Northridge, CA (Vocus) January 22, 2007
The Maasai Foundation of East Africa fundraisers feature a lion as guest of honor.
The lion's name is Jabari, meaning brave in Kiswahili. Jabari was born in a zoo where his mother abandoned him, and Rick Kelly rescued him.
It was certainly a big surprise for our 200 member audience to see Jabari entering the Cabrillo Art Centre in Santa Barbara. We wanted to make a point: lions are beautiful and powerful animals. They are on the edge of extinction and we need to do our best to save them. Jabari helped deliver that message.
Two other guests of honor:
Edward Norton, who has generously supported with Cartier our Simba Project, kindly introduced Luca and Samson in the New York fundraising: thank you Edward.
John and Renee Grisham participated too and made an extremely generous donation: thank you John, thank you Renee.
Samson wanted to thank both Edward and John personally, and presented them with a "stick" of command, "orinka" in Maa. It is the stick that chiefs use in all their meetings.
We would like to thank all who participated in the two dundraising events. The Maasai Foundation of East Africa exceeded its goal of raising $100,000. Amazing, to say the least, and we must give a special thank to Jeff and Debra Miller, John and Renee Grisham, Ken Coe, and Phil Osborne for their incredibly generous donations.
Things done and things to do
This year the Trust has accomplished a lot, with grants from The MFEA, conservation fees from Campi ya Kanzi and other donations.
- Schools: Through donations and through the conservation fees paid by Campi ya Kanzi guests,
we are now supporting all the 14 primary schools which are in the Group Ranch.
We have six secondary level scholarships running and another four to be offered to the best
two boys and two girls of the 2006 academic year.
We are employing 20 teachers, 2 cleaners, and 1 cook.
Projects: We would like to increase the number of teachers employed, to guarantee a good
level of education to all kids. One teacher costs $2,600 per year: quite a big donation
for a single donor, but think what this will accomplish: at least 30 kids will receive
We would like to build a private school, where to provide better education through the
teachers currently employed. This project is likely to be donated by a generous agent of
Campi ya Kanzi: it will cost about $98,000.
Please keep supporting us with the secondary level scholarships: they are the most meaningful.
Only 3% of the Maasai of our Reserve can afford to get to high school. It costs $750 per year,
for four years, to send a pupil to high school.
Finally we would like to be able to offer one university scholarship a year. Depending on
the discipline studied, the cost would be between $7,000 to $25,000 for four years of
university just for tuition, not including housing and extra fees.
- Health: We are about to complete the project of providing running water and electricity to
the local dispensary. The well was dug successfully and good water found. See the installation
of the pump here below.
Thanks to the funds just raised we will be able to build the electricity room and to install
the solar panels, inverters and batteries. We believe this is the most meaningful project the
Trust is accomplishing in its 6 years existence. Proper health will help save the lives of
many children. Thank you all who have participated and supported this project.
We are going to employ a doctor at the dispensary: we are seeking sponsorship of his salary.
It costs $800 a month.
We would like to be able to accommodate the many volunteers who have offered us their help:
doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, students. It would cost $60,000 to build a house capable
of hosting 8 people.
- Conservation: probably the sector that needs our most attention.
Kenya has triplicated its human population in 40 years. Wildlife population is believed to have
been decimated in the last 50 years of the 20th century. The numbers speak for themselves.
Regardless of our successful efforts during our 10 years presence in the Chyulu Hills we need
to do more. This land needs to be protected.
We have been asked by the Maasai landlords to assist them in creating conservancies in the Group
Ranch. This is the biggest reward for Luca: the desire to preserve wilderness, wildlife and
culture is now rooted deeply in the community.
Please support us to achieve this crucial goal.
The Trust is now employing 30 game scouts. It costs $1,440 a year to employ a game scout.
Rains and Wildlife
This year we have been blessed by an amazing rainy season. The Chyulu Hills are wonderfully green; trees and grass are lush and healthy. Elephants have been coming closer and closer to the camp.
The other day we enjoyed an unforgettable game drive: we saw a leopard below Okoikuma, the lookout hill where we enjoy a fabulous view of Kilimanjaro. One minute later we saw a lioness and just before reaching camp another lioness with cubs.
The Maasai Foundation of East Africa (http://www.maasaifoundation.org) is a US 501 c (3) nonprofit corporation that has supported the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust with grants for wildlife conservation, medical and educational projects. Your donation will be directed to the sector, project or program you choose.
Checks may be mailed to:
The Maasai Foundation of East Africa
P.O. Box 1413
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
Wire transfers may be sent to:
The Maasai Foundation of East Africa
Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
20 E Carrillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Account number 01 07 45 90
Routing number 12 22 20 593
Donations may be made in Kenya to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust:
Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust
Commercial Bank of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya;
Account number: 24 074 005
Swift Code CBAFKENX
Corresponding bank for $ Transfers:
American Express Bank
New York Agency
Swift Code: AEIBUS33
Campi ya Kanzi
PO Box 236 Mtito Andei, 90128 KENYA
Tel/Fax +254 45 622516
Sat phone +88 2165 1103557
web site: http://www.maasai.com
Sarah Williams, Luca Safari Ltd.
Emmanuel Chege, Luca Safari Ltd.
PO BOX 3711-00506
Mobile +254-735-496602 and +254-724-991392
Tel: 505 216 7669
Cell: 505 603 8643