From the 5th to 9th of October we will be running a free HPV self-collection campaign in Aitong Health Centre and Angama clinics, Maasai Mara.  We are targeting 200 women and girls of reproductive age i.e. between 12 and 49 years.  We have partnered with Angama Foundation (the CSR for Angama), Kicheche Community Trust (the CSR for Kicheche Camps) and Community Health Partners our hosts in Aitong.  This will be a follow-up from last year’s campaign in which we tested 138 women and out of these 32 tested positive for HPV presenting a 23% prevalence rate which is quite high. 

 In our HPV campaigns, the women take the samples themselves, in privacy, because we are aware that uptake would be higher if we eliminate pelvic exams often administered by doctors and clinicians.  Also because of cultural inhibitions in our Maa communities issues around reproductive health are still considered taboo and embarrassing.  In addition, a sizeable number of women have experienced abuse and because of the trauma, they prefer self-sampling.   We have trained the nurses and clinicians in Aitong to instruct the women on how to take the samples and once collected, they are tested in a lab here in Nairobi.  The lab will email the test results directly to our volunteer doctors.

 Why HPV testing?  Human Papillomavirus is one of the viruses that cause cervical cancer, and cervical cancer is the second most common cancer amongst women aged 15-49 years old. The good news is that it can be prevented before it develops through vaccination and screening. Screening with the appropriate tests allows doctors to determine if a woman is at risk and, if they are, they are advised on what needs to be done to prevent them from developing the disease.  Those women who tested positive last year and those who test positive this year will be seen by our volunteer doctors on the 27th of October at Aitong Health Centre and Angama Clinic.  Dr. Claudia Mason gives more details:  Watch video 

Angama has provided funds to test 100 women and will provide accommodation for 4 people (two staff from Land & Life and 2 volunteer doctors). Kicheche has provided funds for fuel, transportation of the HPV kits to the Mara, and the samples from the Mara to the lab. 

Next steps:  We see this as a 10-year project. To ensure that it is sustainable, with the women’s consent our two doctors will do a survey this year.  With our help, they will collect data and use the findings to publish in medical journals, present in conferences, and submit proposals.  These are all aimed at creating awareness about the prevalence of the cases in this area and look for partnerships with organizations that support cervical cancer prevention and treatment.

If you wish to get involved in any way or need more information please write to us, we would love to hear from you!

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Land & Life Foundation (L&L) is very pleased to announce a new partnership with the Loisaba Community Trust (LCT), supporting our mutual efforts in conservation education outreach and initiatives. Together we hope to reach more children than ever before; to instill deeper and more comprehensive understanding of and love for the natural world than ever before; to lift and support the communities in which we work, giving people and wildlife the help they need to build themselves a better life; and to maximise the impact of the funds we raise, together, and make each dollar go further.


Loisaba Conservation Education Centre

Loisaba Community Trust is a leader in the conservation industry, known for the great success of their conservancy model and the strides they have taken in community support and involvement alongside science and wildlife protection and natural habitat preservation. They currently support the development of high quality education in the Loisaba area by working with 10 local primary and secondary schools. They have put in place an extensive bursary programme, provided infrastructural and resource developments for the school facilities and campuses, and introduced school visits for local children to the newly completed Loisaba Conservation Centre to help embed a love for the wild world in the hearts of the local youth. These visits are accompanied by game drives within the conservancy, and they also run adult literacy programs, school competitions and wildlife club activities in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global.

Paul (LCT Community Officer), Lori Denooyer and Caroline (Land & Life Project Manager in Loisaba Conservancy


This partnership is yet another example of our mutual commitment to improve and enrich the lives of people living alongside wildlife and ensure that they continue to receive tangible benefits from wildlife tourism. To kick off the new year, we will start by introducing Wildlife Warrior Clubs at Ewaso and Morijo Primary Schools; we will issue the children with membership cards and the Wildlife Warrior Pledge. We also plan to deliver the first ever WWP interactive club activity on ‘Animals and the world around us’ using our brand new resource pack.


Later on in the year, we will roll out the Wildlife Warrior Scholarship program whereby two bright youngsters attending Ewaso Primary will be awarded with a secondary school scholarship. We will fundraise for Ewaso and Morijo Primary School’s priority needs and give guests staying at Loisaba Tented Camp an opportunity to visit the schools and see how they too can get involved. Our plans for Ewaso dispensary will be to find ways to support essential capacity building through training for the clinic staff.

Ewaso Primary School (by Ami Vitale)

This strategic partnership will ensure that we harness the expertise and experience of both entities, creating a shared vision and giving us more power to reach our goals. This new venture will help grow the Wildlife Warrior Program, benefiting communities that we would otherwise not reach.

At Land & Life we are all thrilled about this new adventure. We believe that the ‘do-it-alone’ approach is not the best strategy for growth – our desire has always been to nurture as many conservation ambassadors as possible and what better way to do it that partner with LCT! Loisaba sees this as an exciting way to increase their footprint and make a greater impact, bringing additional benefits to their community and strengthening the existing extensive activity network. Both organisations hope that this partnership will open up new doors and a whole new world of opportunities. The community will benefit by having access to more resources, fundamental in the longevity and sustainability of any community projects.

So let’s toast to the New Year and to this new wonderful journey together!


Long queues as far as the eyes can see of old men, expectant women, mothers carrying their little tots, young and old, patiently braving the morning Mara chill waiting their turn to see the visiting doctors.  Every year they will commute on foot, ride on motorbikes or any other means available to them to access the free check-ups and treatment in our free annual medical camps.

One of these people is a young man called Alex (name changed for privacy).  He comes from an area called Suswa about 158 kms from the Aitong Health Centre, the venue of our medical camp.  He arrived very late on the evening of the first day of our 2017 medical camp, accompanied by his parents. Alex was unwell and had missed a few weeks of school as a result.  His condition had also kept him away from activities that young Maasai youths his age ought to be taking part in, like herding his father’s cattle and socializing with his friends.  


A pediatrician attends to a child during the 3rd Aitong Medical Camp

Upon examination Alex was recommended for surgery and was referred to our partner organisation Oasis’ nearby hospital.  Alex’s surgery was a great success and his mother could not hide her joy, saying “This is the happiest I have seen Alex in a long time.  He is energetic and helps around the house. He is back to school now and I think he missed his classmates.  We are very grateful to the doctor who operated on him, the nurse Jonathan who took care of him while in hospital, and the organisers of the medical camp for providing us with these opportunities for free.”



Alex is just one success story – many patients have been seen and treated by our volunteer doctors to date.  Nonetheless, affordable health care is still out of reach for many in this community because of poverty, illiteracy and retrogressive cultural practices.  Most will only seek treatment if it is offered for free or when their health condition has worsened beyond that which they can manage at home, even for preventable diseases.

Please help us take 8 doctors to the Mara this October for our 7th medical camp so that they can help many others like Alex.

With only two months to go, we are so close to reaching our goal of raising $6,700 towards this camp and we cannot do it without you!

Will you help with a gift of $50 or more to reach our goal?  Your gift is critical because it will help us:

  1. Stock the community clinic which serves over 10,000 people per month with the required medicines and pharmaceuticals
  2. Bring in volunteer doctors and specialists who will diagnose, treat and create awareness around preventable diseases prevalent in this community
  3. Build the capacities of the Aitong Health Center and it’s dedicated staff

Please make a gift today and help us help our community, because their health is in our hands!


Arusha Coffee Lodge and the Shanga Foundation have been supporting Plaster House for nearly six years, and Land & Life is now delighted to be helping with this wonderful project as well. The Plaster House is a rehabilitation home for children requiring orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery or corrective plastic surgery in northern Tanzania. The care provided to these children would otherwise not be available to them, and this help lifts many families out of despair, giving them hope for their children’s future.


On Tuesday of this week a group of staff from Land & Life, Coffee Lodge and Shanga visited Plaster House Arusha to hand over a selection of donations gathered from the lodge – sheets, pillows, and other linens as well as cutlery and crockery. The Plaster House team took time out from their schedules to give the Coffee Lodge staff a good tour of the facility, including the new wing which is nearly completed.




The new buildings were of particular delight to the Shanga staff. Shanga have generously made a contribution towards some beautiful hand-made stain glass windows (Dalle de Verre) for the administration block, new dormitory and volunteer wing. The artisans, Alec and Simon, who produced the windows were with the visiting group. They were overjoyed to see their handiwork in position and looking so stunning. It is wonderful to see examples of such fine work from professionals of their calibre who also happen to have a disability. It demonstrates to the children undergoing serious surgery that life can be about ability, possibility and what you CAN do achieved. The stain glass windows will serve as a daily reminder to the children to strive for their best and know they have the hope and opportunity of a bright future.


The Coffee Lodge and Shanga employees were delighted to meet a number of the children resident at the Plaster House, and have a chat with them in the classroom. This soon developed into a cheerful singing session in which everybody took part! Fun was had by everyone, children and visitors alike, and it reminded the lodge team how important the work we do to support Plaster House is.



This week Land & Life held our 6th Annual Free Aitong Medical Camp at Aitong Health Clinic in the Mara near to Elephant Pepper Camp. This year we are delighted to announce that we have reached a new record – the clinic saw and treated approximately 1200 people over the three days!

The team of volunteer doctors from Oasis Health Care were extremely enthusiastic and very efficient, working well with the Aitong Clinic Staff and nurses provided by the Narok District Hospital. They performed diabetes testing – HIV testing – cervical cancer screening – general medical check ups – dental check ups and treatments – family planning sessions – orthopaedic treatments – and more.

The cervical cancer screening in particular was an interesting issue. While it was welcomed by some women, for others it held a stigma, due largely to lack of awareness and understanding. We hope to work on this in the future, sensitising the community to the importance of such screening and reach even more women going forward.

Thanks to our partnership with NHIF, this year doctors were able to refer patients on for further treatment, ensuring that the camp has a wider impact than simply a one off day of treatment.

We are extremely grateful for the help and support of our partners Kicheche Camps and Saruni Lodges, Safarilink and Oasis HealthCare, and of course as ever the logistics and support from Elewana Collection’s Elephant Pepper Camp. Well done everyone and on behalf of the community, thank you for your generosity and support.

If you would like to make a seasonal, Christmas-inspired donation towards this excellent initiative please do click here and donate, specifying Aitong as your preferred project.

Over $20,000 for Plaster House!On Friday 24th March Land & Life Foundation co-hosted a Fundraising Gala at Arusha Coffee Lodge. With beer generously provided by Tanzania Breweries Limited and wine kindly provided by Upper Zonal Trading, there were plenty of drinks for everyone, and the lodge provided a fine spread of snacks for all guests. Prizes for the silent auction were donated from a wide range of generous sponsors including Coastal Aviation, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, Elewana Collection, Sopa Lodges, Salt Restaurant Dar es Salaam, Nomad Tanzania, Amani Forest Camp, and many more.

The event was a huge success and we raised over $20,000! This amount is being donated directly and in full to the Plaster House Arusha, a rehabilitation home for children recovering from life changing orthopaedic, plastic or neuro surgery. Plaster House will be using the funds raised at this event to purchase a Toyota Hiace van, and this will be used to transport  the sick children and their carers to and from the hospital for surgery and appointments.  Everyone is thrilled, and the staff and patients and Paster House would like to thank everyone who attended the event and contributed to the successful evening.

Winning Poster - Ololomei

Last week I visited our supported projects at the Masai Mara.  My first stop was Ololomei Primary School near Elephant Pepper Camp (EPC) where I met the children and teachers and donated some textbooks to the school. Together with one of EPC’s guides Boniface, we held a Wildlife Warrior Poster competition based on this term’s theme “Living with Elephants”.   The posters were quite impressive but there can only be one winner, so we chose group number 5 who had produced a great picture which showed all elements of the complex living with wildlife challenges faced by the community – the elephants, the manyattas, the maize being eaten by elephant, the cattle under threat from predators, the tourists on a  game drive, the dams where the water is held and which attract elephant – a  great poster!  The winning group will go on a game drive on Tuesday 28th March and will thereafter have tea and biscuits at EPC – watch this space for photos and maybe some interviews with the children.

Aitong Health CentreI also had an opportunity to visit our supported health facility at Aitong Town. Thanks to the mounting support of donors the health centre has a recently completed maternity wing, with spacious facilities and new equipment. However it is lacking in power at present and therefore is not in use, which I found very disappointing. We would like to help with this situation and over the next month or two we hope to send an electrician to see how we can rectify this problem.  We also plan to scale up our annual medical camp scheduled for November, which provides free medical and dental care to the community. This year we hope to partner with like-minded organisations to expand our impact, and  we are looking at the possibility of introducing the National Health Insurance Fund to the community as well as bringing in a wide range of medical specialists. We will keep you updated as we go along.

My last stop was at little Embiti Primary School just outside the gates of the Maasai Mara Reserve and supported by Sand River Mara. The school has 115 students from nursery up to Class 4, and the top two classes impressed me by their memorising the Wildlife Warrior pledge!

Watch the video:

Here we have provided funding for the school’s first and only toilet block, which is about to be finished. I am delighted about this as it will make a real and immediate impact on all students and staff at the school who currently have no toilet facilities at all.

I brought printed colouring sheets for the youngest children with pictures of the wildlife of the Mara, and large sheets of poster paper for the older Wildlife Warriors, and set the Warriors a poster competition on the topic of “Our Favourite Wildlife”. The winners will be taken on a game drive in the Game Reserve and be treated to a picnic lunch by SRM guides and managers.