Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant Winner Announcement   

We’re excited to give our first international Kindness Grant. We were lucky to be able to meet up with our winner in Tanzania to learn more about him and his non-profit and personally deliver the grant money to him.

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Jackie, Simon and Ron

Simon Emmanuel Mollel (Arusha, Tanzania) is the founder of Nadumu Maasai Women’s Organization whose mission is to support and empower the women in his Maasai community of seven villages. The support includes education, health, leadership, innovation, environment and improving their standard of living. “Nadumu” is a Swahili word and loosely means “develop, maintain.”

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Simon said, “I was born in Orkeeswa Village, Monduli, Tanzania. My father has three wives and 12 children. My mother was his second wife and had three children. I am the firstborn. In 2012 my mother passed away and I continued to be raised by my stepmother.”

When asked why he started NMW, he said, “When I was growing up, I witnessed the daily challenges that women in my community face, especially my mother. She worked very hard to support her family because my father didn’t take care of us. She did not own any property. She had no rights, including decision-making, and no voice within the family.

I have also seen abuse against women in our community, including beating, early marriage, forced marriage and FGM (female genital mutilation). When I was young, I had a dream that one day I would work to support my community so I can bring back the lost happiness of our women, through improving the living standards of those who live a vulnerable life, as well as more equality and freedom for women.”

NMW has helped women start small businesses such as making beaded tablemats and raising chickens to sell their eggs at the local market. It provides guidance for investing money for long-term benefits and also set up a village community banking for the group. They’ve provided pens to 2000 children and planted 1000 trees in the community to try and reduce the devastating effects of soil erosion. They’ve also provided sanitary pads to young women and three local schools.

Simon started NMW in 2021 to support women who have the highest level of need. Members include widows, women who are raising their children alone and those who face significant challenges at home.

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Maasai Women gather under a tree to work together, share their skills and support each other.

Simon said, “Working on community projects together also provides a rare and valuable opportunity for the women to be together, share the ups and downs of life and problem-solve together.”

Simon is an amazing young man who is making a difference in the lives of not only the women but the entire village and beyond. These women set an example and are role models for future generations. The ripple rolls on and on. We are so proud to have Simon as our first international grant winner and new member of our MKRO family.

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Jackie Kurtz is a blogger who is on a mission to make the world better, one kindness at a time. When her son died tragically, she started a kindness website and blog as a tribute to him. In his 32 years he impacted more lives than most people do in a lifetime. Her favorite quote is, “Even if we disagree about everything, we can still be kind to each other.” – Matthew L. Jacobson You can connect with Jackie on her website or through email.

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