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Call the Midwife is a charitable organisation that supports Maasai people in a group of rural villages in Tanzania. Our mission is to work in partnership with the villagers to enable everyone within the community to live with dignity, healthcare provision and self-sufficient, sustainable methods of income.

A traditional source of income

Call the Midwife has introduced a RENT A COW scheme to give villagers, particularly women, the dignity to provide for their families.

From a young age, children can instinctively look after cattle. You may just see the young boy in red herding the cattle from under the baobab tree.

The Maasai way of life is supported by income from their cattle. When cattle die during long periods of drought, so too does a person's way of supporting themselves. 

Maasai women are a marginalised group who generally work very hard, but all wealth is owned by the men. Research shows though that when women do have money, they spend it on the family's health and welfare. The women also know how to look after cattle.

Call the Midwife Tanzania has introduced a RENT A COW scheme to give villagers, particularly women, the dignity to provide for their families

Call the Midwife Tanzania has bought 15 cattle and is 'renting'  them out on a two year hire-purchase agreement. Women will tend and milk their rented cow and form a co-operative to make and sell butter, cream and yogurt at a good profit. Through a corresponding savings scheme, the women pay the 'rent' and save for the season when the milk yields drop, as well as having money for daily food. After two years, they will own the first cow and any calves. The rent money will be used to buy more cows for women on a waiting list. This keeps the project sustainable and open to all women with young children who are willing to invest in their children's futures. 

This scheme is open to women only to give them a way to provide for themselves and their children.  It is literally a foreign concept for a woman to own anything, but one that is being embraced. For centuries, cattle have always belonged to men, making women particularly vulnerable if their husband passes away or leaves.  Timothy has also taken steps to protect the cattle from being taken away from them by men. The women will be putting their takings into a savings bank so that it is out of reach from others. 

To be eligible for membership, the women need to:

  1. Have young children and be prepared to save and pay secondary school fees in the future. 
  2. .Join and be an active member of a savings group and willing to learn to budget well.
  3. Pay a regular sum which after two years will cover the cost of the cow. After two years, the woman will own the cow and any calves. The woman must cover all essential feeding and vet bills. 
  4. Understand that the 'rent' money collected will pay for other cows for women on a waiting list.

The first group currently consists of 15 women who know how to care for cattle. The plan is that they will teach their skills to future group members. Women are good at working together, particularly as sometimes two or three are married to the same husband.

If you might be interested in funding a cow for a Maasai woman to rent, we would love to hear from you. Contact us here.