Community work in Africa
Our hosts here are the Laikipiak Maasai of Kijabe Group Ranch. In Kenya, a Group Ranch is owned in common by its members. There are some 250 members of this Ranch, of whom about one third are resident here. The Ranch population is about 800 people- about 2000 Kijabe people live elsewhere in Kenya. Approximately 100 Kijabe residents were employed in the construction of the Sanctuary. Over 50% of the permanent staff at the Sanctuary are Maasai, from Kijabe and neighbouring ranches, and many Kijabe residents are employed in our community projects or as casual staff. The Conservancy employs local Maasai and Samburu rangers.
Our neighbours are other Maasai ranchers, and to our north Samburu tribesmen. The people of Kijabe still overwhelmingly pursue their age-old pastoralist way of life. They are cattle-herders, and keepers of goats and sheep. Increasingly they are able to combine their semi-nomadic existence to find dry-season grazing with the technology of the twenty-first century, using mobile phones to buy and sell livestock at better market prices. Nevertheless, the colourful spectacle of the weekly livestock markets is still vibrantly alive.
The women of the Ranch are developing small craft businesses and Regenesis is helping them with accessing training and in selling their products in international markets, adding much needed cash to the family income. They have also opened a Maasai Craft Village or “manyatta”, serving to preserve traditions, and to educate both the new generation and those of our guests who may be interested in a visit. You will be warmly welcomed.
The overwhelming majority of our guests become personally involved with our community projects in conservation, education and healthcare. Many return time after time to observe the effects of their enthusiasm and gifts. Some guests, and certainly their grown-up children have returned to us as volunteers.
Guests with business or community/economic development expertise may wish to become engaged in our “business angel” programme.