Maasai Women’s Cooperative Society (MWCS)
"To educate a women is like educating a nation because the woman is the roots of the nation."
The Maasai Women's Cooperative Society (MWCS) aims to facilitate women's empowerment and autonomy in Maasai communities. MWCS was created to build Maasai women's self esteem and self worth and to help them find their voice so they can contribute to village meetings on social, cultural, economic and political affairs.
MWCS offers practical skills workshops for its members with topics such as environmental awareness, adult literacy (Kiswahili and Math), first aid, mother and child health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, and human rights. Many of the classes are taught by Kitumusote's international volunteers.
Through MWCS, Maasai women have learned to speak the Tanzanian national language, Kiswahili, in addition to their traditional tribal language Maa. Learning the national language has been important for the Maasai women who are now able to communicate with the non-Maasai community in local markets, schools, and hospitals.
In August of 2006, the MWCS general store was opened as an income generating means and a place where women can develop basic business skills.
The MWCS shop has generated over 1 million TSH (US $1000) over the past four years and has allowed MWCS to give micro loans to local women to start their own businesses.
In 2008, Kitumusote exteneded the Maasai Women's Cooperative Society program to the neighboring Maasai village of Namanga. A classroom and shop were built and the Maasai women have generated over 500,000 TSH since 2008.