Kenya Masai Community Project
Exodus have been organising wildlife safaris to the Mara for many years. The owners of the tented camp at Kicheche, where our clients stay, are passionate about improving the lives of the local population, and have several ongoing projects that Exodus, in conjunction with local NGO, Kicheche Community Trust, help support.
Exodus is currently working to highlight the issue of FGM:
Since 2008, UK and Kenyan charity, S.A.F.E., has been working with the remote Maasai community of the Loitta Hills, South-west Kenya, to help them abolish the ancient practice of female circumcision. The aim of this project is to embed lasting and welcomed change in this community, in order to create a sustainable end to this form of violence against adolescent girls.
The programme starts with public performances of traditional Maasai songs updated to promote FGC abandonment and these are followed up with in-depth education of key adult and youth community members. This programme has already had an impact on the Loitta Hills community from one in which 98% of adolescent girls are circumcised to one in which approximately 20% of girls now graduate to womanhood by receiving an Alternative Rite of Practice (ARP), ie: without being cut.
Exodus supported 2 road shows in 2013 to enable S.A.F.E.to carry out a pilot programme in the Mara. In July 2014, with monies raised from an Exodus fundraising event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, S.A.F.E. took an extended tour of anti-FGC performances into the Maasai Mara, visiting Aitong (where Kicheche is situated) and surrounding villages.
Biggest achievement to date
One of the camp owners has worked for Exodus for eighteen years, and it was he who brought to our attention the plight of the local school at Aitong. As it was not recognised by the government it was without funds, apart from those raised from school fees. Since then a substantial amount of money has been raised, which has meant that in effect the whole school has been rebuilt with proper foundations for two new classrooms, a staff room, perimeter fence, ablution block and water tank. The two new classrooms mean that the 70 students have now been split into two classes. We were also able to help appoint a headmaster with the salary paid for out of the funds raised.
We are currently paying a bursary for one of the teachers, Samuel Nampasso, to attend University and he is due to gain his degree this year.
• We have provided an additional classroom at Olkimitare Nursery School as well as paying for the ongoing expenses of the headteacher, providing further training for the teachers, as well as essential repairs and maintenance, including improved toilet facilities. Fundraising efforts have also enabled the provision of teachers’ desks, books, stationery and benches.
• At Balanites School we have provided further education for the teachers, office furniture , books, water tanks and guttering as well as new toilets and some kitchen equipment.
• At the CMF Aitong Health Clinic we have added to equipment provided previously for the maternity ward and dental equipment, by providing a dentists chair as well as a regular supply of essential drugs. The clinic also has improved electricity now though having solar panels. And in November 2013, the Trust organised a dental clinic, funded by ourselves.
• The Mara Discovery Centre and Tree Nursery is a community project, and we support its main activities of traditional bead working, keeping bees for honey, planting a tree nursery and instigating a local clean up programme. More recently we have paid for a printer/scanner so that the staff don’t have to travel 2 hours to the nearest facilities in Narok.
• We also pay for school bursaries – and are currently supporting 11 children with their secondary education, providing opportunities which would otherwise be hard to come by.
• Thanks to funds raised at a ‘Mara Watch’ event, a number of predator proof bomas made of poles and chainlink fences have been erected to reduce attacks by local farmers on wild predators. Whilst herdsmen are generally effective at keeping predators at bay during the day, the bigger problem arises at night. Many homesteads keep their livestock in enclosures made of cut-thorn bushes. These can prove fairly ineffectual in keeping predators out, they are also fairly weak and livestock, startled by nearby lions, can easily break free of these enclosures and scatter.
How You Can Help
Visit – come on one of Exodus’ wildlife holidays to Kenya and you should get an opportunity to visit at least one of our projects:
Classic Kenya Safari
Gorillas & Masai Mara
Kenya & Tanzania Adventure
Kenya Photographic Safari
Donate – you can leave any leftover Shillings you may have at Kicheche Camp, or donate online to help us raise funds.
Speak to a Supporter
Paul Goldstein, our resident and award-winning photographer, holds regular talks in the UK on the amazing wildlife of the Masai Mara. You can contact Paul direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
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