With access to clean water, women in TSP well communities now have time to develop income-generating businesses, become more informed about their human rights, and care for their children. With time, these inspiring women have created brick make businesses, started beading collaboratives, and turned a first time agricultural initiative into a highly successful shop. This has resulted in an increased recognition of Samburu women’s skills and knowledge outside the scope of their traditional roles, and strengthened their voice both in their families and communities. To assist women in their roles in a modern world, TSP offers Women's Empowerment Workshops through a partnership with the Pastoralist Child Foundation.
SAMBURU SISTERS WORKSHOPS
In 2017, TSP began a partnership with the Pastoralist Child Foundation to facilitate workshops in TSP well communities. These one day workshops are designed to offer further support to women who are facing a changing world. With water now readily available, women who have previously received little to no education have the time to do so. The workshops include a curriculum on issues that affect Samburu women and their families including:
The importance of education for the Pastoralist community
The right to equality and personal freedom for Pastoralist women
Sexual & reproductive health and increasing women’s leadership role in reproductive rights movements, conflict prevention and CONFLICT RESOLUTION.
misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and prevention of the disease
The origin, myths and harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM)
Ramifications of child marriage and teen pregnancy
The predominant source of income for Samburu women is selling their signature bead work. With less time spent walking for water, women in our well communities have more time to make and sell their beaded jewelry. Women from the Lolgerdad well community have formed a beading collaborative. They sell their work through the Northern Rangelands Trust and and at the Kalama Conservancy Airstrip.
Mary first learned how to bead when she was 15 years old, from her mother. The tradition of beading is passed down from generation to generation of Samburu, and in the little free time she had, Mary embraced it whole-heartedly. Most days, however, left no time for beading. Mary woke up in the morning, gathered her things, and instead of walking to school, began the long search for water. Many days she walked for miles on end, only to return home empty handed. This seemingly simple task took up the entirety of her day, leaving Mary little time for anything else. In 2012, The Samburu Project drilled a well in Mary’s town of Lolgerdad. Today Mary is 58. She has 6 children and works 8-12 hours a day on her beading. She sells her jewelry at Kalama Airstrip.
BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE
Water from the Treetop Well is being used to generate income through a brick-making business. Mary, the chairwoman of the well committee and women’s group proudly displays the latest production of bricks. The women’s group is contracted by an individual, school, or government agency to build the bricks for the foundation of a new building. Their contractor provides the cement, the women provide dirt, water, and labour. Mary said that they make around 100,000 KES or 1,000 USD every year. That is enough money to pay for tuition, room and board for 3 children! The number of contracts have been increasing in the past couple of years due to the expansion of the local government offices.