The MomellaFoundation is a non-profit organization that has launched several programs for sustainable development in the Momella region and will expand further in the future. The focus of our efforts lies in the areas of education and entrepreneurship, energy and environment, wildlife and nature conservation, permaculture and the empowerment of women. The Foundation is working closely with the Momella village council, with project-related consultants and international partners. Years of experience in international development has shown that the sustainable capacity of all projects can only be realized through direct participation of the population and clear individual successes. Long-term experience in many countries show that nature and environmental protection are only possible when the region’s population are willing to get involved and are not forced into consent. Therefore, Momella’s population has to be involved in all projects right from the start, and they must realize their own personal advantages in doing so.
“Momella” means “the shine” or “the sparkle” of the moon or the sun in the local Maasai language. The MomellaFoundation aims to contribute towards the positive development of the region to enable it to consciously and proudly carry the name Momella.
The MamaMomella project had its first catwalk premiere in 2011 in Arusha. In November 2011 MamaMomella also opened its own shop at the Hatari Lodge. The project enables the local women to generate their own income by creating valuable textiles through their sewing and embroidering skills. Aside from assisting with the financial needs of the families, this also strengthens their self-confidence and represents a major step towards equal rights for women. With their sewing skills, embroidering skills and creativity, many valuable textiles are created combining traditional patterns and styles and the latest fashion trends.
At the Fashion Week in Dar es Salam in 2012, MamaMomella’s second collection was received last year with acclamation! Photographer Karl Kläy and his team from Switzerland visited us in June to photograph two models in a number of new outfits at Hatari und Shu’mata. Backed by local model Letti from Arusha, all the work was done voluntarily to support and publicize the amazing work of the men and women tailors of MamaMomella. To show special appreciation for their handiwork, a visit to the home of the embroiderers who embellish MamaMomella’s clothes with their filigree stitchery was arranged. This year, Marlies Gabriel inspired by “Tania Blixen“ presented her newest collection at the Maridadi.
The MamaMomella Foundation has grown steadily since 2007 and currently provides employment for 5 tailors and 30 women whose self-esteem has been enormously boosted by the success of their work. To insure sustainability, improvements are necessary. The current workshop, located on the premises of the Hatari Lodge, is not ideal. It lacks adequate heating, lighting and space. It relies on the lodge’s generator for electricity, which limits production to certain hours of the day. These restrictions affect production and the project suffers because of them.
Mwalimu and The Sparkling Elephant Project
The debut of Mwalimu and The Sparkling Elephant Project at Arusha’s Karibu Fair was an unmitigated success.
Mwalimu, a life-sized elephant made of wires and rebars, attracted hundreds of curious people at the fair. We are also very proud to say that our elephant statue attracted so many people that the media has also become interested in our project; television transmitters, journalists and organizations have contacted us requesting information about The Sparkling Elephant. The Sparkling Elephant Project was developed to create greater awareness to the endangered local wildlife species and vanishing ecosystems while providing the Tanzanians and school children with a creative outlet.
“Mwalimu”, which means “teacher” in Kiswahili, is adorned in a cloak made of 70,000 sparkling recycled glass beads. Each bead represents one elephant left alive in Tanzania. The glass represents fragility: the fragility of life, of the elephant population and of the sensitive balance of our ecosystem.
International March for Elephants October 4th 2013 – Arusha, Tanzania
Early in the morning a big crowd assembled at the Cultural Heritage to prepare for the big “March for Elephants”. The minister, school classes, rangers, citizens, tourists and volunteers were equipped with banners, t-shirts, masks, stickers and plaques. One after the other joined the big group and walked from Cultural Heritage to the AICC Kijenge. The streets were lined with spectators. Everyone had a very good time on the peaceful march through the city. Drummers and dancers gave the march an uplifting atmosphere as we were also celebrating the life of the elephant. In the midst of the event, Mwalimu was making his appearance and attracted all the attention. Young and old were mesmerised by the sparkling beads. Children were shouting their slogans and everyone showed a lot of respect and affection towards the biggest land mammal. We are proud to say that the whole event was a huge success!
Mwalimu now has his place in the Cultural Heritage Gallery to keep on raising people’s awareness of poaching. Further, they should learn how they can contribute to protect the wildlife in Africa. The plan is to create notice boards with facts and information to attract people’s attention. Furthermore, different animals, such rhinos and lions, will be constructed in the same way as Mwalimu. Likewise, they should be decorated with beads and finally take their positions at National Park gates.
Our provocative Elephant Tshirt for sale to raise funds & awareness
To raise further funds for the recycled glass beads we created a Tshirt line for the Sparkling Elephant Project:
Please help support our efforts by ordering and wearing one of these fantastic Tshirts. They are bold and beautiful and certainly send the message that people are fed up with the decimation of African
elephants for the sake of ivory baubles and carvings. The message is provocative and purposeful. We hope that when you wear it proudly you will turn some heads and start some minds to thinking.
Big Life Foundation
Time and again we are happy to arrange lectures and discussions at the Kenyan border with Richard Bonham and his team. Together we discuss the conflicts between humans and wildlife, and the projects that should protect both the Maasai and our environment. Enjoy a lecture in the bush.
280 US$ p.P. (thereof: 250 US$ will go to Big Life Foundation, 30 US$ for transport and delivery device MomellaFoundation)
Your donations will be invested in the following:
- Hidden camera for capturing operations and arrests for evidence
- Salary and upkeep of one ranger for one month as well as the equipment (e.g. ruck-sack, sleeping bag, GPS, uniforms)
- Allowing the Super Cub plane in Kenya in the air to monitor wildlife and look for poaching activity
- Hand-held Radio for rangers to communicate while on patrol
- Fuel costs for the vehiclesfor patrols and positioning rangers
- Costs of maintaining an informer network in both countries
- One lightweight mobile camping unit that will enable the anti-poaching teams to provide a presence in areas further from established ranger posts
- One year’s salary and training of a squad of 8 anti-poaching scouts, each with equipment for patrols including handheld radios, uniforms, binoculars, GPS and cameras.
Big Cat Guardian Project
Well roared, lion! – How long will lions still roar? In 26 countries lions are already extinct. In the first newsletter in 2013 we wrote a promising announcement that trained Maasai would protect the lions in the Maasai steppe. Unfortunately these Big Cat Guardians are systematically casted out of the Tanzanian Corridor of Amboseli. Appalled by this, we started searching for an adequate alternative as quickly as possible to ensure the survival of the lions and at the same time protect the Maasai.
Two important aspects of the project are: the protection of the Maasai Bomas by nightly exterior lighting which should hold the lions off attacking the Bomas, and financial compensation in case of a loss of cattle caused by lions.
Hereby the full price is refunded if the Maasai took reasonable precautions. If cattle got lost or forgotten in the bush, only 50% are reimbursed and, in case of a blemished Boma, only 30%. With solar lamps and living fences, the settlement of the Maasai would be protected and prevent the lions from attacking the livestock.
A living fence consists of Commiphora trees which are fast growing, dense and never need to be replaced. For the realisation of this project we need your help. The solar lights have proven to be very effective in testing phases. Also the rate of destruction is very low. These environmentally-friendly and unique methods do justice to both – the Maasai and the wild animals.
|Living fence once USD 500||Solarlamps installation for a Boma USD 300
|No penalties||Lost in bush||Bad bomas|
|Cow||USD 375||USD 187||USD 112|
|Donkey||USD 125||USD 62||USD 37|
|Goat||USD 75||USD 37||USD 22|
Despite various efforts to increase the level of educationat state institutions, Tanzania suffers from a shortage of accessible, free, high-quality educational opportunities. This especially affects the rural areas; for example the Momella region. The lack of financial resources allows only 50% of the students to finish a primary school education and less than 3 % to finish secondary school. WatotoMomella gives the children of Momella the otherwise very unlikely chance to excel at the best educational institutions in the area. By doing this we hope to strengthen the community by supporting the future leaders of Momella. In this way we want to strengthen the community by encouraging the future leaders of Momella. We do not just want to offer a high level of education to the children from which they can benefit, but it is as important to us that they understand the moral principle of this all, which is that the easiest solution is not always the right one.
The WatotoMomella Preschool was opened on 29th August for the village. Since the opening, the children could enjoy a classroom full of life and joy and could develop a spiritual openness whilst receiving the constant necessary support. WatotoMomella uses the curriculum which follows the teachings of Maria Montessori and we received the equipment through generous donations. After preschool, the children have the opportunity to attend the secondary school Ngorika. Through merging with the Nariva Academy, we have also come one step further. In the end, the goal is to place the responsibility back in Tanzanian hands. The Nariva Academy was founded by a Tanzanian and is led by Tanzanians. The children receive a unique opportunity of an excellent education in a school that is managed by locals. This is the first movement towards independence and sustainability. Thus, a whole generation is now growing up, which in turn, can later provide the young ones a good start in life.
Now the students from the WatotoMomella Preschool and Ngorika are going to the same school.
Currently, 51 children (aged 3– 6) are being taught at the Nariva Academy. The children are all from Momella, the small village on the outskirts of Arusha National Park. Many of the children belong to employees of Hatari Lodge. These have the highest priority for inclusion in the WatotoMomella sponsorship program. In addition orphans benefit from preferential admission to our school as well.
We aim at creating a large social and economic network responsible for training and employing those who are native to Momella at Hatari Lodge.
Would you like to support our efforts to protect the flora and fauna of Tanzania and the improvement of sustainabilityof the local population? Every contribution, whether it be cash or a material donation, helps bring our projects a step closer to their goals and also equips the people with the knowledge and the means for permanent independent living.
Please contact us. We will send you more detailed information on request, including a list of current needs of each project. firstname.lastname@example.org