Maggie Duncan Simbeye
Maggie Simbeye knew at a young age that helping and serving others would be one of her biggest life accomplishments. As a child growing up in a middle-class family in Moshi, Tanzania, she learned the importance of lending a hand. When her parents could not afford to send their children past secondary school, Simbeye took cooking classes in order to find a job. She then became employed at the Ngurdoto Lodge, near the town of Arusha, in order to finance her younger sister's college tuition. After her sister graduated, they were both able to fund higher education for their oldest brother. During this period, Simbeye felt a passion to help the people of her community have a better life.
Realizing her own potential, Simbeye obtained approval from the principal of a tourism training school to attend classes and defer tuition until later. Concurrently, she took an evening job at a local nightclub where she met the son of the founder of Dorobo Safaris. In 2008, she began working for Dorobo, where she learned guiding skills and strategies to deal with common issues that women face. Eventually, Simbeye and her younger sister became professional tour guides, two of only five female guides in Tanzania. Their work has allowed them to be involved with many communities and gain necessary knowledge to make a difference in women's lives.
In 2012, her proposed Women's Foundation project was announced. This nonprofit organization plans to help empower the women of Tanzania by enhancing opportunities for wage earning; providing education on HIV/AIDS, birth control, and child care; and increasing awareness about the environment and tribal land rights.