ACACIA MOYO - WHERE TRADITION MEETS TECHNOLOGY
SAG HARBOR, New York
You are a Maasai man or woman, living on the Kitengela
plains of Kenya, with the Nairobi skyline looming on the
horizon. Every day, city developers claim another parcel
of land. Soon there is less grazing land available for your
livestock and for the abundant wildlife around you. You
live on $3 or $6 a week - if that. Finally, you are so
desperate that you sell off your land. No land means no
livestock. No livestock means no food. No livestock
means you can't marry. No land means you are no
longer a Maasai.
A combination of TRADITION and TECHNOLOGY is the
key to survival for indigenous people. We work with the
Maasai community of Kitengela, Kenya, to retain their
traditions and prevent the sale of precious land by using
state-of-the-art agricultural and energy-producing
technologies along with basic techniques in construction,
technology, medicine and the arts to develop sustainable
livelihoods through creative entrepreneurship.
The Kitengela Maasai community in Kenya lives on the
unfenced southern boundary of Nairobi National Park
which allows wildlife such as lions, giraffe, zebra, ostrich,
wildebeest, cheetah, warthog and many other species to
roam freely over the plains of Kitengela. While Maasai
culture promotes conservation - they have never been
hunters - the long-established Kenyan organization
called The Wildlife Foundation (TWF
worked for several years to educate local Maasai about
the need for and benefits of wildlife conservation.
However, this community is impoverished and families
are often forced to sell their land in order to survive. New
land-owners routinely fence in their land, thus reducing
available grazing grounds for both livestock and wildlife,
and causing havoc to the seasonal migration routes of
wildebeest and zebra.
Our model seeks to maintain Maasai traditions while
creating true independence through harnessing solar
energy, learning effective organic food growing
techniques, understanding essential health basics and
core human rights while integrating traditional
capacities for community building.
In the year since Acacia Moyo was founded, we have
already partnered with The Wildlife Foundation (TWF) -
conservation; the Center for Emergent Diplomacy (CED) -
leadership training; and the Santa Fe Community
College (SFCC) - sustainable agriculture. In addition,
three ladies of the Kintengela Olmakau Cultural
Cooperative have been accepted into the 2019
International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Sant Fe with their
truly gorgeous beaded baskets, sandals and jewelry.
IFAM accepts artistans from all over the world and is
extremely competitive. We have also sponsored four
high school girls for their full year 4-year program at the
Empakasi High School in Kitengela. These girls have
been rescued by our partner, Chief Nickson Parmisa,
from being forced to marry far older men, or having to
undergo female genital circumcision. Now their parents
have agreed to let them complete high school.
We are now raising funds for our initial program - a
state-of-the-art food growing program on two acres of
land donated by the community. We intend to produce
enough food for the community with excess to sell in the
surrounding region. We have developed a core
curriculum around this program that includes basic
nutrition, health, construction, technology, human rights
and the arts. Our teachers will be culled from a pool of
Kenyan experts as well as others from all over the world.
We've come so far! What was just an idea cooked up in
the co-founder's living room has rapidly blossomed into
a functioning unit which has already attracted many
This is what your money will do:
1. Bring training in leadership as related to climate
change to the community.
2. Start our community food-growing project with
necessary equipment and seeds.
You can learn all about our partners - the Kitengela
Maasai community - our mission, our global partners
and our most pressing needs at our website.
Why is it important to help indigenous cultures to
survive? With the Maasai, it is their intricate and ancient
knowledge of their land, livestock and especially, the
wildlife that must be preserved. In Kenya, most of the
game parks are on Maasai land. Without the Maasai to
protect and watch over wildlife, those areas will soon
become slums, hunting reserves or poaching paradises
for unscrupulous people who don't care about wildlife at
all. The Maasai culture is invaluable to us not only for its
connection to land and wildlife, but also for its inherent
wisdom and functioning social structure. We have much
to learn from them.
WHAT DOES ACACIA MOYO MEAN?
The acacia is an umbrella-shaped tree that dots the
plains of Africa, providing shelter for animals and people
alike. "Moyo" is the Kisuaheli word for "heart" and
"spirit." We feel that the name ACACIA MOYO aptly
describes our intentions.
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