When we conducted a study in 2006 on Maasai women’s literacy rates we found that 95% of the pastoral women in Kibirashi village couldn’t read or write. Girls, who by chance get an opportunity to attend primary schools often get married soon after finishing because of pressure from their families who regard them as a important source of income. This is because traditionally the husband has to pay a certain amount of cattle to the girls’ family as a bride price.
Our aim is to increase the opportunities available for Maasai women to acquire adult education and entrepreneurship skills and to encourage more Maasai girls to join secondary schools. We want to do this by creating a project which will raise awareness of the value of girls education within the Maasai communities and to provide ways for women to learn basic literacy skills.
With increased levels of education we hope that more of our women will participate in income generating activities at the village level; there will be increased access to information for women and a more gender balanced and improved family income.