top of page

OBSM health during covid-19

OBSM-Sandra-student smiling in play area




PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

We are prioritizing the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff, students, and volunteers during these trying times. we appreciate your concern and support.

donate here:

We are so grateful. In Swahili, we’d say: “pamoja tunaweza,” for “together, we can.”


Your donation helps us with our critical responsibility to help our community feel confident that our students and staff will continue to receive the academic support, salary, and health information they need.

Truthfully, we need your support now more than ever. If you are able to help OBSM during this critical time, please donate today. We will be providing ongoing updates on the page as well, and you can sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page.

Asante sana, ashe naleng, thank you very much. Afya njema. Be well.

OBSM-Sandra-student with one love balloo
PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

updates during the covid-19 pandemic

OBSM #GivingTuesdayNow

for COVID-19 Response

Monday, 05 March

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity, an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. GivingTuesday announced it will be on May 5, 2020.

The O'Brien School for the Maasai remains closed due to the pandemic (see bottom for info on Tanzania), but we are dedicated to the wellbeing, health, and safety of our students, staff, and community. We continue to pay our staff's salaries. We rely on our incredible changemakers (alumni) to disseminate, at a distance, key information about the virus. We have taught and deployed a group to build tippy tap handwashing stations. We are working hard from afar to identify ways to work through the current situation and prepare for a new normal. All of this preparedness and response work that we're doing now will strengthen our organization and village to better deal with future public health and natural disasters, like the devastating floods or dust storms that the village often endures.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how truly global this world is. We hope to unite to prevent and respond together. We will continue to share best practices and information with our partner organizations, and all the work we will do is to improve our school's operational sustainability. That being said, we cannot simply rely on the resilience of our students, staff, school, and village. We need your help to respond and strengthen now.

Please, if you are able, donate today. Share our story, and bring others into our circle of supporters. Donate here: 

Thank you! Ashe! Asante!
Stay healthy! Afya njema!

In case you’re interested: Tanzania not only has the largest number of reported cases in East Africa, but the growth rate of infection is also very high and cases are likely underreported. Although it's spreading quickly and schools, tourism, and large gatherings have been shut down, the President of Tanzania has unfortunately been in the spotlight for poor communication and mismanagement of the pandemic. Tanzanians across the large country are suffering and often left in the dark or confused by the mixed signals. Our OBSM family is taking it seriously, but social distancing is nearly impossible due to their living conditions. The health system is ill-prepared, and there is a severe shortage of PPE, cleaning agents, and clean water in our area. If you’re willing and able, please considering donating today.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Letter from the board:

our response to covid-19

Saturday, 21 March

12:00 pm CST

Dear Friends of The O’Brien School for the Maasai:


Along with the staff, students, community leaders, and volunteers in Tanzania and our dedicated donors like each one of you, we, the Board of Directors, have been working hard to continue to be a top, English-medium primary school for deserving and hardworking children in Sanya Station, Tanzania.

When Kellie O'Brien and few volunteers visited campus recently, they saw our strategic priorities in full swing and the arrival of our container full of crucial and incredibly useful goods for the school. We completed some improvements to our school grounds, strengthened our partnerships with local organizations, improved upon our child protection policies, and continued to support our teaching staff and students. 

Many of these efforts were put on hold last weekend when we initiated our plan for the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, and volunteers. On Monday, March 16, the first case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was confirmed in Tanzania. Out of an abundance of caution, on Tuesday, March 17, the Government of Tanzania directed all public and private nursery and primary schools. Universities closed the next day. Please note: as of today, March 21st, we are not aware of any presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sanya Station Village.

At OBSM, our extraordinary volunteers, Navy and Katie, and our amazing staff helped the students prepare for closure and, importantly, be reminded of the importance of practicing everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness. The students were dismissed with accurate, informational, and easy-to-use flyers about the novel coronavirus in English and Swahili so they can disseminate information to their families and neighbors. The students were allowed to take home textbooks and notebooks, and we are working with teachers to find a way for them to continue some studies at home. They are adaptable, creative, and resilient! We will keep in close touch with our staff for updates on the situation and support them and the students during this dynamic and rapidly evolving time. Secondary schools in Tanzania have also closed. We will be checking in with OBSM alumni and will engage them to maintain accuracy in community health messaging. 

These are unprecedented times and we would like to express our gratitude for our entire O’Brien School for the Maasai family. We will continue to pay salaries to our cleaners, cooks, security guards, gardeners, teachers, and administrative staff because we’re confident they will be working just as hard to keep our students, families, and communities safe. We would also like to thank all healthcare workers and sanitation staff on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic who put their own well-being at risk every day to care for others. 

We’re also incredibly grateful for all of you. Despite your own worries and challenges, just by reading and supporting us, you are able to recognize that we are all in this together. In Swahili, we say “pamoja tunaweza,” for “together, we can.” Truthfully, we need your support now more than ever. If you are willing and able to help OBSM during this critical time please donate below. We have a responsibility to help our community feel safe and confident that our students and staff will continue to receive the financial and academic support they need. This will only be possible with assistance from financial supporters like you.

If you’d like more frequent updates, please visit our special website page on health during COVID-19 or our Facebook page. We’ll be updating both throughout the coming weeks.

Be well. Afya njema.


Kellie O’Brien and the O’Brien School for the Maasai Board of Directors

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

This has the potential to significantly impact the village, and we are asking all of our supporters to consider making a donation to support efforts at the school.

This has the potential to significantly impact the village, and we are asking all of our supporters to consider making a donation to support efforts at the school.

OR SEND A check:

Checks can be made payable to

"The O'Brien School for the Maasai"

and mailed to:


527 West Maple Street

Hinsdale, IL 60521

Please note, this address is for DONATIONS only. For all other mail, please e-mail us at for the appropriate address.

OBSM-Sandra-student writing at desk.jpg


Your donation will directly benefit the O'Brien School for the Maasai.

100% of each donation goes directly to the school.

The O'Brien School for the Maasai is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

All donations are tax-deductible. 

bottom of page