Maasai conservationists need your help to protect their community's wildlife in Kenya. Free project T-shirt when U donate $50.
Sinoni Kerika, Tumpesia Ann, Sereny Ole Nagut are just some of the young Maasai working hard for wildlife conservation in their community. They live on the Siria Plateau next to the famed Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and want to secure 15,000 acres of native grasslands and forests as a wildlife conservancy. These brave young Maasai men and women (Morans) face serious challenges economically and socially, but you can empower them through education and organizational support.
As part of the global poor in Africa, these Maasai youth have plenty of cultural and natural capital, but no financial capital. Life Net Nature - http://lifenetnature.org ,an all volunteer charity (501-C3) invites you to support this project. Volunteers help monitor giraffe, birds, and other wildlife, and help build capacity for walking safaris on the wildlife rich Siria Plateau.
Life Net volunteers donate their time and energy for two-weeks working with this amazingly talented group of Maasai youth to design, improve, and market walking safaris, monitor wildlife with a new emphasis on giraffe herds, and share ideas for how to secure a conservancy (protected area) on community land. The team donates fuel-efficient stoves and provides financial incentives to local families currently living in the huge buffer zone to reduce deforestation, over-grazing, and harassment of wildlife.
The entire natural ecosystem on the Siria Plateau is under threat, so we need your help now. Primates and a stunning array of birds and mammals are literally losing ground everyday. Hybrid maize companies are convincing Maasai families to till precious grasslands, permanently destroying forage for livestock and wildlife. Forest and forested corridors that Masai Mara’s elephants use for birthing areas are being decimated. Some Maasai families are fencing their lands thwarting local movements of giraffe, eland, gazelle, and other wildlife species. Overstocking of cattle, sheep, and goats destroys valuable grasslands, causes erosion, and damages water quality.
Fortunately, Maasai Morans Conservation and Walking Safaris, the community-based organization (CBO) created by the youth, has much of the local community on their side. Many local Maasai believe that preservation of grasslands, forests, and wildlife are in their future best interests. They want to sustain a prosperous Maasai future, to protect grasslands for livestock, to make money from wildlife viewing, and to sustain local forests for fuel, water quality, honey collection, and ecotourism.
The Siria Plateau Maasai conservationists are struggling to find financial support for this effort despite millions of dollars pouring into the Masai Mara National Reserve immediately next to them. Clearly the goal to save the Siria Plateau can only benefit Masai Mara’s wildlife, so reserve funds should be allocated for protecting this buffer zone as soon as possible, but funds are needed to advocate in Narok.
How can you help? Share this story with others. Donate through RAZOO or at Life Net. Volunteer on Life Net’s Kenya project. If you are travelling around Kenya, come do a walking safari with the youth group. Like “Maasai Walking Safaris – Kenya on Facebook”.
If you visit the Masai Mara Reserve, investigate whether your lodge is burning charcoal and ask them to stop and to use natural gas instead in order to preserve local forests. Help encourage businesses in Africa to support this project via 1% for the planet. Encourage BINGOS (Big non-government organizations) to support this effort. Finally, encourage the Mara Conservancy and the Narok County Council to support this project directly by supporting Maasai Morans Conservation and Walking Safaris group and their effort to make a wildlife conservancy on Oloirien Ranch lands adjacent to the Mara.
Remember…."Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead)