New title from Macmillan offers a unique insight into the struggle of six Maasai girls to gain an education against the traditions of their families and culture.
The Emusoi Centre in Tanzania is a centre for young Maasai women - 'Emusoi' is a Maasai word meaning 'Discovery/Awareness/Realisation.
Emusoi follows the stories of six very determined Maasai girls who, with the help of the Emusoi Centre, struggle against the traditions of their families and communities in order to get an education.
You can now listen to an interview with Naha and Esupat and Kasia (the author of the book) at http://bfkbooks.com/interviews/kasia-parham-naha-esupat-on-emusoi
The Emusoi stories are also a testament to the vision, courage and determination of this group of exceptional young women. Each one realised the importance of going to school - not only for herself, but for the future survival of her family and community. Coming from a culture where formal education of females was perceived as a threat, the Emusoi girls had to fight for their schooling. Even when their struggle led to division and heartbreak within families and communities, they refused to give up.
On a deeper level, the book offers a unique insight into the dilemma facing the Maasai today: the tension between tradition and progress, between preserving the past and adapting for the future. The Maasai are an endangered people. If they do not adapt to the modern world, their culture will die. Adapt too far, and their culture will die anyway. The Emusoi girls are at the very centre of the dilemma. They are torn between their conviction that the survival of their people depends on them going to school and their deep loyalty to a culture that does not traditionally have formal education.
Emusoi follows on from the success of Dogodogo: Tanzanian street children tell their stories, with a Foreword by Cherie Blair (9780230722125). The excellent work of these sister projects has long been recognised by prominent individuals, companies, organisations and embassies from around the world, with (then) President George W. Bush and Mrs Laura Bush choosing to visit the Emusoi Centre while on tour in Tanzania in 2008.
For more information on the work of the Emusoi Centre, please visit: www.emusoicentre.co.tz
Praise for Dogodogo: Tanzanian street children tell their stories:
‘The Dogodogo centre for street children in Dar es Salaam is an inspiring story of how Tanzanian street children find refuge then love and fellowship. The children - or eight of them - have written up their stories in Dogodogo: Tanzanian street children tell their stories (funded by UNICEF). Royalties go to the centre. The aim is to find schools to twin with in the UK and elsewhere. I hope it strikes a chord for the new year.'
‘"It left a deep impression on me" said Cherie Blair, the wife of the former British Prime Minister, in a Foreword she has written to a new book entitled Dogodogo - Tanzanian street children tell their stories. "I was struck by the dedication and warmth of the American Sister Jean Pruitt, who established the Dogodogo Centre in Dar es Salaam which provides a haven for boys rescued from the street" Cherie Blair said. The result of all this work is a highly readable book which explains in moving language the extraordinary and often very sad stories of their lives so far.‘
Published in association with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with a Foreword by Minister of State at the DFID Gareth Thomas
Published in paperback by Macmillan, October 2009, £7.50
English edition: 9789987373529 | Kiswahili edition: 9789987373550