Maringe Parkinpuny

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Lazaro Moringe Parkipuny was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Moringe realizes that this century of promise for democracy and good governance provides the optimal environment for minority groups to move forward, and that a democratic, gender-balanced, and dynamic pastoral civil society movement is the key solution to the problems facing the Maasai. For Moringe, critical to this movement is a transformation in the education system at all levels—one that breaks the downward spiral of marginalization and instills the ability and confidence of the Maasai to begin fighting for their own plight and assimilation.
For Moringe, the survival and protection of the Maasai requires an educational system that will deliver top-quality education to Maasai school children, enabling the group to develop a strong professional team of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and other experts. He has therefore set up a community school (the first of its kind in Africa, and the first of a network he envisions) with 50 percent girls and 50 percent boys, 80 percent of which are Maasai. On top of carrying out the usual Tanzanian education activities, these children are taught the original Maasai ways of living, including communal land ownership, cultural dress, and a lifestyle based in their original homesteads rather than in urban areas.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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