Thursday, April 23, 2015


Recently the East Africa’s Ngorongoro Marathon took place in Karatu Township racing from Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s main gate, the famous wildlife and Tourist Park in northern Tanzania, attracting students, volunteers, tourists, tour operators, artists, and celebrities, among other runners.

Organised by local tour company, ZARA Tanzania Adventures, the 21-kilometre half marathon race took place on April 19 and attracted runners from East Africa, Africa, and other parts of the world who came together for charity running in support of poor children and women living in areas neighbouring northern Tanzania’s wildlife parks.
The Coordinator of the Zara Charity, Emmanuel Gabriel explained that, the ZARA Charity’s newest project aims at making a change to the lives of the Maasai women in Karatu. 

“The  Ngorongoro Marathon is primarily organised to support the community in different ways entitled “Run for Charity,” adding that the event is among a unique community-themed, multi-cultural series of events designed with entertainment packages including, but not limited to, adventure safaris, open festivals, overnight carnivals, football matches, stage performances, and a red-carpet award ceremony. The marathon is also being organised to promote tourism with a priority to support the Maasai communities through education and health.
He said great improvements have been made in the education of Maasai men, the women are poorly lacking behind, due to their burden of a traditional inferior role within their community.
Therefore, Zara Charity wants to build a Maasai Women’s Vocational Training Educational Centre in the highlands of Karatu. “Certain skills can help these women to rise above their restricted positions in society and to grant their family a better living by establishing their own business or getting employed. Eventually, they can realise their full potential and be empowered to pursue their own dreams and ideals,” he explained.
Registered as the Ngorongoro Marathon Project, ZARA Tanzania Adventures aims at raising funds to support the Maasai women so as to liberate them from their traditional beliefs, which is based on oppression, exploitation, and elimination of women within their society. In order to improve this situation and to help the Maasai women in Karatu and Ngorongoro localities, the company, through ZARA Charity, plans to build an educational training centre at the area.

Over 5,000 athletes from nearly 40 countries competed in the race under the banner of tourism promotion and charity initiatives to support the poor communities.
Rwanda and Burundi were the first countries to register their participation in this year's Ngorongoro Marathon. The athletes competed in a 21-kilometre Half-Marathon, 5-kilometre race, and 2.5-kilometre run for primary and secondary school pupils and students.

The guest of honour during prize giving ceremony at the 2015-Ngorongoro Marathon-Run for Charity, former Prime Minister, Fredrick Sumaye commended Zara’s efforts for supporting vulnerable groups in our community.

“The government recommends the role played by ZARA Tanzania Adventures through its charitable organisation-Zara Charity in the promoting the domestic tourism as well as promoting sustainable education for the pastoralists’ kids who normally shift from one place to another with cattle, searching for the pastures, “ he explained.
However, Sumaye advised Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCCA) to engage fully in the Ngorongoro marathon initiated by Zara charity so long the name of the race is their ‘brand name.’

For her part, Chief Executive Officer of the ZARA Tanzania Adventures, Zainab Ansell explained that, her organisation started its community education project for the marginalised pupils in Ngorongoro after realising that many young Maasai girls and boys in Endulen Ward had no access to nursery school and they were forced to walk more than 10 kilometres for pre-school studies.
“In 2013, we carried a study at Endulen Ward and we learnt that there was no single nursery school for the kids. So, Zara Charity in collaboration with our partners started constructing a modern nursery school for the pastoralists’ kids in Endulen Ward worth over 140 m/-.” 
 Ansell further explained by understanding the importance of nursery education to the kids for the sustainable education, ZARA Tanzania Adventures (ZARA Tours), under its charitable trust called Zara Charity in collaboration with other stakeholders for the eighth year in a row, have being sponsoring the Ngorongoro Half Marathon-dubbed the Run for Charity, aiming at raising awareness on the importance of helping the needy in the community as well as promoting local tourism.

Zara Charity is an NGO (non-government organisation) founded by Zainab Ansell and Roger Ansell was established on June 15, 2009 under the non-government organisation act 2002 section 12(2) of act no 24. From its beginnings, Zara Charity has supported vulnerable groups in our community. 
Established as a brainchild of ZARA Tanzania Adventure and ZARA Charity, the Ngorongoro Marathon has so far attracted runners from Kenya and Rwanda, apart from Tanzania.
One of its roles is to enhance community economic development by supporting vulnerable groups in our community. Its vision is to unite the long term volunteers from across the world with various projects supported by Zara Charity. 

To ensure local community development and sustainability and support disadvantaged groups within the community such as women, orphans, and poor people by proving them basic needs such as food, Shelter education.  The following are projects supported by Zara Charity:  Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society,  Ngorongoro Marathon Project,   Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre, Maasai Women Group.

Other government official at the event included the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Felix Ntibenda, President of Athletics Association of Tanzania, Anthony Mtaka, among many others.