in #steemiteducation5 years ago

Umoja Uaso is a village in Kenya, it was established in 1990, it is an all-female authority town situated close to the town of Archers Post in Samburu County, 380 km from the capital, Nairobi where men are restricted from living. Umoja's populace has now extended to incorporate women getting away from forced marriages, FGM (female genital mutilation), abusive behavior at home and assault, which are all social norms among the Samburu.


Rebecca Lolosoli is the founder of Umoja and the village female matriarch who felt compelled to speak out about women's rights and was beaten by men in her town. Her husband equally failed to stand by her, lying in the hospital recuperating from her injuries, she took a stand and came up with the idea of building a community where only women will reside.

When she recovered, she left her husband and started to construct a village where men are not welcome. Actually, they are restricted. One by one, other women followed her to reside in the village.

Rebecca Lolosoli the founder and leader of the Umoja village

The village is today known and called Umoja, signifying 'solidarity' in Swahili, and is a shelter for survivors of assault and sexual viciousness. For almost 29 years, it has been an asylum for women forced out by their spouses, and young girls getting away from female genital mutilation and forced marriages.

The Samburu are firmly identified with the Maasai clan, speaking a comparative dialect. They generally live in gatherings of five to 10 families and are semi-traveling pastoralists. Their way of life is profoundly man centric. At town gatherings men sit in an internal hover to talk about imperative town issues, while the women sit outwardly, just at times permitted to express a feeling. Umoja's first individuals all originated from the segregated Samburu towns spotted over the Rift valley. From that point forward, women and young girls who know about the shelter come and figure out how to trade, bring up their kids and live without fear of male viciousness and segregation.

A young girl in Umoja village beading a necklace

There are right now, over 60 women and 250 kids in Umoja. These ambitious women and young girls gain a customary pay that provides food, clothing and shelter for all. Village heads run a campground, a kilometer away by the stream, where gatherings of safari travelers stay. A significant number of these tourist, and others going through close-by nature reserves, additionally visit Umoja. The women charge an unassuming entrance fee with an expectation that once in the town, the guests will purchase jeweleries made by the women in the craft centre.

Life is parsimonious at Umoja, the women mainly feed on a routine of ugali (maize meal), milk and meat. What's more they have a social life which is singing, dancing and bead making which they sell to visitors and tourists, they utilized the cash produced to start a school as well as provide food, education and build shelters for the village.

The Umoja town is a haven for young girls who declined to be circumcised or constrained into marriage with older man, and for women who were beaten by their spouses or assaulted and made to feel it was their fault. The town likewise brings up vagrants, relinquished kids and kids with HIV.

Umoja women singing and dancing

In traditional Samburu culture, women's voices are hushed and men have the greater part of the power. The women of Umoja assemble under the shade of the 'tree of discourse' to talk about essential issues, and in spite of the fact that Rebecca is the matriarch, every woman is equivalent to the next.

Umoja has developed to incorporate a school, social centres and a campground for tourists. Kids circled playing on the sun-heated earth, and the sound of women singing ascents over the cabins. It isn't without its hardships. Yet, it is all theirs, a place to call their own.

A primary school in Umoja village

Umoja is a motivation for women's rights everywhere.The women have assembled their own freedom starting from the earliest stage. They claim the land that the village remains on. They run their own particular lives.

An example of overcoming adversity for the energy of sisterhood, Umoja has enlivened other only women's towns in Kenya. It was made despite all odds, in a place where man controlled society ruled.

What the women need is to live in a place where there is no requirement for men to be restricted, where women are equal and progress toward becoming leaders, much the same as Rebecca. Rebecca was equally invited by the United nation to attend a conference on gender empowerment in New York and in addition to that, she was given a vital voices Fern award in 2010.





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