Maasai Shine is a community-based organization run by Tanzanians based in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Maasai Shine aims to improve life for area Maasai in areas ranging from education to business opportunities.
Maasai Shine is run by local people who know firsthand what their communities need, striving to achieve the social and economic improvement of their people while maintaining cultural traditions. We’re proud to support a Maasai-run program that serves the community directly based on their needs and wants.
Mbekure Metemi is a key player in Maasai Shine’s operations. He ensures MS’s programs meet community needs and are a fit with Maasai values, culture, and way of life.
Recognizing his potential after he completed his secondary schooling, education officials and friends encouraged Mbekure to pursue rural and wildlife management.
But he had long known he aimed instead to help his fellow Maasai.
“It was my feeling from my heart to study community development,” Mbekure says, of his decision to study at an institute in Ruaha and then to start a machine business. He is currently in school bolstering his business and development skills.
He has been working with MP and other NGOs working in the area and believes current and former programs have concretely improved life for the people of Alailelai.
“Women are now able to do business and acquire basic needs for their children without asking their husbands. We are already elevating people out of poverty,” he says.
Mbekure also values Maasai Partners’ (MP) role in education. Through MP programs, local students receive scholarships, accessing education they could not afford otherwise.
Mbekure has recently transitioned to splitting his time between his home village of Alchaniomelock, juggling MS oversight, family and livestock responsibilities, and the village of Karatu, where his children attend school. In order to give his own three children a better life, he explains, he has chosen to take only one wife. Mbekure understands the crucial value of education, which is why he has ensured his children are attending the area’s best facility.
Rather than keep all his earnings to himself, Mbekure shares his resources to improve the lives of fellow villagers. He bought large cisterns for water collection for his entire boma, or homestead, giving full and free access to neighbors.
Mbekure says he sees his own impact on his society and will continue to work to help fellow Maasai better themselves and get their “piece of the cake.”
“I need to be very sincere with my community and to donors who give money to help my community. We still have many problems, but I want to make sure that the people can get what they need.”