Maasai activist group targets to empower youth economically in Longido

22Jul 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Maasai activist group targets to empower youth economically in Longido

Thousands of unemployed youths in Longido district of Arusha region will benefit economically from Maasai Women Development Organization’s 32m/- project.

Maasai women trained in handcrafts making showcasing their wares. File photo.

Mwedo Project Officer, Scholastica Porokwa said yesterday that the project which is being financed by a grant from Foundation for Civil Society will benefit an estimated 3,000 youths from Longido district.

“This project targets youth groups who will be directly involved in capacity building training that will have a spill over impact to their villagers economically,” Porokwa said adding that so far, 150 youths have been recruited by the project.

She named the four villages that are taking part in the project as Namanga, Eworendeke, Kimokowa and Longido. The six months project is also focusing on gender equality so that women should also play a key role in economic activities.

Porokwa further noted that among other things, the project will sensitize the youths to seize the opportunity of funds set aside by their district council targeting women and youths empowerment through loan disbursement.

“Our main objective is to build the capacity of youths from pastoralist communities to be more active in income generating activities using available opportunities in their district,” the Mwedo Project Officer added. Porokwa said the training will also involve villager leaders, traditional Maasai elders and district council officials who directly handle finances targeting young people.

The project is phase II after phase I ended last year worth 60m/- and targeted the four villages’ capacity building and benefitted the 150 youths who were trained on basic business management, financial skills and entrepreneurship.

“During implementation of the project last year, the beneficiaries formed savings and credit groups to complement their income generating activities such as grain trading, poultry keeping and general entrepreneurship,” she added noting that as a result women have also been able to pay for their children’s fees while taking care of their families daily needs.

Mwedo was initiated by three Maasai women founders: Ndinini Kimesera, Maria Kaheta and Josephine Simon who through experiences of their own struggles, decided to support other marginalized women to access their rights to education, health and economical rights.

Established in 2000, Mwedo was registered in 2003 and has so far over 8,000 members mainly from pastoralist communities in Kiteto and Simanjiro of Manyara region and Monduli and Arusha districts in Arusha region.

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