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Journey to Umoja, a safe haven for women

“Here is where women rule, they cannot come and rule us here,” says Rebecca Lolosoli, founder of the Umoja Village, an all-female matriarch community located near Kenya’s Samburu district.

Elissa Freiha visited Umoja to learn more about how the community of women came together 30 years ago to build a new life where they escaped the abuse, early marriages and lack of freedom they experienced as women of the Samburu tribe.

“This village is now a shelter where women can run. Violence, early pregnancy, early marriages, they all come here,” says Rebecca.

Despite the initial hesitation from many of the women, they have worked together over the last two decades toward the sustainability of the community, educating women and children on their rights. “Education is for all – girls and boys – let us educate both of them so that they can understand the rights of the women,” she says.

The Umoja Village is also home to a thriving community of artisan jewelry makers, and we look into their craft in Part 2 of the mini-doc on Wednesday. Stay tuned!