Update in 2021
The Maasai community near the Maasai Mara National Reserve suffered from a collapse of food supply and health security in the wake of COVID-19. We helped this community throughout 2020. Although our initiative has ended, others are now helping families in this area. If you'd like to make a donation, we'll be sure your gift reaches the right groups working in the Mara.
In Morocco, our friends at Eve Branson Foundation (EBF) have been helping families in the High Atlas with food and health security. We supported their work by processing donations for them in 2020. If you'd like to give to this effort, please visit the EBF website.
In both places, the need continues. Thank you.
$40 provides for a family of 5.
YOUR GIFT WILL IMMEDIATELY PROVIDE...
Food: maize flour, beans, vegetables, cooking oil, and more delivered to rural Maasai families
Water: reusable water containers filled with clean potable water
Sanitation supplies: hand soaps and face masks, along with instructions educating people on proper hand washing and social distancing
Sanitary towels: for adolescent girls
School supplies: provided by teachers and delivered to school children at home
Educational outreach: on COVID and safe practices, to stop the spread of the virus
Amos Kipeen is leading the effort on the ground, along with volunteers from the Mara Discovery Community & Empowerment Centre and the Enturoto Community Health Centre, both in Aitong. The water is provided by Friends of Maasai Mara from their H2OpenDoors purification facility.
The area covered is Lemek-Aitong-Talek, along the eastern edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where 2000 families live in traditional Maasai earthen structures without power, water, or vehicles.
100% of your donation pays for provisions and gas for deliveries out to the rural areas. All work is done by volunteers.
UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE
The Maasai people — already a vulnerable and marginalized population — are hit especially hard by this pandemic. With the closing of livestock markets and the complete collapse of safari tourism (exacerbated by months of historic flooding this year), they have lost their only means of income. Families here have a critical shortage of food. They have no vehicles, and even if they could get to markets, they have no money and the rural shops are out of provisions.
On top of this, the reality of the pandemic is not widely understood here, increasing the risk of exposure to this community and to populations beyond. Our goal is to provide the basic needs of food, water, soap, and other provisions while families stay safe at home. We are also delivering healthcare information in partnership with the local Enturoto Community Health Centre so people are educated and following safe protocols.
An additional concern is the viability of the wildlife, in this the most wildlife-rich region of Kenya. With no other choices, desperate families may need to turn to hunting. Unless we come together and help, this crisis is likely to have devastating long-term ramifications impacting development, culture, conservation, and the survival and well being of tens of thousands of people.
INTERVIEWS WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS ABOUT THE PANDEMIC
(in the Maa language)
"Without cattle trading, I have no other source of income... I am also a reformed hunter. Before tourism in Mara, we survived by hunting wildlife. I foresee a situation where we might be forced to go back to the bush. If we go back to hunting, then after the end of corona virus, we will have no livestock, no wildlife..."
Kiteleiki Kiok is an elder representing women from the village Oltorotua. "Even after the situation normalizes, we are already weakened. We cannot afford to send our children to school or even feed our families..."
"With the outbreak of covid-19, we just stay home doing beadwork, though there is no market for the beaded items now because of the markets closure. I'm doing it out of passion. It's the only job I can do..."