Help us empower 1500 of Tanzania's Maasai girls and young women through education for them and their communities. Goal one is to free girls from harmful traditional practices and attitudes that deny them education, while exposing them to abuse such a Female Genital Mutilation, child labour and child marriage, early teen pregnancies (with their appalling maternal and infant mortality rates), and from HIV/AIDS, which is often the result of rape. Our second goal is to disrupt the poverty cycle.
Extreme poverty, perpetuated by gender stereotypes, excludes girls from school. Yet educating girls is the most efficient way of ending poverty. It takes a long view to keep your daughter at school when the family can be enriched by "bride wealth", the payment of cattle to the father. This reduces the young girls to the status of chattels, and the younger the bride, the more likely she is to experience abuse and death in childbirth. Repeat for the next generation
By facilitating Maasai women's action groups, providing girls & young women with educational opportunities and by raising awareness about the benefits of educating girls, the project makes girls' education possible for poor families as it raises awareness and critical understanding of women's and girls rights and their role in development (e.g. through studies, talks by experienced guest speakers, meetings, and encouraging Maasai women to talk openly).
The long terms benefits for 1500 girls and young women 7-25 are a) reducing poverty in the province because every year of formal education boosts the GDP; b) helps prevent child labour, child marriages & early child pregnancies; and c) improved health due to fewer deaths in childbirth prior to 16 and a reduction in the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. Every year in secondary school reduced a girl's risk of HIV infection by 12%.