The International Collaborative
The International Collaborative or International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment is the name of two legally independent, non-profit corporations. These organizations carry out the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project work with people of east Africa, primarily with the Maasai of Tanzania. The organizations are also known as the ICSEE and ICSEE(T) In Tanzania, many refer to the organization as“Maasai Stoves.” The International Collaborative is dedicated to:
A better life for rural Africans and a cleaner environment for all
The International Collaborative offers innovative and highly successful methods for organizing for women’s empowerment. This is at the core of the work. The International Collaborative invites you to explore our work with clean cookstoves, local economic development, water, livestock, and solar power. Learn more about our role as an incubator.
American and Tanzanian organizations
The ICSEE, also known as the International Collaborative, has 501(c) (3) status in the United States. The ICSEE(T) has non-profit status in Tanzania. Today, the International Collaborative focuses primarily on the work of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project.
Based in America, ICSEE’s work with the Maasai of Tanzania began in 2009. By 2010 it was clear that it was essential to also have a registered Tanzanian non-profit corporation. This allowed for employment, land and property ownership, and to be able to apply for and accept funds that were designated by donors and granters to go directly to an African organization.
In August of 2010 a group of Directors registered the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment (T) Limited. In Tanzania these corporations have a majority of Directors who are Tanzanian. The ICSEE (T) has three Tanzanians and one American in these roles. Read about the leadership here.
A key to empowerment
The work of the International Collaborative spans traditional economic and social sectors. Core themes set the aims throughout. Every challenge, every problem requiring a collective effort is taken as an opportunity for organizing the people, and particularly the women.
This is the key to empowerment, women’s empowerment. Being empowered is to be capable of doing things one knows are worth doing. These organizing processes facilitate the development of these capabilities.
- Every Project activity has to be linked to opportunities for earning, for income
- Earning and development must be linked. People cannot be required to take time away from earning to do good things for themselves and the community
- Constant expansion of opportunities for the people to be learners. Learning through positive action for themselves and their communities will stand as the most important learning they experience
- All our work requires design and simple engineering, applying science, building successful structures, planning and financing. These are the elements of a new and genuine education for the people.
The history of the ICSEE
In 1992 Dr. Robert V. Lange, Physics Professor and International Science Educator founded the ICSEE. Its first programs helped to establish women’s businesses and clean water resources in remote Zanzibar villages. Read more about the history.
Meet ICSEE Founder and President
Dr. Lange’s work in Tanzania began three decades ago when he joined the faculty of the University of Dar es Salaam as a visiting professor.
As a supporter for a secondary school in the Maasai village of Eluwai, the ICSEE was invited by the school’s founder in 2009 for a visit. The goal was to evaluate the problems of health-threatening indoor smoke plaguing the homes of the people. It also evaluated the high consumption of wood fuel and high burden of menial labor for Maasai women. When Dr. Lange viewed the conditions the Maasai were facing, he decided to focus on it. He saw this as a particularly appropriate concentration for the stove and solar work of the ICSEE.
Lange met with the women and men of Eluwai , yielding an immediate enthusiastic response. The people were excited about the idea of removing smoke from the houses. The women hated the smoke, but had not realized that it could be changed. After seeing the solar panels and the lights at work, and hearing answers about safety from fire and electric shock, the people also embraced the solar work.