Tales from the Mara
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.
I 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.