Pastoral Womens Council

Empowering Maasai Women Through Education: Building Stronger Communities from Within


Our Programme

PWC’s education interventions aim to break the cycle of disempowerment and poverty within Maasai society by providing children, especially girls, with education access and support. 

Lack of education in Maasai communities is an issue that severely impacts their wellbeing and development in many ways. For example, in most remote communities in northern Tanzania there aren’t any Maasai nurses who can speak the Maasai language. Consequently, Maasai patients are unable to communicate their needs and access healthcare.

We believe that when girls are educated they are better able to diminish negative and harmful practices towards women within Maasai society – such as female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage and gender based violence – and seek to retain and promote the positive aspects of their culture. Furthermore, providing girls with secondary and tertiary education breaks negative cycles as educated women later return to aid and develop their communities as qualified professionals.

Our Approach

Through education, Maasai women are breaking negative cycles of disempowerment within their communities.
Explore PWC’s Initiatives Empowering Maasai Students, with a Focus on Girls’ Education Access and Success. 


We provide financial support for secondary and further education to girls who are academically strong but financially weak. This includes financial support for school fees, living costs and educational resources. In 2022, 104 girls were provided educational scholarships to access quality education. 971 learners were also supported to improve their basic literacy and numeracy in remedial classes


We receive secondary school graduates and secure work placements for a one-year period before the young women continue higher education. As well as providing valuable vocational experience, through this project PWC provides financial support to cover living expenses for these girls who are often destitute as their families can no longer afford to support them or have rejected them for refusing to marry.


We have a project that counsels and academically prepares students - especially girls - for the transition to secondary school. As well as enhance student retention due to proper preparation, the project reduces the risk of girls ending their education at this milestone due to forced marriage. In 2016, 88% of girls who took part in the PF1 Program reported that they now feel less pressured to marry while they are under 16 years old.


We raise funds to facilitate community’s construction of schools and lobby government to build schools and girls dormitories. In 2010 we assisted in raising funds for six Primary Schools, positively impacting the lives of 1,438 children. In 2012 Ngorongoro District Council agreed to build a new girls boarding secondary school. In 2016 we financially supported the construction of Ormanie Primary School which has the capacity to enrol 1,000 children.


We provide training to school boards, management, teachers and public officials on ethics, management, leadership, good governance, roles and responsibilities to improve education quality.


We believe it is essential to equip girls with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to defend and protect their basic human rights. We run student health clubs and leadership groups in 15 secondary schools to give students and confidential space to discuss issues such as HIV, domestic violence, forced marriage and early pregnancy. We also provide leadership training to students to empower their participation in school leadership bodies. In 2016 1210 students took part in health club and leadership training groups.


We educate community members on the importance of education and in particular education for girls to increase student enrollment and change societal stereotypes and gender norms that create barriers to educational access and participation for girls. We also sensitise women about the importance of having basic literacy skills and mobilise local schools to provide adult literacy classes. In 2016, over 3,000 people were sensitised about the importance of education for boys and girls. Over 100 women are currently attending adult literacy classes thanks to our intervention.


We facilitate quality assurance exercises in schools to ensure students are receiving the best education possible. In 2016, we conducted reviews in 9 primary schools and 6 secondary schools in Monduli and Ngorongoro Conservation Area leading to an improved learning environment and educational outcomes for students.

​Emanyata Secondary School

PWC has been managing Emanyata in Ngorongoro District since community leaders handed its control in 2006 when the school was considered at risk of collapse.


As a community-owned, non-state run school, Emanyata has the freedom to admit more typically disadvantaged students, particularly girls who would not be able to access an education otherwise. Emanyata is a boarding school, thus girls are away from home and better able to resist family pressure to drop out of school to marry.


In 2022, we achieved a 98% retention rate from Form 1 to Form 4. This reduced dropout rate is attributed to increased parental engagement helping drive a drop in early pregnancy and marriage during school holidays. In October of 2022, 128 students (47 boys and 81 girls) from Ngorongoro, Sale and Loliondo Districts were admitted to our pre-form one course with 50 of the female students being sponsored by PWC. In January of 2023, we admitted 79 form one students, 54 girls and 25 boys, with 8 girls sponsored by PWC.

Impact Stories

Witness the Power of Education: Transforming Communities One Story at a Time.
Hear from Pastoralist Girls as They Share Inspiring Tales of Change.

All Girls Have Dreams

Watch this video about four PWC sponsor students with big educational dreams.

Against All Odds

Admire Lenoi's story of persistence in the face of adversity as she pursues an education

Scholastic Success for Emanyata

Within a Maasai culture that traditionally values boys' education over girls, ESS stands apart.

In the past I lacked confidence and hope for the future. Now I really enjoy being at school and my studies. Without PWC’s support I would probably be married to an old man and have many children. After completing my studies, I would like to be a teacher at Emanyata School as I believe education is the key to success and empowerment for girls and for my community.

- ​Motondo Tinge

PWC sponsored student, Emanyata Secondary School