Maria came into One Horizon’s orbit when she entered our peer support and small business program for Masai women. She’d had a tough time over the last few years. As the third and most senior of her husband’s wives, Maria had become isolated and unsupported. In a community without social security safety nets, hunger and depression had consumed her …
Maria has now been in One Horizon’s program for a year. Recently she hitched a ride back with us from our Women’s Empowerment Centre so that she could go into town and do some food shopping. As we sat in the car, Maria said that she wanted to say something to us: ‘Thank you One Horizon’.
Maria said that One Horizon had come into her life when she had been depressed, hungry and sick and that her involvement in our programs had lifted her out of loneliness and isolation. She said that, without money and with no family member employed, her poverty had been grinding and it had sapped her willingness to go on. But things had changed dramatically for her and her family with her involvement in our programs. Maria now has a small business with regular income passing on the songs of the Masai to a willing audience. She delights in doing this and is a great member of our team, helping to host our guests when we visit her village.
We watched Maria as she alighted from the car and as she laughed with a fruit and vegetable store holder where she shops regularly now. As we drove away, it prompted us to think of Maria and those that we help and how we are supported by like minded travellers. Sometimes at One Horizon we just have to stop for a moment, think about what we are doing and give everyone a pat on the back. Because we simply couldn’t change lives like Maria’s without the support of our travellers – people like our Canadian guest who recently posted the following TripAdvisor review about one of our Masai experiences …
A day filled with both fun and with insights
The Masai Magic day trip we took with One Horizon was a highlight of visit to Kenya. We’d just completed a week on safari, and while we were thrilled by the game drives, we’d had little opportunity to connect with Kenyans on a personal level.
Our day with One Horizon allowed us to meet a Masai family and to learn about traditional Masai practices. We all very much enjoyed the chance both to listen to Masai songs and to share a few of our own, while the teenager in our group appreciated the opportunity to hang out with a couple of Masai warriors close to his own age.
It was truly a fun experience.
But the day was also filled with insights. We had the privilege of hearing Agnes’s difficult personal story as the sixth wife of an elderly Masai man, learnt about Rispa’s struggles to gain a measure of respect and independence, and learnt about One Horizon’s work to empower Kenyan women.
Much thanks to Caroline, the One Horizon staffer who led our group, who both generously shared her own story and helped us better understand the daily life and daily struggles of Kenyans.