A Good Day 

International Women's Day

March 8 was International Women’s Day. It was heartening to see the many ways women’s actions and pride were on display. At the football stadium in Arusha there were dozens of booths where women’s groups and organizations demonstrated their activities. Many women at the display booths were dressed in matching beautiful colorful dresses. It added a festive and happy feel to the environment.

Celebrating Women's EmpowermentCommercial endeavors and solving social problems

Some groups produce their own products and there was a lot of creativity on display. Products included special foods, clothing, household goods, bead work and even cement and pottery charcoal stoves the women designed and manufactured.

Dealers also attended. I was interested to see a variety of solar lanterns and rocket stoves on display. Rocket stoves are small portable stoves, with no chimney but good efficiency. They don’t work for Maasai homes, but are good auxiliary stoves for many people.

Some of the groups are not commercially focused, but are dedicated to solving social problems and meeting the needs of especially challenged segments of the society.

Women's Day Maasai

International Collaborative Participation

The Monduli District Government had a booth, and asked us to build a solar demonstration display, which we brought. We demonstrated water pumping, electric lighting, and some cooking, all done with power from the solar panels.  Many men and women came to the booth and talked about the costs and effectiveness.

The District Government wanted women’s groups to be there. Two of the ICSEE Widow organizations came from Selela. The women were all dressed alike in their most festive attire.  They spoke with the people about their organization, and performed songs and dances.

Meanwhile back in the villages, more widow’s groups were meeting, working to get fully back to the level of activity that had been disrupted by the drought.

It was a good day!