A Story of Unity

In 1990, 15 women who were allegedly raped by British military personnel who train in the area, and then suffered further abuse from violent husbands, abandoned their homes and started the village of Umoja (meaning ‘unity’ in Kiswahili), just outside Archer’s Post. They hoped to survive together by producing and selling traditional Samburu jewellery to tourists. It all proved rather successful and Umoja thrived, even opening a campground a few years later. Boosted by its success, dozens more women left unhappy situations and now call the women-only village home.

At first, things weren’t quite perfect in this female paradise and the success of Umoja spawned jealousy and even reports of violence directed at Umoja from local men. Today, things have calmed down considerably and there are few such problems.