The Maasai » Maasai Association »

(Maasai Naretischo Self Help Group)

This association was established through the will of some young members of the Merueshi community in Kajiado. Having had the possibility to go to school, they understood that they had to share their opportunity with their community. In 2003, this Maasai organization was established with the aim to develop some projects, among which:

• A water well
• A medical dispensary
• Work for the women’s dignity and rights
• A school, where children who are parentless or face difficulties can be taken care of and be taught the Maasai culture
• Instruction with respect for culture and tradition
• Information about problems connected with AIDS
• Sanitary rules

It was important to develop the community preserving the cultural identity in a moment when many Maasai had to change their millenary habits due to the problems they were facing, caused by more and more frequent dry spells, running the risk to make an invaluably rich culture disappear.
These projects seemed to be dreams beyond reach, until a representation of the Maasai was invited to Italy to represent this culture in the festival “Lo spirito Del Pianeta” 2004, where the association Sesto Sole helped them make our dreams come true.

Thanks to this very important co-operation, now this people have clean water available, without having to walk kilometres, digging holes with their hands in river beds. Two scholarships are paid for a doctor and a nurse, so that two of the village members will be able to manage the dispensary. The dispensary is currently providing free medical assistance to an average of 500 patients each month. Now there also is a cinema and films are shown in various villages. Documentary films, cartoons and films concerning health education are show.

The association’s next objective is the creation of tourist lodges. This will give the possibility to show the tourists the bush, lived from the Maasai point of view, and the tourists will give Maasai the economical support what already has been done during the last years and also to develop a cattle breeding project which will provide for their needs during dry spells when there is lack in food.