Rick Morro founded the Maasai Girls Rescue Center in Tanzania in 2012. At the time, he was a retired businessman, an engineer, with a comfortable life in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. A search for meaning led him to a Scottsdale church doing outreach in Tanzania, land of safaris, exotic animals and international adventure travel. When Rick visited, he found all those wonders, but he also witnessed poverty and hardship among the Maasai people. The plight of the girls was especially profound. “I knew this was where God wanted me to be,” Rick said. And so he moved halfway around the world.
Rick has worked diligently since then to support girls who come to the center through local social welfare officials and family members. Some girls are orphaned, some abused, some are runaways from forced marriages to much older men. Most are starving and without healthcare, and many have been subjected to a tribal custom of genital mutilation that has been outlawed but is still practiced.
Rick’s initial goal was to provide safe haven, operating for nearly a decade at an abandoned hostel in Longido. In early 2021, Rick, the girls and the staff moved to Karatu, where a permanent ecoVillage is under construction on 15 acres owned by the center. There, Rick does it all – as a leader, builder, engineer, farmer, father figure, fix-it man and diplomat.
“Why do I do this? The answer is simple: I found what I was looking for,” Rick said. “I am more fulfilled than I have ever been in my life. We are planting the seeds for future generations of these girls.”