lias Morindat, from Tanzania, gave an overview of the development of this country since 1961
Alias Morindat, from Tanzania, gave an overview of the development of this country since 1961 when Tanzania became independent up until the present time. His talk focused primarily on the Masai, a group of indigenous people, who have been systematically neglected by the government. He recounted the efforts that were necessary to establish a vibrant and thriving community amongst the Masai through collective action.
Tanzania was one of the first countries in Africa to obtain their independence from Britain without any form of violent revolution. Since gaining their independence, Tanzania has become more developed and enjoys some degree of economic stability.
One group of people within the country, the Masai, living in the Serengeti desert, were left out of the advances and improvements in living conditions that came with independence. Despite infrastructure improvements throughout the rest of the country, people living in the Maasai territories received no schools, no roads, no other facilities, no other infrastructure such as water or electricity. In fact, they were treated as a nuisance population and their children were sent to boarding schools, depriving them of their cultural heritage. Alais was taken a boarding school at age 6. He ultimately met friends from the United States and Ireland who convinced him that a better education could be obtained abroad. They helped him achieve entrance to undergraduate school in Dublin where he completed the degree and went on to get a Masters degree in economic development.
After school he returned to Tanzania to help his people, the Masai. The Masai have three pillars to their society. This includes the natural resources including grass, water, trees and mountains.. It also includes the livestock that the people raise, namely cattle, goats, sheep and other farm animals. The third pillar supporting their culture is the people themselves and their traditions. These were all in danger of being taken away from them as economic progress developed.
With the help of the Global Partners For Development he has helped them to regain these resources that have been lost. The Masai are no longer so marginalized as they have been in the past, are beginning to regain their voice and are not subjected to the extreme degree of manipulation that came their way in the past.
He gave a telling story of his father telling him what it takes to survive. His father said that there is always pain, frustration, anxiety, worry and fear in life. You can accept that or you can die. In order to survive you must turn all of those feelings into love and through that develop a sense of happiness. Whereas in the past each of those feelings suggested loss of power, by turning them into love and happiness new opportunities are presented. One must open one’s eyes and move ahead.
Having the entire population share in this collaborative outlook that has allowed the Maasai people to regain some of their stature and place in society and to have some security that their way of life will be maintained. Much of this has come about with the help of the Global Partnership For Development funding and assistance.