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Partnership pathways
 
Robert V. Lange 
Robert V. Lange
 
 
 
I'm writing to you from Colorado, not far from the Wyoming prairie, where I recently viewed the eclipse totality. 

The event made me more conscious of our planet and its relationship with the sun and moon. And the beauty of the prairie in that strange light reminded me that it is not the planet that is in danger. Earth will go on being an amazing beautiful paradise until the sun explodes billions of years from now.

It is we humans and our fellow living beings we are endangering. To address this, we must overcome our lack of humility, our blindness to privilege, and our inability to sufficiently express our love and gratitude.

The Project community treasures the collaborations and partnerships with the Maasai people and other groups that make the work possible.

I return to Tanzania on Monday, and will keep you in the loop. Whether through programs, grants, gifts, or good will, you are an important partner, and you make all the difference.

Twende!

Robert V. Lange 
August, 2017

 

Partnership for healthy vision

Rwandan women training to be stove installers

The Eye Care Africa Project (ECAP) brings better vision and eye health to rural Rwandans. It is greatly strengthened through its relationship to the Lions Club of Laguna Nigel, California.

Early on, the project founders recognized that getting smoke out of unventilated homes was important for an integrated eye health effort for the people. They began a partnership with the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project.

ICSEE stove
ICSEE chimney in Rwanda
We are very happy to do everything we can to support this effort, now progressing rapidly. ECAP manager Simon Mateka recently visited our Monduli stove factory to train in stove installation, maintenance, and monitoring. Two ICSEE lead staff took the bus to the Rwandan border with a cargo of fifty fireboxes in the luggage hold. Simon was waiting there with all the necessary papers and trucked the fireboxes into the country.

Freda Kaaya and Asia Mohamed, experts from our organization of women installers, together with Julius Loibor, assistant manager of Maasai Stoves & Solar, flew to Kigali and trained the Rwandan women, who will carry the project forward in the Rwandan villages.

Maasai Stoves _ Solar _women_s empowerment_
Teresia and son
Fifty stoves is a modest but significant start for this very worthwhile application of our stove technology to assist in eye health. 

The shipping pathways are now established and the people trained in Rwanda are ready for the coming increase in the number of stoves to be installed. Twende!
 
 

 
  
Partnership in Eco-Travel

The ICSEE enjoys a wonderful relationship with the G-Adventures Travel Company.

Chimney stove that works well
Tanzanian home with an ICSEE stove

Whereas all tourist companies in East Africa offer a Maasai "experience" of some sort, what G-Adventures does in collaboration  with us is pretty special. Their clients on Tanzanian safari have the opportunity to join our expert stove installation teams. They work alongside Maasai women who are showing an active side of their culture; working to improve their lives. 
This is a very different kind of connection with the people, beyond the more typical show of beads and music.

_Women_s empowerment_ Africa
Installing the ICSEE chimney stove

G-Adventures pays for a stove and a single home solar system. And now the partnership is taking a new step. The travelers will now have the opportunity to share the people's joy connecting the home into a solar powered micro-grid. The Project will select a boma (family settlement) to prepare for the travelers' participation by installing the basic solar power elements.

When the travelers come and work with the women to install the stoves, they will also help the women wire that particular home into the micro-grid. They'll join the team to install the underground power wires, the switches, the cell phone charger, and LED lights powered by the boma's electrical center.


This will be a shared experience that the travelers and their Maasai hosts will not soon forget.


 
Partnering with Maasai herders for improved livestock management
 
Last month we introduced our new feedlot in the Rift Valley, just north of Mto wa Mbu in the village of Mungere, started with the help of a generous donor.
 
Drought in Tanzania
Cattle in the recent drought
We are proud to announce that the feedlot will receive national recognition next month with the Uhuru Torch ceremony. We look forward to sharing the story with you.
 
The feedlot is a practical operating facility, concretely helping Maasai herders manage cattle safely during droughts and times when grass is limited. It is also a site for research, experimentation, teaching, and learning.

We've purchased and fenced ten acres of land near good water at the base of the Ngorongoro escarpment. Food storage, water tanks, troughs, and a small house for staff are under construction. We bought a hay baler and machines for converting corn stalks and corn cobs into fodder.
 
Feed cows during drought
Training on preparing fodder

Last January's drought resulted in severe cattle losses. The Maasai men realize that conditions are changing and it is time for learning and adaptation. Many Maasai men have come and asked to participate, as the need strikes.
 
Feedlot operations begin in September.  First, we will buy and prepare food for feeding up to 200 head of cattle for several months.  We plan to buy twenty healthy but skinny cows to fatten and sell. Those profits will cover feedlot staff salaries.
 
Once the dry season returns we will have lots of cows to feed. Twelve Maasai lead herders will make their second visit to study feedlot operations in Kenya. Each will bring five cows to the feedlot for three months. The Maasai Women Pastoralist Organization (MPWO) has about sixty cows and we've invited them to bring some to the new feedlot.
  
All those with cows at the feedlot will pay about $45 per cow for three months of care. They will cover that cost with the increase in profit when they sell the cows we have fed for them.

What is most significant is the commitment of the men to create and adapt new cattle management methods in the face of changing social and environmental conditions.

 Photography by Philip Lange and Morgana Wingard