Posted on Leave a comment

The Women Only Village in Kenya – Umoja

You can visit or stay in Umoja, a unique women’s only village in the heart of Kenya. This inspirational village honours the life of Samburu women and provides a self-sustaining example in a male-dominated tribal system.

The Matriarch of the Umoja Uaso Women’s Village, Rebecca Lolosoli has done something really extraordinary. She has started a revolution and pioneered the establishment of this village in an area where women do not have the right to own land, livestock or attend school. She has overcome these obstacles through international acclaim for her beadwork, income generation, support and funding.

Umoja means “Unity”

The Umoja village was formed by women for women, to provide security and as a means of pooling resources and skills. The village is a refuge for girls and women, who have suffered from genital mutilation, rape, forced marriage and spousal abuse. Widows and orphans are also part of the Umoja group which numbers just under 50 members.

Umoja women support themselves and their children through their creative skills with beadwork and crafts. The village also creates income through tourism. A community centre has been built as well as a pre-school for children from the village and neighbouring areas.

Other initiatives include group funds for sickness, disability and savings. Umoja provides adult education and acts as a guiding light to other women’s groups in the hinterland.

There is so much more that can be learnt about this small village and other similar ones, but, we left you with only a glimpse of one such village…

In the company of women: (centre) Judia, 19, came to the village of Umoja six years ago, having run away from home to avoid being sold into marriage. Umoja was founded in 1990 by 15 women who were raped by British soldiers. Photograph: Georgina Goodwin for the Observer
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *