Mkuyu Guiding School believes in equal opportunities for all, but recognises that some are more disadvantaged than others. The role of women in Tanzania can be very marginalised, particularly when it comes to employment, despite there being a significant demand on widowed and orphaned women to provide for their families.
Young women are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to seeking employment in the nature tourism industry, especially if their goal is to take on traditionally male roles such as safari guide, park ranger, or even vehicle driver.
To support our female guide students, Mkuyu has recently started the Lioness Ladies Mentoring program. This program was introduced by Australian teacher and mentor Sara, and is designed to provide inspiration, motivation, and support to the young Mkuyu women in reaching for different futures.
The program involves regular discussions, self reflection and mentoring that focuses on building confidence and self-esteem, understanding respect and the right to expect respect from others, professional development support, and exchanging ideas and perspectives of women and their roles across cultures.
The mentoring program encourages the ladies to take advantage of female community members and visitors to Mkuyu by providing them with prompt questions to ask, and personal reflection activities to complete independently with guidance from Mkuyu teachers.
The Mkuyu Lioness Ladies Mentoring program is a new and developing program at the school, and we hope that it provides a strong source of support to the current and future female students. It is hoped that the past and current ladies will be able to play important roles in mentoring for future students in the program. Indeed, the program is already delivering results despite only being in its early stages. After the first series of mentoring sessions in November and December 2015, one of the Lioness Ladies - Jema - took on a paid teaching role at Mkuyu as the leader of the Watoto Bush Club. She has successfully lead and helped to develop the program, growing as a woman, person and professional. Her fellow Lioness Ladies are currently volunteering with Raleigh Tanzania and having a wonderful time expanding their horizons there. Mkuyu Guiding School is extremely proud of our lionesses! We hope that these will be the first of many success stories for the Lioness Ladies to come.
Mkuyu guide students involved in initial workshop to build the Lioness Ladies mentoring program - Maria, Janeth, Imelda and Jema. These girls are the first Lioness Guides to take part in the new mentoring program for young Mkuyu women.
Exchanging cultural ideas & perspectives of women - Mkuyu Lioness Ladies receive a personalised mentoring guide.
Lioness Ladies Mentoring