MAYOO's Achievements in the Local Community
MAYOO supports orphans, particularly young girls aged 5-15, not just within its local community but also extending out into the wider area in the Kajiado region in southern Kenya. It provides supervised accommodation for the children, giving them a home and supporting them in a variety of ways such as buying school uniforms, sweaters to keep warm in the colder seasons, and shoes for walking to and from school, water points, shops, friends, etc.
MAYOO volunteers and supporters dig gardens for widows who cannot afford to hire machinery or labour. These gardens grow maize, beans, kale, vegtables and potatoes. Without these gardens, widows can not secure food for themselves. So far, MAYOO has worked with 10 widows to create gardens and increase their ability to feed themselves within their homestead.
Reconstructing roads destroyed by harsh weather. By improving the roads, economic activity can flow more freely and provide access to local markets.
With the support of a small grant, a remedial teaching course for children in high school and primary school was initiated with the aim of improving academic standards in the community.
During school breaks, MAYOO sponsors seminars and workshops for the children and the entire community with the vision of eradicating illiteracy and poverty within the community. Childreh are joined by their parents. Teachers volunteer their time and knowledge for the betterment of the community. Elders come to bless the activity, knowing this education is the future of their people. Each seminar has a theme; past themes have included HIV/AIDS, the power of education, how to use their new knowledge to assist their parents, and environmental conservation. During the workshops students perform Maasai dances which make the workshops more interesting and engaging.
During the last 4 months of 2012, MAYOO provided uniforms for over 90 students, including 60 students at Kimuka Primary School, 13 at Ilngarooj Primary School, and 20 at Olosho-oibor Primary School. Unable to afford a uniform, these children would otherwise be forced to return home instead of attending classes. This was achieved thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Maasai Cultural Exchange Program (http://www.maasaiculturalproject.org) and a kind donation by Karin Butterworth. Since then, more uniforms have been donated by other international volunteers participating in the MAYOO International Volunteer Program (see Amber's story in the 'Volunteers Program' page of this website)..
MAYOO contributes to funds every four months to maintain clean drinking water for the local people. Additionally, we provided water filtration at water sources to help prevent water-born illnesses. MAYOO also organised the building of water troughs for both domestic and wild animals to get fresh water.
Maasai woman, led by Sianto Ann, were able to raise money by selling their beautiful jewellery. The money raised goes to the schooling funds. A company in New Orleans, USA has booked places to showcase and sell these jewelly items. Starting February 2013, the company will have specific shops where people can buy this authentic Maasai jewelry and support MAYOO in the process. A website for this program is in the process of being designed. MAYOO also sponsors women to go to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to sell more of their jewellery.
In Kenya, wild animals are very important to the local economy. MAYOO are playing an important part in taking care of the local environment. In the 1980s to1990s, the Maasai Moran used to compete by killing lions and other big game animals in honour of their fathers. Whoever killed a lion would be able to have many wives or would be given a chance to be the leader of an age group. The leader is given many cattle, goats and sheep, which are necessary for survival and also act as a status symbol. The MAYOO team advise the community about the importance of maintaining a sustainable ecosystem in the local savannah, hills and forest, and the need to stop or manage this practice.