How One Women’s Group Strives to Remain a Beacon of Hope
ACC’s longtime partner in conservation, Twala Tenebo Cultural Centre (Twala), is owned and operated by a Maasai women’s group. Twala is located in Laikipia and has helped to support more than 200 women and their households in this semi-arid area of northern Kenya.
The women earn their incomes through a variety of enterprises including renting accommodations to tourists and leasing their meeting facility to local and international organizations. They also design and sell Maasai beaded items for sale, offer educational and cultural experiences for visitors via their indigenous plant walks and baboon walks and sell aloe and honey commercially. Generated funds have supported their families as well as women and girls in the community that need additional support. Twala women have cared for abused girls, elderly women with no income and supported girls in going to school. Generated funds have supported Twala member families as well as support for abused girls, elderly women with no income and girls who need assistance to attend school.
However, since the onset of COVID-19 and government issued travel restrictions, Twala has received cancellations from domestic and foreign visitors who were planning to visit. Last year, Twala women hosted 3,085 local and foreign tourists.
Twala’s Hospitality Manager, Rosemary Nenini is distressed by the loss of income at Twala which has worsened the plight of women who are now struggling to fend for their families. She’s especially concerned about the young female students whose education might be cut short due to the shutdown of schools until January 2021. “COVID-19 has brought challenges in our communities and especially the girl-child’s welfare is under threat,” she said.
Although the economic prospects are dim for the foreseeable future, the women have united in sharing their meagre resources with those that are desperately in need. Last month, Twala well-wishers donated food items to the older women who had lost their income. The community hopes that the pandemic will not destroy their treasured Twala Tenebo Cultural Centre that has been a beacon of hope to so many women and girls and a source of joy to visitors. Please consider a donation to Twala via ACC. These are truly heroic women!
This is an excerpt from ACC’s Sept. 2020 News From the Field. Read the full newsletter here.