FWP engages and supports Maasai urban migrants who have left their villages for Arusha, due to drought and poverty, in search of jobs to support their families.

Many are homeless, even though they may be employed as security guards.  Their salaries are barely enough for one person to survive on, let alone supporting large extended families back in the village.

In 2011, FWP interviewed over 40 young Maasai in Arusha about their life and struggles. This is what they told us:

  • They support large families with food and education costs
  • Most have not completed primary school and cannot read or write Swahili
  • Some cannot use money properly and have little financial literacy
  • Many found it hard to get a job
  • Very few have a place to sleep and cook, or access to a toilet or water
  • Many get sick easily and do not use the health system
  • Many hope to go back home but cannot due to continued drought.

We continue to check in with these Maasai to monitor their needs.  Our aim is to build a Maasai Community Hub that provides Maasai in Arusha with essential life skills, educational and health support and place to meet. 

FWP is also working in partnership with Stanford University to investigate Maasai perceptions of health and their use of health services.