OEA is committed to the creation of innovative and environmentally sustainable income generation opportunities for local communities. With the collaboration of national and international partners, the organization has started two very successful initiatives.
1. Mkuru Camel Safari Cultural Tourism Programme. Tourism is crucial source of income in Tanzania. However, populations living in remote areas can hardly access to this growing market. Istituto Oikos and Oikos East Africa have supported the people of Mkuru in the creation of a small-scale cultural tourism programme in the Northern slopes of Mount Meru, which is now a community owned and independently run enterprise, under the umbrella of Tanzania Tourism Board. (www.mkurucamelsafari.com)
2. Tanzania Maasai Women Art. Amongst the pastoralists Maasai people, as in many developing cultures, women empowerment is a very delicate issue: women traditionally do not own land or homes and have very little rights over finance. To contribute to the family budget and have little economic power they often revert to unsustainable businesses such as charcoal production. Tanzanian Maasai Women Art (TMWA) started in 2006 as a project implemented by Istituto Oikos, in partnership with Oikos East Africa and the European Institute of Design of Milan (IED), with the aim to integrate the great artistic skills of Maasai women with the international ethnic jewelry market. Today, TMWA is a very successful and independent non-profit enterprise which works with more than 180 women, giving them an ethical and sustainable income. (www.tanzaniamaasaiwomenart.com)