Walking With the Maasai
Why the Maasai
The Maasai people are known for being some of the most traditional people of Kenya. They are treasured because of their abilities to guide others to experience the magic of Kenya.
The Maasai are brave semi-nomadic people who live among wild animals and have learned how to protect their communities and live in balance with nature.
They have maintained their cultural values for thousands of years and hold the secrets of living in balance with each other and with the natural world.
However, now, just as we need their wisdom, their way of life is facing challenges that may lead to cultural extinction.
The Challenges They Face
The Founder and CEO of The Maasai Cultural Conservation Foundation, Barbara Hoskins, has had the opportunity to get to know the Maasai people over the past 16 years during her time volunteering in Kenya. She has gone on long walks with Maasai warriors and has spent time in their communities. She has been impressed by their values and has developed a commitment to bring what she has learned back to you. She has also used her own resources to support the Maasai people so that they can meet their current challenges and conserve their culture.
Dr. Hoskins, is an educational consultant with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She has a private practice in Pasadena, California where she and her associates have changed the lives of hundreds of children and their families. She has also developed curriculum materials and has presented workshops across the United States, Canada, as well as in Kenya.
Most recently she has written a book titled, “Life Lessons: Parenting Through the Lens of the Maasai People”
About Our Work
Our Purpose and Guiding Principles
The Maasai Cultural Conservation Foundation was created to partner with the Maasai people as they face these challenges. These people hold important learnings, and if they lose their way of life, we will lose their wisdom and the values they embody.
The guiding principles of the Maassi Cultural Conservation Foundation are to:
Develop a deep understanding of the Maasai people and their culture
Develop respectful relationships with the Maasai people, including: chiefs, elders, women, warriors and children, so that we can work together to engage in projects that are valuable to them and are culturally appropriate
Empower the Maasai people to achieve their own goals and to sustain their way of life
Jackson Ntirkama is one of the Maasai warriors who works with us to coordinate our projects.
See "Update May 2022"
Since our inception in 2021 we have:
Empowered over 1,000 women to start their own businesses for $50 each so that they can feed their families. After five months each woman has been able to pay the money forward to support another woman to start her business.
Supported women in planting kitchen gardens so that they have food in times of drought.
Provided school fees for children who have been orphaned.
Provided medical resources for a small community health clinic.
Installed a well that has provided clean water for a community of 4,000 people for the first time in their lives, at a cost of $8,000.
Published a book where we share how the Maasai people raise their children to be brave, respectful, responsible, hardworking, competent, generous adults.
What We Have Discovered
These people live with a great deal of integrity and courage.
They live in a way that holds valuable life lessons for us.
They are willing and able to work hard to make good use of the resources that we offer.
A small amount of money goes a long way for these people who live very simply.
As a result of our work with them, they have taken the initiative to empower other people in their communities.
It has been an honor to be able to step outside of our busy lives and touch the lives of people who live very differently.
In the upcoming year we plan to:
Continue to offer opportunities for women and men to start their own small businesses, with donations of $50 each. Some men have joined in this project, starting agrobusinesses whereby they bring medicines for livestock to other remote areas.
Install an additional well in another community where they do not have access to clean water. This will prevent waterborne illnesses and death in times of drought, and make a sustainable impact for another 8,000 Maasai people.
Expand the services of the health clinic to include additional medicine, a maternity facility, and purchase a vehicle that can serve as an ambulance for people who have to be transported for more intensive treatment than our small dispensary can provide.
These people live without any resources to rely on during extreme weather conditions. During droughts their cattle die and many of their people are in danger of dying.
Dividing the Land
Recently, the land has been privatized, which will break down the Maasai way of living as community. Parcels of land are being fenced and are sold so that the people can feed their families.
For the first time in their history the Maasai are also finding themselves needing money for healthcare and education of their children. When they sell their land, they are in danger of losing their dignity and their way of life. This is much like what has happened to the indigenous peoples of the United States and Canada.
I hope that you are able to be a part of this journey. As you may know, these projects are being supported by friends who want to have a direct impact in the lives of others. Trust that I will continue to work closely with Jackson and Wilson, to ensure that our work is grounded in the key needs of the communities and that our resources are well-managed. It has been an honor for me to work with these people, and to bring you into their world to make this possible.
If you would like to contribute to any of these projects,
Click here to Participate
It has been a source of great joy to create this opportunity for the Maasai people and for our friends in the United States and Canada so that we can engage in this remarkable journey together and learn from one another.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, FEIN 872 889 069. When you make a tax deductible donation, 100% of your donation will go directly to the people. The foundation will absorb all of the administrative expenses.
To donate, write a check payable to:
Maasai Cultural Conservation Foundation
595 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 508
Pasadena, CA 91101
Please include your email and mailing address so that we can thank you and keep you in the loop about our progress.
You can donate using PayPal, Credit Card, or Zelle
We look forward to having you partner with us to make the world a better place for all of us who inhabit this planet.
To learn more about the wisdom of the Maasai people, you can purchase our book
Parenting Through the Lens of the Maasai People