Walking with Maasai runs a number of community projects – with several others in the planning stage.
Our main projects include: healthcare, bead work, eco tourism, education, and sustainable agriculture.
Each of these projects is enabling this Maasai community to overcome poverty and health problems. It empower community members to have hope for the future.
Osiligi Bead Work
“Osiligi” means hope in Maasai language. This project started with one Maasai widow at the end of 2009. We now work with 11 Maasai women to design and make jewellery that is then sold locally and in the UK. The income the women make from the bead work enables them to provide for their family and increases their sense of self-worth and their status in the Maasai community. If you’re interested in buying some of this beautiful jewellery, contact Claire Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this video to hear the Maasai women talk about the difference this project makes to their lives:
St Francis of Assisi Academy
The St Francis of Assisi Academy was started by Maasai parents who want to see their children receive a good education. The Academy is situated in the remote community of Olorte in the Loita Hills in southern Kenya.
The Olorte Community has around 7,000 people scattered over a 15 mile radius. This is the most remote Maasai community in Kenya.
Many community members here realise that education is essential for their future survival. Even here in this remote region the developing world is catching up with them. Maasai communities are desperate to preserve their way of life but they also need to adapt to survive in this time of rapid change.
Poverty levels are high in Olorte. The Maasai people here don’t have the necessary skills to cope with the challenges of a modern society. They are hoping to see their children become nurses, teachers and businessmen and women, as well as developing skills in other areas so that they can serve their own community in the future.
Walking with Maasai is working with parents of students at the school to facilitate the development of the St Francis of Assisi Academy. All the children of the Walking with Maasai team attends the school together with other community children. We believe that the education of these Maasai children is an answer to alleviating poverty in their community. Teaching is done in a culturally sensitive way with well trained Maasai teachers.
Watch this short film to learn more about this project.
“Shamba” is the term for “vegetable garden” in Swahili. This project aims to address the nutritional needs of the community. Maize is the staple diet of the Maasai people but it is not very nutritious.
The Mobile Clinic treats many children in the community who is suffering from malnutrition. There are often food shortages between the harvests. Recent droughts have also had an impact on the success of maize harvests.
The Walking with Maasai team have been experimenting with growing 35 different types of vegetables. They have found that the soil is very fertile and up to three growing seasons are possible.
Walking with Maasai currently trains six partners in the community to grow 19 different types of vegetables. The hope is that through this project we will introduce more nutritious vegetables to the community, continue to produce vegetables when there are food shortages and provide families with an opportunity to sell vegetables and generate an income.
This project will also provide food for the St Francis Academy providing each child with a nutritious meal every day.