Help inform a million Maasai how to fight COVID-19

by Bernie Jones in Tanzania

Help inform a million Maasai how to fight COVID-19

Total raised £1,023

raised so far

+ est. £212.00 Gift Aid



We want to help Maasai communities inform and protect themselves from COVID, by funding community radio broadcasts in their language, Maa.

by Bernie Jones in Tanzania

We're still collecting donations

On the 28th April 2020 we'd raised £123 with 3 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is frightening enough for all of us in the UK, with our great NHS to look after us. But for the Smart Villages team, it is the thought of what the virus could do in poor rural communities in Tanzania, who have no access to healthcare facilities, that is truly terrifying.

Reliable Information

One of the biggest concerns of people in Tanzania is the lack of information about the spread of the COVID on a day-to-day basis, and the lack of information on how to best to protect themselves, their families and communities, and what precautions to take.

Our partners Orkenerei FM are the only community radio station broadcasting in Maa, the language of the Maasai people living in northern Tanzania. Most of the station's audience of more than 1.5 million do not speak any other language. But government information on COVID, when it is made available, is only in Swahili and English, which they do not understand.

Community Radio

Our team has been working in the Maasai region for several years on integrated development projects, like bringing electricity to remote villages, incubating entrepreneurial local businesses and helping communities access safe drinking water more reliably. We know for ourselves the power and influence of the radio station for people in a 100km radius of the village of Terat, where it is based. We even helped rewire the station three months ago to make it run more efficiently off the diesel generator they use.

Now more than ever, the radio station may be - quite literally - a lifeline to people who have no other way of accessing up-to-date, accurate public health information in a language they can understand, and be able to discuss their concerns, their questions and their fears with experts who understand them and their culture. Otherwise they will have nothing more than hearsay and word-of-mouth to rely on.

Staying On-Air

But the pandemic, and growing movement restrictions, are making it harder than ever for the radio station to sell the advertising on which it depends. Without the ad sales, they cannot afford the diesel to keep the generator running. We feel very strongly that, to help the Maasai population through this pandemic, it is essential that the radio station remain on air.

We have already donated several weeks of fuel to them ourselves. But now we are trying to raise the funds for 4 months of fuel and maintenance for their generator, to guarantee the radio can remain on-air throughout this frightening period.

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.


This project offered rewards

£75 or more

Radio Station Sponsor of the Day

£75 pays for a day's fuel for the radio station. Donate £75 today and we'll make you the sponsor of the radio station for a day, and you'll be credited throughout the day by the programme hosts and DJs... We'll even send you an audio clip, recorded live on air that day!

£10 or more

£10 Donation

Spare us a tenner to help poor communities in Tanzania get through whatever COVID-19 sends their way.

£25 or more

£25 Donation

Donate £25 and we'll email you a postcard from Terat, telling you what we've been able to do with your generosity.

£225 or more

Mini Interview

Make a donation of £225 today and we'll not only reward you by making you a sponsor of the day, but Orkonerei FM staff will interview you about why you wanted to help them, and how COVID-19 is affecting you, and will broadcast the interview, creating mutual understanding and feeling of tackling a shared challenge between you and the community in Tanzania.

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