Empowering Rural Women Sure Way to Combating Poverty
Studies Pay Off For Young Maasai Woman – How Simantoi Kilama Bought Her Family Shoes
With determination, hard work, and the right tools, Simantoi Kilama went from growing up hungry in Kenya to earning enough money to buy her family shoes and food. Listen to Simantoi tell her story and hear how far empowering women can go.
Like many women in poor countries, the women of the Maasai tribe in Eastern Kenya face barriers that keep them from lifting their families out of poverty. Many do not receive a single day of education, are not able to earn their own income, and are forced to marry and have children at ages as young as 12 or 13 – perpetuating a cycle that keeps entire families poor. But, as Simantoi Kilama shows us, giving women in poor countries economic opportunities can turn this cycle around.
Simantoi Kilama, a native Maasai woman who grew up without electricty or adequate food, is living proof that investing in women is the best way to end poverty. A recent nursing school graduate sponsored by the Maasai Girls Education Fund, a partner of the Women’s Edge Coalition, Simantoi is using income she earns as a nurse to end poverty for her loved ones – buying her family food, medical care, and essentials such as shoes to protect their feet while they work.
Listen to Simantoi’s inspiring story of hard work, hope, and economic empowerment in an interview conducted by Barbara Lee Shaw, Executive Director of the Maasai Girls Education Fund:
Innovative policies such as the GROWTH Act can spread opportunities to millions of other women like Simantoi, helping to remove many of the economic barriers they face, and empowering them to build better futures for themselves, their families, and their countries. Click here to sign the GROWTH Act petition.
Simantoi in traditional Maasai clothing
Simantoi working as a nurse
Each month, Simantoi invests at least 15% of her income in her family’s future.
(Simantoi is on the far left and her mother is the second to the right)
Photo Credits: Barbara Lee Shaw