and how understanding culture drives effective program design
Cows are integral to Maasai life. That is their Sweet Spot!
When you are targeting development to move people out of survival mode into prosperity you need to know what’s important to them.
If you build people up in areas that reflect their cultural values, people gain self-esteem and confidence quickly. For example, Maasai people value livestock, especially cows, but also goats and sheep. If you take a marginalized person, like a poor widow, and help her gain firmer economic ground through grants of livestock and training that enhances successful livestock keeping, she is more likely to shine quickly than teaching her to raise fish. Maasai people don’t eat fish, it is taboo in their culture and carries negative connotations. If you target interventions that address what Maasai people love - their home, their families, their livestock and their culture, you are more likely to get positive results.
Water is Life – Kenya
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