About Sauti Moja: Our Partner Organization in Tanzania
Sauti Moja Tanzania is a charitable organization registered in Canada and the United States. Its mission is to assist and support community initiatives of the Tanzanian Maasai through projects that emphasize indigenous land rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the education and support of vulnerable girls and preschoolers.
Our local partners Simba & Spice have developed a global education component in Longido Village with Sauti Moja for our Tanzania travel programs, offering travelers unique insight into critical issues faced by Maasai communities in Tanzania.
The Maasai Land Rights Initiative
A percentage of all travel program fees for Tanzania will go towards the Land Is Our Life Project, part of Sauti’s Moja’s Maasai Land Rights Initiative.
For the Maasai, land is literally life. As indigenous pastoralists, their entire livelihood depends on herding livestock (cattle, goats, and sheep). They move their livestock from one area to the next, following annual patterns of rain and greener pastures. Their livestock provide the meat, milk and income that families depend on. Without adequate land and pastures, livestock do not survive and the health of families decline dramatically as a result.
In the past, Longido communities managed the land relatively autonomously via traditional systems and village authorities. These self-reliant systems are now changing due to international pressures related to wildlife conservation and global tourism. Recently, major changes in how land is managed and used have been pushed ahead by government authorities, international NGOs and big tourism businesses.
The Land Is Our Life project aims to protect traditional uses and management of land. It intends to educate and mobilize Maasai residents of Longido District, Tanzania in order to have their voices and interests heard in the face of many recent changes to land use and governance.
Visitors will travel to remote areas of the region where Sauti Moja works, such as Longido and Sinya, and learn about the importance of land from community members themselves.
Meet the Sauti Moja Tanzania Team!
Travelers spend time at the Sauti Moja office in Longido where they learn about the activities of this community-based organization and meet some of the staff and volunteers. Here are some of the faces you might see!
Oshumu Shuaka, Sauti Moja Project Coordinator & Facilitator (Degree in Public Administration)
Oshumu was born in a small village on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the eastern-most part of Longido District. He’s witnessed the dramatic land reforms that have engulfed many Longido communities over the past few decades, from the privatization of the vast commercial barley farms on Mount Kilimanjaro, to privatized agricultural developments in his own community and, most recently, the reforms associated with conservation. He recently graduated from Mzumbe University with a degree in Public Administration, in which he studied how civil society organizations, like Sauti Moja, are influencing government institutions and reforms. Much of his research has focused on the risks and opportunities of Wildlife Management Areas. He headed up a pilot project related to civic participation and environmental governance in 2016 and is now taking on the big challenge of leading the recently launched Land Is Our Life project. He’s a strong advocate for land rights for the Maasai and brings new life to this dimension of Sauti Moja Tanzania’s efforts.
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