Alakra helps young Tanzanian women to take control of their lives through education and skills training so that they can attain jobs or start their own businesses.
The organisation was founded by Tim Corfield a Royal African Partner based in Arusha.
Alakra also supports young people whose parents work in wildlife conservation, but its focus is on helping young women. Alakra finances secondary schooling and skills training courses to help them secure jobs or start their own businesses. It also provides accommodation and food in Arusha for students from families who live in remote areas, so that they can attend high school. Alakra has supported many girls that have run away from forced arranged marriages, including Salome and Helen.
Salome was born into a Maasai family as the last of 8 children. Her father passed away when she was still at primary school. Her mother had nothing: no livestock or land, but she was incredibly resourceful. She traded tobacco, beer, and anything she else she could find at the Maasai markets to make money to raise her eight children. Salome went to primary school – her mother insisted on it. However, as is the custom in Maasai culture, Salome’s mother married her daughters off in return for livestock. When Salome was 13, she was betrothed to an older man in the village. As she had seen with her elder sisters, marriage would mean she could no longer go to school, but Salome was determined to finish school. So she ran away in the dark with the few shillings she had been given in advance by her mother as a gift to start her new life with her husband (or maybe her mother had an inkling of Salome’s secret intentions to flee).
After a long struggle, including being forced back to her village, running away a second time, and walking endlessly from place to place in desperate bids for security, she eventually found her way to her uncle in Arusha, where he works as a security guard for Tim. Her uncle was unsympathetic. Destitute, and with forced marriage looming for the 3rd time, Salome approached Tim for help to finish her schooling. She is part of the reason Tim founded Alakra. With Alakra’s support, she completed secondary school and received a diploma in Hotel and Hospitality management. She now works for Tim‘s company doing purchasing and general management assistance. She is also a mentor to the girls that are helped by Alakra. She dreams of one day being a part of the greater hospitality industry in Tanzania, but above all of being able to help support her mother more.
With Alakra’s help, this destitute but strong-willed girl has turned into a confident young adult who can forge her own path. Her story is an inspiration.
Helen’s mother died when she was very young, and she struggled with severe tuberculosis as a child. After her tuberculosis was treated, she ran away from home because she, like her childhood friend Salome, wanted to finish school and not be married off. With Alakra’s help, she enrolled in secondary school and graduated with good marks. She is now at a government teaching college near Arusha. Helen loves her course work and will graduate in two years. Life as a young graduate teacher can be very challenging in Tanzania with low wages and poor conditions. Still, a job is assured, and with Tim and Alakra behind her, she will continue to succeed.
Currently, Alakra is supporting 26 students and it hopes to support more.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to Alakra for your part in helping these young people achieve their dreams
If you would like to donate to this project please click here.
Your donation to our registered 501(c)(3) organisation is tax-deductible as provided by law.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about this project.
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