Pastoral Womens Council

Recent Updates

Updates from our Women’s Rights, Agency and Voice Interventions



​In August 2022, PWC held a training of two women’s rights forums to provide education, awareness, and empowerment on general human rights, women’s rights, and children’s rights. The training was conducted in two villages, Oltepesi and Lesing’eita, and reached forty-eight participants (forty women and eight men). The main objectives of the training were to educate and raise awareness on both women’s rights and additional leadership forums that focus on gender-based violence, probate and estate issues, and accessing legal platforms for justice. Participants were also trained on the proper agencies to report human rights violations to, including the local government authorities, police stations (gender desk), social welfare offices, and courts of law. They finished the forums with training on how to run the forum and the forum’s role in their community. 

Supporting Local CBOs to Thrive



Local community-based organisations (CBOs) play an important role in places where services are difficult to access. Over the past few months, we have invested in building the capabilities of seven CBOs who work with pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities.
Over the past few months, we have supported the CBOs to

  • recruit 16 youth and 40 volunteer teachers from the comunity
  • conduct a baseline survey in project areas of Loliondo,Babati, Monduli and Engaresero
  • establish and monitor remedial classes in Babati,Loliondo, Ngorongoro, Monduli and Engaresero
  • procuring accredited textbooks from Tanzanian authorities that are used for remedial classes
  • build the capacity of school committees in the 17 project schools
  • engage with parents and care givers on home based learning
  • establish 20 remedial classes in 17 schools reaching over 1000 students

Mr Baran Juma Lehit is a primary teacher who is was enrolled as a focal for Endulen Primary school. He has appreciated that, there is a great achievement from this project “since the start of this project, I can see notable progress in-terms of improving literacy, I have been a teacher at Endulen for over 28 years, I know the environment of the students especially those who have difficulty learning. There has been a lot of improvement, out 183 student who didn’t know how to read and write, 48 student have improved their literacy, it sound low in term of per percentage but to us is a big achievement. I wish this project would continue so as to bridge the gap.”

Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Updates



As a result of our climate change interventions in Longido, Monduli and Ngorongoro, local government authorities, communities and NGOs have raised and committed funds amounting to over 900,000 USD in key development projects. These funds have helped communities enact local by-laws for protection of water sources and grazing land, provide food aid during the draught period, build dispensaries, fence water sources to ensure effective management of water and protect water from contamination, rehabilitate water systems and constructed new water points and irrigation systems.
Additionally, some of the climate change resilience and adaptation strategies being implemented in our target communities include the regeneration of trees that have previously been cut, pasture cropping to improve livestock grazing resources, protecting water sources and planting trees

PWC collaboration with Laikipia Women’s Association , piloted two innovations aimed to help rural communities tackle the effects of climate change. The first is a simple farming methodology designed to reuse water from household chores to irrigate trees and the second is energy-saving cooking stoves that require very little wood fuel. The facilitators engaged with 60 people, teaching them the methodology so that they could teach it to others in their villages. The activity saw the installation of these energy saving cooking stoves as well as planting of fruit trees in 30 households in Monduli and Longido Districticts. Check it out here

Updates from our SRH Initiatives



We have come across people who were (suffering) at home and had not received medical attention who have been treated today” Grace Messe, doctor at Ololosokwan health center

Awareness raising on health: our amazing team in collaboration with the Ngorongoro district health and community development departments was in Loliondo and Sale Divisions hosting free, mobile medical camps to provide health awareness and services. The medical camps reached over one thousand adults, children, youth and elders with health-related information, and services. We engaged with pastoralists on common illnesses,nutrition practices towards safe motherhood and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, we provided counselling, testing, treatment and referrals for HIV/AIDS, STIs and cervical cancer. The health clinic also provided an opportunity to promote the use of public health insurance known as ICHF (Integrated Community Health Fund).
In June, working with the health departments of Ngorongoro, Longido and Monduli districts, PWC facilitated the training of 40 new community health workers (CHWs) from across the three districts with the aim of upscaling continous community wide awareness creation on general health and SRH services GBV prevention and response.

Updates from our Education Initiatives



PWC participated in the National Education week which brought together education stakeholders from around Arusha District and PWC had the opportunity to present about our efforts in supporting pastoralists to access quality education and raising awareness of the importance of education. For 22 years, PWC has implemented initiatives that include: scholarships for girls to pursue secondary and tertiary education, teacher training and community development, child safeguarding and protection, and school improvement programmes to improve (especially girls) transition, retention, and performance. We were also invited to share our learning at the recently concluded Schools2030 forum. We were proud to receive the Arusha Regional Commissioners Office Education Stakeholder Award and we further commit to keep up our efforts to ensure that every pastoralist child, particularly girls, can access quality education and have the opportunity to improve their livelihoods and their communities.

PWC recently launched an exciting education project in Longido and Ngorongoro . The intervention is aimed at improving access to quality education, shifting norms and practices on education to be more inclusive for girls. The project intends to reach 2000 pastoralists and agro-pastoralist girls in five project schools and over the course of two and a half years to change oppressive social norms that hinder pastoralist girls from accessing, enrolling, and completing secondary school education. We are supporting five target schools to form Parents Teachers Associations (PTA) in an effort to increase collaboration and ensure quality, safe,
inclusive and gender responsive education. In this process we facilitate training of select group made up of teachers,  parents and local and traditional leaders on their role in supporting their children to access quality education. Check out some reflections and highlights from the formation of PTAs here

Our Engisoma II (Maasai word meaning Education) project aims to increase education and learning outcomes in northern Tanzania. The project’s goal is to improve access to quality formal education for pastoralist and agro-pastoralist girls and boys in Ngorongoro and Longido districts. The most recent tracking of activities implemented indicate that the rights clubs have kept up their schedules for meetings and that learners continue to value the space to explore relevant issues and gain self confidence and know their rights 

Women’s Economic Empowerment Updates



PWC’s Women Economic Empowerment interventions support pastoralist women to become self-reliant. One way we do this is through our Women Solidarity Bomas (WSBs). These are a homestead settings where women are 100% responsible for tending the collectively-owned cattle and economic empowerment programs which aim to address gender inequality, poverty and marginalisation of women by enabling them to become self-reliant, strengthen women solidarity and change the negative societal attitude that women cannot manage livestock. The number of cattle at the Mondorosi women’s solidarity boma increased to 140 with the birth of new calves. The additional healthy calves help to ensure the continuity of the livestock revolving fund supporting vulnerable women in the community. The income earned from selling sheep in the future will improve the members households’ incomes.

We continue supporting young pastoralist women graduates of our Energize programme. This past quarter, PWC conducted a training facilitated by our partners SOMO Africa ( on their revolutionary DigiKua platform for 20 young pastoralist women. Digikua is a platform that allows businesses to record their transactions in real-time. The training took the Training of Trainers (ToT) format, allowing the young women who received the training to teach it to other women. The Energise ladies engaged use the skills they developed during our programme to start up small businesses. Further, they committed to reaching 30 other women and training them on using the platform to enhance their own businesses.
​We have also continued to sensitise women to form or join existing Village Community Banks (VICOBA) groups and sharing our methodology and learning on women’s economic empowerment at various meetings workshops and seminars.

Women Rights, Agency and Voice Updates


“In our communities in the past, we faced a lot of discrimination from men, we were not seen as valuable but now, through PWC, women are gaining more respect.” Nayai Sungare

PWC hosted pastoralist women and youth summit on 31st March and 1st April in Arusha, Tanzania. The summit was also attended by many prominent pastoralist leaders including Dr Steven Ole Kiruswa-Longido Member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister of Minerals, Christopher Ole Sendeka-Simanjiro Member of Parliament, Edward Ole Lekaita- Kiteto Member of Parliament, women District Councillors and traditional leaders. The primary purpose of this summit was to promote women’s solidarity and unity. This summit took place at a crucial time when women’s leadership in pastoralist communities is picking up pace. The meeting participants shared the challenges they face in terms of leadership, entrepreneurship, and gender discrimination in their societies. The summit resolved to secure pastoralists’ women’s land rights and enhance gender parity in leadership and decision-making at household and community levels to advance gender justice and to further economic, social, and civic engagement for all. Traditional leaders also committed to be ambassadors for women’s rights and equity and include women in decision making. 

​“I have planned my life as I was taught at this summit because I involve my wives when I sell anything we must meet and organize everything together.” Kiplul NaKite 

We also had an opportunity to share a best practice case study of how we support Maasai women to secure rights to land through our Women’s Rights and Leadership Forums (WRLFs). Our submission was shortlisted among the top 6 good practices under the Gender Justice theme and was featured in the Fair of Ideas at the Global Land Forum held in Amman in May 2022. Check it out here Additionally, Comic Relief profiled our WRLFs and case studies during a recent engagement on Power Up: critical conversations which engaged webinar participants from across the world on power and accountability. Check it out here

In an effort to enhance access to justice, we have been engaging with justice actors to establish Court User Committees (CUCs) in Longido District. The court use committee is made up of community members and local leaders  such as traditional leaders, women champions, people living with disability, religious leaders, youth, and paralegals, as well as civil actors in the justice system, including ward executive officers, magistrates, police and social welfare officers. The CUC meets every quarter to evaluate the number of GBV cases reported in court, their status, and challenges faced in the process. It creates linkages between the community and justice workers and ensures that citizens can access justice in a timely manner. In June 2020, members of the CUCs received training on conflict resolution, which gave them tools to help navigate and resolve conflicts in the execution of their duties. Participants highlighted land disputes, including violation of women’s right to own property and inheritance as one of the prevailing types of conflict in their villages. 

The communities we serve are often found in very remote areas with little access to services. As such, we work with community paralegals to raise awareness on rights and support community members to access justice. In May and June 2022, our paralegals facilitated community dialogues on women’s land rights in six villages (Mairowa, Matale A, Matale B, Ketumbeine, Lubwa and Meirugoi) of Mairowa and Ketumbeine wards. During the outreach, community members brought forward different cases related to land conflict and matrimonial issues. The paralegals also held meetings to raise awareness on land conflict management using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) available at village and district levels. They encouraged citizens to make use of available community structures within the villages like traditional leadership instead of taking all the cases to court as the court process is lengthy and often very expensive, therefore inaccessible to most community members.

Organizational development



This year we celebrated our founders, the amazing women whose vision born out of a hope for a better tomorrow has been the inspiration behind PWC’s passion for equity in our community, with indigenous women at the centre of our communities’ transformative development.  Today, we are proud to keep doing the work started by our mothers and sisters before us and to see our contribution towards women’s empowerment and gender justice being realized locally and across the globe. In the coming year, we intend to share their inspiring stories.

In this last quarter we began working with 10 CBOs that work in indigenous communities to strengthen their education programmes in order to enhance education outcomes, especially numeracy and literacy, within indigenous pastoralist communities. It is our hope that through this support, we can build up representation of advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples.

In November, PWC’s application to join the International Land Coalition (ILC) was approved. The ILC is a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organizations working together to put people at the centre of land governance. The shared goal of ILC’s members is to realize land governance for and with people at the country level, responding to the needs and protecting the rights of women, men and communities who live on and from the land.
Our membership in this network, as in others, will bring new partnerships and more great opportunities for shared learning and innovations that take us closer to our vision for a developed society which respects human rights and justice for all.

Building pastoral communities’ resilience and adaptation to climate change



PWC conducted community sensitization on climate change adaptation and mitigation in three districts of Longido, Ngorongoro, and Monduli. Thereafter, the communities developed action plans in 27 villages on how they will adapt to climate change. The action plans were presented at the District level for increased response towards citizens priorities in the community such as addressing food insecurity, deforestation, also the absence of extension and livestock officers to support the community. The implementation of the climate action plans is supporting communities to take mitigation measures. With increasing uncertainty regarding rain fall patterns in the region, communities have taken great strides to ensure the availability of water for people, livestock and domestic use. This has been accomplished through sensitization to protect the water source areas and introducing fines for non-compliance. PWC also trained three water committees in Kipambi, Tingatinga and Empongogi in order for them to better manage three deep water boreholes that we facilitated drilling.

Over 8,000 pastoralist women and men are benefitting from the boreholes as they no longer have to travel long distances looking for water and this has allowed them to participate in business and other development processes. Additionally, community members report having bought food stuffs during the rainy season when the food prices were low that is supporting their family’s nutrition during another longer than usual dry season.

“I am able to feed my family and sell the remaining milk to the community, selling milk has increased my financial ability, my family is safe from hunger during this draught season, and my community is happy to get the milk at this difficult time.”  Melau,Laigwanani ketumbeine ward

To further improve food-security, communities are collectively managing grazing areas, respecting the land use plan available in their villages and controlling the burning of charcoal. Check out some reflections here

An appetite for health forums



Pastoralist women are one of the poorest of the poor and marginalized groups across the globe. This factor coupled with inadequate and very under-resourced health facilities across the remote pastoralist villages of northern Tanzania, as well complex gender relations and practices in their communities, has created serious impediments to women’s general health and wellbeing. Taking this into account, PWC is implementing a sexual reproductive health (SRH) project in its target areas to improve access to accurate health information and improve the utilization of sexual reproductive services in these communities. 

Five villages, namely Piyaya, Engaresero and Malambo in Sale division as well as Ormekeke and Kakesio in Ngorongoro division were identified to receive sensitization forums based on the need to raise awareness on SRH and covid-19 as well the remoteness of these localities. The sensitization forums were implemented and were all very well received reaching a total of 460 pastoralists community members (230 women and 230 men) with citizens asking for more forums to be hosted.

Limited access to health services was noted in most villages because health facilities are overstretched, have inadequate resources and the few health personnel that are present in these facilities often cannot speak the language of the locals which hinders diagnosis and medical intervention.

In regard to sexual reproductive health, adolescent sexuality is still considered a taboo topic in these communities and therefore parents do not discuss menstruation, sexual relations, pregnancy or STDs with their children. A total of 150 secondary school girls in Arash, Natron, Malambo, Ngorongoro Girls and Embarway Secondary Schools (5 out of the targeted 10) and their matrons/mentors have received education on their sexual and reproductive rights. Check out this video about a mentoring and SRHR session with students at ESS

“As a pastoralist lady who understands these communities well, I was very impressed with the girls” Dr. Angela Maipuke

Investing in quality education for pastoralist boys and girls


Access to quality education remains a major hurdle for many pastoralist girls and boys. In July, our community came together in a colourful harambee to raise money to complete a modern science laboratory and women made amazingly generous contributions of time, money and resources including livestock. Check out some highlights from the event here

With $27,000 collected from community members and donors, the construction has progressed and is nearing completion. We now invite you to help us raise an additional $12,000 to help equip the laboratory with essential equipment and supplies. We feel this will have lifelong impact on the lives of the learners as can be seen in this video, allowing them to explore STEM subjects, leading more of them to science-based professions which will contribute to their community’s development. Monetary donations can be made via our trusted partner Omprakash here

According to Mr. Yannik Ndoinyo, an ESS board member, “Constructing the laboratoryis an important step in ensuring learners gain practical skills in STEM subjects. It will create opportunities for pastoralist girls as well as boys to pursue careers in the sciences and play a meaningful role in the development of this community

In addition to offering a full secondary school curriculum, ESS offers a Pre-Form One, a three-month transitionary education programme for class seven primary school leavers, to improve their grasp of English, Science and Mathematics before being assigned by the government to a secondary school. Among 70 students (53 girls and 17 boys) PWC and ESS sponsored 30 girls identified to otherwise be at risk of forced marriage or early pregnancy. At the end of the course, learners showed improvements in mathematics, English and science subjects. We shall be sponsoring 25 girls to join form 1 in 2022.

We conducted teacher training and integration of new skills using the Rapid Learning Approach (RLA) approach/pedagogies in three secondary schools namely Lekule, Emanyata and Soitsambu schools. Over 130 students who had difficulties in numeracy and literacy were enrolled into RLA classes and over 40% improved their literacy competences within the first 30 days of the programme. Check out some thoughts from participants at the training here

“A struggling student who is taken through this approach will resolve their challenges and start to perform well in their studies” Tr. Agbert Tajui

Scaling pastoralists women’s economic empowerment interventions



Women who are in control of their own finances are more likely to invest in their children’s education and secure a better future for their families. We facilitate this through supporting pastoralist women to gain access to funds, financial advisory services, and productive resources.

ENGISHON Microfinance Ltd, a company originally established under the leadership of PWC, continues to expand. PWC under NORAD grant provided business boost grants to 80 VICOBA groups amounting to Tshs 1 million and has loaned 28 groups a total of USD 125,000 and 34 individuals USD 35,000. Total loan repayment is USD 92,000The company has now developed a five-year strategic business plan which outlines the strengths and opportunities that will be pursued and identifies the challenges and risk factors to be mitigated. The strategy will guide internal systems development which will bring about improved operational efficiency and effectiveness, stronger and more partnerships and help control costs. 

Village Community Banks (VICOBAs) are savings and loans groups, self-sufficient schemes that are led and sustained by the members. PWC has facilitated the establishment and strengthening of 452 VICOBAs across Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro districts. The groups have total savings of UD 574,000. VICOBAs provide women with financial support to fund initiatives that enhance the wellbeing of their families through income generation, land and home ownership and investment in their children’s educations to provide them greater security for the future. 

Codifying equitable norms in pastoralist communities



Indigenous women and girls in Tanzania face multi-layered, intersectional marginalization due to the overwhelming cultural biases towards men. These women have limited personal and economic independence, limited access to productive resources, services and assets and have little scope to influence decision making at any level. Over the past few years, PWC and our partners have engaged with traditional leaders and community members in Longido District to develop a formal and legally binding Declaration on the Rights of pastoralist women and girls which reflects their universally recognized and accepted rights. This Declaration was developed through extensive consultation and in consideration of pastoralists traditions and practices in an effort to promote positive equitable norms and practices.
The Declaration was formally adopted by the Longido District Council in August 2021 and has been presented to the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs to become a legal document to protect and promote the rights of pastoralist women and girls in Longido.

“I would like to plead to my fellow men, husbands and fathers to take a keen look into women rights to own property including inheritance. In this meeting we are being taught and asked to respect these rights for women. The law is very clear that we must respect these rights- because if we do not, the law will take its course.” Laigwanani (Traditional Leader) Peter Sangeti

In another innovative gender rights intervention, an interactive gender transformative course called Secure Your Family’s Future (SYFF) has been facilitated by PWC. 670 pastoralist women and men in Ngorongoro and Longido districts have been reached with information contained in the curricula. Designed for men and women of East Africa, it aims to change behaviours and mediate social norms related to women’s land and property rights, including ownership, decision-making on land management and land inheritance.
We recently conducted an evaluation to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, future intentions, and perceptions of peer norms related to women’s land and property rights among participants in the SYFF courses. The evaluation used most significant change stories to document changes in norms and practices on women’s land and property rights. Findings indicate that in the areas in which the course has been undertaken, men are allocating land to daughters (regardless of marital status) as they do to sons, including women as joint owners of the land and bequeathing land to daughters and wives and that land management structures ensure gender quality in membership, and include women’s priorities (e.g., agriculture, grazing, etc.) in land use plans. Check out the findings and links to the SYFF curricula here
“The value of engaging women in decision-making is already bearing fruit” Oltimbau Nuiya

As part of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, Pastoral Women’s Council spent a week traveling from village to village meeting with over 700 women, all members of our Women’s Rights and Leadership Forums and raising awareness on GBV. These forums bring champions together to learn about and advocate for the rights of women and girls in their communities. Each member received a sheep or goat to celebrate her achievements and support her continuing work as a change maker and role model for others in her community

Challenge accepted!



In September, PWC’s work received glowing international recognition as one of ten finalists in the Lever for Change Racial Equity 2030 Challenge for which we are deeply honored and indeed privileged. The dynamic and multi-layered solutions to racial inequity proposed by the ten finalists will challenge and change norms, address root causes of racialized outcomes, and create sustained conditions in which children, families and communities can thrive.
Our project will advance racial equity by advocating for system-wide changes, climate smart natural resource planning, increasing the resilience, self-reliance, and economic empowerment of pastoralist women and communities.

Since the announcement, PWC, community members, partners and our allies have been working to finalize our prospectus and benefit from the many learning opportunities that came with the award. We would not have such an opportunity if it was not for our prior and current donors’ commitment to gender equity and justice. Learn more here