Basecamp Explorer Kenya alongside millions of people around the world celebrates the International Women’s Day which for over 100 years has recognized women’s achievements all over the world. In Masai Mara, Basecamp supports the advancement of the local Maasai women by providing them with opportunities that transform their lives.
For the Basecamp Maasai Brand (BMB) women, the International Women’s Day emphasizes their accomplishment highlighting the significant change in their lives. Over the past 15 years, BMB, a fair-trade community based economic enterprise, has empowered the Maasai women in the Talek community providing them with financial independence through the selling of their traditional beadwork.
This initiative supports 158 local Maasai women providing them with an opportunity to care for themselves, their families and their community. It is evident today that women’s empowerment has a positive ripple effect on families, communities, and cultures. This includes women’s economic empowerment, meaning women’s ability to participate as equals in the marketplace and household with decision-making power and control over economic resources. This is not different in Masai Mara.
BMB aims to build a retail outlet with workspace for the Maasai women and provide them with entrepreneurial training thus allowing them to create better quality items, in turn, earning them a higher income. BMB as a Fair Trade Certified business ensures the women receive 55% of the sales proceeds and the remaining 45% covers management costs and buys materials. This reduces the gender equality gap and empowers the women and girls, a goal that is echoed in Basecamp’s sustainable development projects and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Apart from creating gender equality through the Basecamp Maasai Brand, Basecamp also supports Koiyaki Guiding School a capacity building institution providing full scholarships to the female students. This helps increase the number of qualified female guides available for gainful employment thus reducing the gender gap. Basecamp endeavors to employ more female employees and 30 percent of all new employees are expected to be females.
The International Women’s Day is a compelling time to create awareness on the power of impactful tourism and to highlight the tireless and artistic efforts of the local Maasai women. Guests on safari with Basecamp can meet and interact with these women and learn more about their daily lives and artistic efforts.