I carried the Maasai community home in my heart.
After My Trip To Africa in 2019
Images of their indigenous lifestyle and of people that were good stewards of the earth and one another kept crossing my mind. Their way of life was rapidly changing. With the influx of Westerners from the days of the slave trade, colonialism, and the arrival of missionaries, their language and culture were under attack. Recent actions of the government, the now-famous Maasai Land Grabs, further illustrated the need to stand up for and alongside this indigenous community.
SISAL Foundation was created and registered as a 501(c)(3). We started with supporting Eretore Pre and Primary School. This was a private school founded by a Maasai and run for the Maasai children in the village. From June 2020 through December 2021 SISAL Foundation was the sole supporter of the school. We paid the Maasai teacher salaries, provided food and water, purchased learning materials and cleaning supplies, took the students on a field trip to a National Park (land that was once theirs), undertook beautification projects, instituted weekly Cultural Lessons that were held under a tree and lead by a village elder, and were so proud to witness the 4th grade class not only score exceptional on local exam rankings, but also on national rankings! We also provided a disabled student corrective care for his arm and an operation to address his speech and eating disability. It was a wonderful experience and allowed us to “do good work” until support was reestablished by the founder.
The time had come for SISAL Foundation to work directly with an indigenous community and create a project from the ground up. We partnered with a remote village of approximately 75 Maasai families. Climate change has been most difficult in their region; the ever-increasing drought has resulted in loss of livestock (their currency) and illness in the most vulnerable of their population. Because there is little water, there are no gardens to grow food. Water is life, so we started with digging a well. A village elder donated land upon which we are growing this project. The land has been fenced in to protect it from roaming animals and the well has been dug; our next step is fundraising for a power source to pump the water. Along with the community, we are formulating next steps to include the creation of a sewing school and a common garden.
Another project which is close to our hearts is Project Girl. PG’s mission is to provide menstrual education to lessen the stigma and lack of resources which keep girls out of school during their menses. We are mindful of having Maasai deliver this training and support a male and female team of two to deliver this training. SISAL is unique in that boys are being educated by the male trainer to lessen shame and support their female friends to remain in school.
Street dogs and rabies are an issue in Tanzania. We have partnered with a local animal rescue, Mbwa wa Africa (Dogs of Africa) Animal Rescue, which provides spay/neuter clinics, rabies prevention, care of abandoned and abused dogs, and even has a wheelchair program for the many dogs that are brought in due to being hit by cars. It aligns with our mission to support local charitable work.We are busy and we are dedicated. We hope you join us and we hope our mission aligns with your values. Mostly, we hope you Let Us Be the Good Work You Do in the World!
We are a 501(c)(3) organization. That means all your donations are 100% tax deductible. Allow us to be your good work in the world.
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