The main purpose of this project is to enhance the girl child education in Maasai land in Kajiado District. It is also aiming high in changing the lifestyle of the said girl from the traditional type to be a changed woman, an empowered woman in future. Briefly, for us to be able to change the life of the girl child, first we are Anti-FGM crusaders. We are already teaching the Masai community the effects of Female genital Mutilation on, education, on their health and on their future as a whole. We are also really fighting on the issue of early marriages and that has been fully supported by the ministry of education and the provincial administration.
Background and Need.
The Maasai community is still tied together by culture and traditional lifestyle and that has greatly hampered their ability in putting their feet forward to embrace education. The former belief that a girl is a cattle generating person made men from this proud Maasai community always to disregard a woman reducing her to a child. So for so many years, during the colonial times, they kept on moving away from civilization from education, from hospitals etc.
This made them illiterate throughout and made them also to fall the victims of their own circumstances. This made OSOTUA to plan and come out with a concept on the girl child to educate, rights on the reproductive health, and rights to say No to FGM. Together with other sectors and other CBOs the improvement of the status of the girl child is a need to be addressed immediately.
Girl Child Position
In reflecting the position of the girl child in the society, there is a need for us to face the reality taking place in the Maasai cultural set-up. It is well known that the Maasai community is a polygamous society, a man can marry up to ten wives, depending in the number of cattle, they term as wealth. Here, in this situation, girls as young as one, get “booked” or engaged for marriage. As history has shown again, a man could herd for a father in waiting to get married to that young girl.
Also Moranism greatly affect the child girl education, this is because the society allows young men and girls to mingle freely and those careless romances always result in a series of unwanted pregnancies that will later force the girls to drop out of schools.
Young girls has also has a lot of a Domestic cares to attend, like fetching water, firewood, cooking, milking the cattle, helping their mothers to smear their huts in cow dung to prevent leakage in case of rains etc. Sometimes, they even serve as substitutes of young boys in herding the family cattle.
Changing trends/Attitudes for Education and Problems.
Despite the problems being faced by the Maasai Community of Kajiado, there is a growing awareness of the need for education for girls. This because, many if not all of the problems existing in the Maasai community, is mainly as a result of poor educational levels. So there is a need for the Maasai people to take girls to school alongside the boys. By so doing, there is also the issue of girls’ child rights, rights to say no to any prejudices, right to say no to forced marriage, No to FGM, No to many things to bring a tantamount disaster to their own future. They should also know that, alongside their boys counter parts; they are also entitled to education up to university levels and are diverse professionals in diverse fields.
OSOTUA WOMEN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (OWODEP) was formed and registered in the ministry of Gender, sports culture and social services as a Community Based organization. The Main issue of bringing this project into being is to sensitize the parents on the need to take their girls to school struggle also to take girls to school from the poor families. Alongside the above, we are also sensitizing them on the post-Dangers of FGM. How to affect their girls academically as well as they are reproductive health systems.
The main objectives of OSOTUA are diverse, but below are the most crucial.
*Increasing education awareness among the cultural, conservatives as far as the girl child is concern.
*Increasing the fight on Female Genital Mutilation.
*Increasing the HIV/AIDS awareness levels among the care free Maasai Youth.
*Introduce the KIT in which girls will access school fees their secondary and above education.
*Introduce Homes in which girls escaping from the forced marriages, will have a place to stay.
By the end of the first evaluation, the project expected out put will be:
- More girls will be in schools, secondary and university.
- More parents will be able to know the dangers of FGM and abandon it all together.
- More people will be fully aware of HIV/AIDS pandemic.
- No more Masai girls will drop out of school due to school fees.
- Use the educated uncut Masai women as role models for the sensitization of the community.
We greatly welcome any kind of support aimed at helping this group which serves Osotua Girl Child in Kajiado County.
Bank Name: EQUITY BANK, Kajiando Branch ; Account Number:
MPESA Donations can be sent through: 0722 760 684 / 0720 416 615