perhaps consider using one of our gift cards. To see this view here: www.tareto-maa.org/tareto-maa-gift-cards/. The payment can be made via Kiva then.

Shop to Help: In UK and German-speaking countries

For UK supporters a fundraising idea called Easyfundraising is now set up. So when you make your purchases through Amazon, E-bay or other major retail outlets you can help raise funds for Tareto Maa, at no additional costs to you. View here: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/taretomaa.

There is also a version for supporters in

HURU Kits

Back in September, the team had trialled four HURU Kits from a charity in Nairobi specialising in reusable sanitary napkins. This was to reduce overall sanitary costs as well as being environmentally friendly. The girls liked the kits, so funds were raised for a total of 65 kits to be purchased. These arrived in December and the girls were happy to receive them.

Gladys’ story

Gladys’ personal story was published on a website called World Pulse. This is a hugely personal and powerful story about how Tareto Maa was founded and the vision for the refuge. Many wonderful comments have flowed in and Gladys has been very touched by those words. Please find Gladys’ story here: https://worldpulse.com/node/62258

Finally, it remains to say a very big thank to everyone for all the efforts, contacts and financial support in 2012. On behalf of the team and the girls of Tareto Maa, we wish you all for 2013 a prosperous and successful New Year. We have many new tasks and projects that lay ahead and we will look forward to keeping you updated as these unfold.

The HURU Kits arrived
The HURU Kits arrived
Community event on FGM
Community event on FGM
Say No to FGM
Say No to FGM

Links:

Oct 25, 2012

Work expanded and further plans

Opening day of the nursery
Opening day of the nursery

Many things have been happening at Tareto Maa in the previous months. The girls remain well and there is much news to report.

New nursery and vegetable plot

At the end of September the new nursery opened its doors to 24 boys and girls from the community. The nursery building is the old temporary refuge, first built to house the girls, and now this can be a welcome additional source of income for Tareto Maa as well as being another service to the community. Also since September, while a larger plot of ground is still needed, the refuge has a smaller area for growing vegetables such as carrots to help with the supply of fresh food.

Third classroom

On the 19th October the Tareto Maa team held a local Harambee fund-raiser for the third classroom of the primary school. A total of 1500 US-$ was raised which can now be used for the construction works. The aim is for this classroom to be completed in the next weeks, certainly for the beginning of 2013. The remaining costs of the classroom will be taken from existing funds.

Sponsorships

At the time of the last report there were 54 girls receiving individual sponsorships and this has increased to 59 – but more girls would love to have a personal sponsor supporting their schooling. Recently, letters have been written by the girls to their sponsors and they will be shortly receiving their replies. The girls love to have these letters and they are grateful and happy for the support they get. If you feel you could support a child in this way then please contact us at contact@tareto-maa.org. We need more sponsors to come forward and this is going to be a major focus for our forthcoming Christmas campaign, especially as our educational costs are increasing with girls moving from primary to high school.

Huru Kits

In September, a trial of reusable sanitary wear, made in Nairobi, was purchased. These Huru Kits contain washable underwear and sanitary napkins as well as literature on HIV awareness. By purchasing these kits, it will lower the overall cost to the refuge of sanitary items as well as being environmentally friendly. The girls liked the products and we are in the final stages of raising funds for the purchase of enough kits for all the girls at a cost of ca. 1000 US-$. We still need a few more donations. If you would like to give to this cause please go to www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-70-girls-from-genital-mutilation-in-kenya/ to donate.

Movie sreenings and joint safari

During the month of August, the refuge saw two visitors, Armin of Tareto Maa Deutschland and Caroline from the US. The girls were very excited about these people coming to visit them as they knew they were going on a special adventure with them. Funded by individual private funds, they were able to visit the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. For some, this was the first time they had seen wild beasts and it was an amazing experience for them. They enjoyed it very much.

Also, with the donation of a new computer and electrical equipment provided by a company from Europe, the children were able to see their first movie screenings. For instance the movie “The Lion King”, the BBC documentaries “Planet Earth” and finally the Olympic 800 metre gold run by local Maasai hero David Rudisha. They watched that race over and over again. They loved it all.

New playground facilities

With the help of an Austrian donor, the girls now have a playground and a football pitch with two goals. The playground has swings and a seesaw which will be used by the children in the refuge as well as by the children in the nursery. New toys and books were also purchased. The hula hoops were a particular favourite of the girls. They played with them non-stop and over the course of just one day, all the bright shining new colours of the hoops were faded to grey, such was the amount that they had been used and appreciated by the children.

December campaign in the local community

The team in Kenya have been working for several months on a project which will take place over five days and will begin in the school holidays on the 9th December (to coincide with the beginning of the next circumcision season). With co-operation from the District Government, a health-promotion campaign will begin to focus on the potential long-term abandonment of the practice within the community. Talks and events will be held to bring people together to talk about FGM, its effects and what can be achieved to bring lasting change by hopefully an eventual abandonment and an alternative rite of passage for the girls. This event is a crucial step towards this.

Planting carrots
Planting carrots
The hula hoop (photo by Caroline Annandale)
The hula hoop (photo by Caroline Annandale)

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