Pastoral Women's Council PWC Tanzania
For the humble Maasai communities in Ngorongoro District, financial security and family welfare are fundamental concerns.
Life is particularly difficult for these families who face numerous environmental, economic and social issues in their area of the Ngorongoro District. Lack of pasture, livestock diseases, recurrent droughts, increasing livestock death toll, encroachment on conservation areas, poverty, and increased land-use conflicts with commercial enterprise mean maintaining the wellbeing of their families is a daily struggle.
One shining beacon of hope, progress and success for these communities is Emanyata Secondary School (ESS).
Founded in 1992, ESS is community-owned and reliant primarily on community financial contributions and self-generated income. In 2005 the School found itself in a difficult financial position and PWC was asked by local leaders to step in as the managing organisation.
ESS is now an important resource and support mechanism for the District, not only as a local school and employer, but as a centre for discussion and development for the community and a platform for a girl’s empowerment movement that is creating change in this typically patriarchal society.
Within a Maasai culture that traditionally values boys’ education over girls’, ESS stands apart.
In 2015, 75% of ESS students were girls. Academically strong but financially struggling, without educational opportunity and encouragement these girls would be at high risk of forced marriage and early pregnancy. ESS provides them with a quality education and a safe living environment.
2015 marks 10 years of PWC’s stewardship and a year of great progress for the School. In addition to PWC’s ongoing student scholarship support, 112 ESS students were provided the PWC Pre-Form 1 progamme, which provides language lessons and subject tutoring to help prepare students transition from Tanzania’s Kiswahili primary curriculum to the English secondary curriculum. Enabling girls to successfully enter Secondary School also provides them with a secure campus home and safety from forced marriage and gender-based violence.
Ongoing academic success and community demand enabled a campus expansion in 2015. PWC facilitated the construction of two classrooms, an office for the headmaster and a boys’ dormitory. Campus management was also strengthened through recruitment of a Grounds Manager.
10 years of time and resource investment by PWC and numerous community members, student parents and financial supporters has come to fruition in recent years, with ESS placing first in their District in the Form Four National exams for the second consecutive year in 2015.