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MAASAI MARA, KENYA
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We work in the Maasai community living alongside the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, in grassroots collaboration with educators, conservationists, elders, and other local stakeholders.

The community here is pastoral, with many families living a traditional way of life herding cattle. This is also one of the most wildlife-rich regions of the world, and much of the land is now Maasai-owned wildlife conservancies. These families are the stewards of this wildlife heritage, and yet challenges are increasing every day because of habitat loss, climate change, and human-wildlife conflict. Our approach is a holistic blend of educational enrichment, community empowerment, and sustainable development, while also boosting local conservation through these initaitives.

After running grassroots operations in the Maasai Mara since 2017 from Oliveseed U.S., Amos Kipeen and Barb Mackraz founded Oliveseed Kenya Trust in 2021 as a registered nonprofit in Kenya, partnering with the U.S. side and with a strong grassroots team on the ground. 

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Goals in 2022

  • Continue to strengthen education by expanding the capacity of local schools and communities with high-quality libraries, computer labs, and science labs; encouraging literacy and self-expression by hosting writing competitions for young people and publishing their stories in books; expanding our Solar Home Library Project; launching the Manyatta Pilot Project; and supporting students in need through scholarships.

  • Launch the Oloirien Women's Work Center near Sekenani, providing income-generating opportunities for women in sewing, beading, and milk delivery by e-bike. This solar-powered center is a pilot project for community centers, building upon the sustainable livelihoods model we have learned from Mara Discovery Community & Empowerment Center. It will include business skills training for women and a lending library for their children.​

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Amos on Oliveseed Kenya & His Community

"Oliveseed is a program that is so close to my heart. It has brought a window of opportunity for this society through education, through livelihoods improvement, and through conservation. We are seated here in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and all you can hear is the birds, all you can hear is the crickets and different kinds of wildlife species. This cannot be sustained without thinking and bringing a transformative program like what we have today in Oliveseed."