Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Empowering Maasai Women Through Computer Literacy and Education

Project #
Brandeis University
  • Kira Levin

Empowering Maasai Women Through Computer Literacy and Education

Kira created her project to provide essential training and capacity-building functions for Maasai women from the Monduli and Mto Wa Mbu regions of Tanzania. When Kira arrived in Tanzania she was introduced to these communities by her partner organization Maasai Solar and Stoves — itself a part of the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and the Environment — from which she also learned a lot about solar energy and cookstove installations as she sought to increase women’s empowerment. Kira’s focus was on training women to use computers and cameras in order to launch their own projects and businesses.

Kira began with teaching the basic functions of typing, navigating the Interne, learning games to build English and math skills, exploring social media, and uploading pictures from a memory card to the computer. Discussions followed on inspiring and engaging other women and children from their villages to broaden the impact of this training and applying it to the small businesses that some of the women already ran — such as selling jewelry, milk, or eggs. In the wake of Kira’s project, this community education in technology and business skills is being carried on by Maasai Solar and Stoves.

Kira credits the established and indigenous role of Maasai Solar and Stoves as central to the success and sustainability of her project, and reports that it continues to expand village by village.