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Honoring the Work
Robert V. Lange

Working for a better life is not preparation for life, but life itself.

I'm writing to you from our Program Office in Annapolis. In two weeks I return to Tanzania to rejoin our community, working on the ground.

It's wonderful to rediscover, time and again, that the people are organizing and working towards a better life, every day. Instead of hesitation or reluctance there is great enthusiasm and hopefulness. Our community is eager to implement their ideas and try new ones, previously unimaginable.

Over the next few weeks we are helping new businesses get started, as you will read below. And read about our latest award--for work made possible through your generous support.

Twende means “let’s go”. It means "vamanos". With your help, we are going strong, getting healthy water to the settlements; better cow food produced from waste; and keeping stoves and solar flowing out to make homes more livable.
With our sincere thanks,


September 2018
Widows working together for a better life
Widows are especially vulnerable
The Maasai Stoves & Solar Project of the International Collaborative proudly announces a new collaboration with the Global Fund for Widows (GFW).

The Fund asked the International Collaborative to analyze the situation of Maasai widows. The polygamy of the Maasai, arranged marriages, and lack of education due to early marriages all lead to the special vulnerability of women when a husband dies.

Experience is our teacher

T hank you to GFW for asking us to design a new program for widows. Their funding made it possible to organize 25 widows in each of three villages.
All benefit from the leadership of the outstanding Cypress Hill Manager Mesha Singolyo. She is also an experienced leader of the district government’s community development department. 

A fresh start for widows

For a completely fresh start, the International Collaborative chose villages that had not yet participated in the Maasai Stoves & Solar program. T his encouraged the widows to develop their own leaders. The villages' widows groups have already held the elections, adopted their bylaws, and have begun the process of working together for income.

An exciting program

The first 25 widows established their own VICOBA, or Village Cooperative Bank, in each village. The widows elected officers and received training for running their banks.

These cooperative banks are widespread in Tanzania. The owner-members each make a regular, small deposit in the banks. Individual members then apply for loans. Proposals with strong business goals, and clear plans for timely repayment are selected by the bank members themselves. Prompt repayment allows other members to access the next group of loans.

ICSEE is tremendously grateful for the Global Fund for Widows collaboration. It is remarkable when the goals, expertise, community relations, and resources come together so constructively.

In our program, the widows in each village are starting with a large loan to the entire group using their own deposits and the generous GFW deposits in their banks. 

Together, they will start a goat business in each village.  

There is lots of good experience to count on for success of these businesses. This resides with the International Collaborative leadership, the widows themselves, and the MPWO, the organization of stove installing district women
Tanzania honors the work of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project
Julius Nyerere originated the Uhuru Torch award when he served as Tanzania's first president. Each year, the awards focus on a different theme. This year spotlighted the improvement of herding methods. The torch travels throughout the country, stopping to bestow the honor.

The Project honored with the Uhuru Torch

Tanzania recognized the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project with this award four times, over the years. We were thrilled to be honored again this month. The torch praised our work modeling cow care methods in the face of insufficient grass for grazing on the plains.
Kisioki Moitiko, Project Manager-in-Chief, accepts the award
Work with healthier, more sustainable cow fodder

Joined by our staff, neighboring Maasai, and people throughout the area, the Torch presenters viewed our larger-scale production of excellent food for cows.

Thank you to the Monduli District Government for your nomination. We are honored to receive the award.

Support our award-winning work.
Together, we are making a difference every day.