Supporting the Masai Community
The organisation ST-EP – Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty – was founded by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 2005, promoting poverty elimination through sustainable tourism development. Spirit of the Masai Mara follows the 7 ST-EP mechanism to channel the socio-economic benefits of tourism, making it possible for the local Masai community to gain from our presence in their area.
- Employing members of the local community in our tourism enterprise – more than 75% of our staff members are from the Masai community. Our Masai safari guides are silver standard guides and certified by the Kenya Wildlife Service. They are passionate about their culture and wildlife and will happily share their vast knowledge with you.
- The local community supplies our lodge with goods and services – all handicrafts that can be found in our gift shop are made by local Masai women.
- The local community sells their goods directly to you – the Masai women selling their handicrafts have the opportunity to use our gift shop and will directly sell their goods to our guests. Spirit of the Masai Mara does not take any commission from these sales.
- Our profits and income benefit the local community – a large part of our income and profits are directed to the Siana Conservancy.
- We support the local community on a voluntary basis – Spirit of the Masai Mara supports local school children, pays for their school fees and books as well as for their transport from their villages to the school. Their school career is closely monitored by the directors Justin and Nadja and the kids are encouraged to pursue their dreams. One of the children – Janet – wants to become a pilot ever since she saw a plane flying over the Masai Mara and we are happy to support her.
- Investing in infrastructure – Spirit of the Masai Mara has been opening up roads, making accessibility to certain areas easier for the local Masai community. We are also supporting the local community in constructing water catchments and dams for their livestock and cattle to minimise the distances travelled to the nearest waterholes, especially during the dry season.
The Sekenani Secondary School Project
Spirit of the Masai Mara is proud to be associated with Sekenani Girls Secondary School and is supporting their efforts through a range of measures. We have aided in the construction of a much needed extension of classrooms at the Sekenani Secondary School. The teachers and headmaster of the school raised 50 percent of the funds needed for the construction while Spirit of the Masai Mara donated the remaining 50 percent. Together with our team of builders we have supervised the entire construction and the classrooms were inaugurated in March 2016.
Having assisted in the construction of the secondary school we have furthered our commitment by offering a range of support. In our gift shop our guests can purchase school books and other necessary items which are then delivered to the school.
Spirit of the Masai Mara also offers our clients the opportunity to contribute to a student oriented bursary system which will assist students with purchasing school uniforms and school material. The money donated is held in trust by the head teacher and is allocated on students specific needs.
Guests are invited to visit the girls of Sekenani school to witness their contributions in action. Visits have to be pre-booked with a one day notice.