My Chosen Vessels (MCV) has been uplifting the Maasai people for over a decade through its clean water, education, and cultural preservation initiatives. In 2019 MCV launched a legacy project to open the first and only community-led Maasai Heritage Museum on the outskirts of Amboseli National Park. We are delighted to launch a new project to economically empower Maasai women through a Maasai Heritage Café & Marketplace.
The Maasai Heritage Café & Marketplace will be built in a prime location on the main road just 10 miles from Amboseli National Park (“Park”) front gate where all the traffic passes to enter the Park. With the establishment of the Park, the region’s lucrative tourism industry grows with approximately 600,000 tourists per year. Despite the tourisn industry in Amboseli, the Maasai currently find themselves increasingly disenfranchised from both the tourist economy and the loss of the Park’s crucial natural resources. Not only are the Maasai excluded from their former lands and resources, but the current tourism industry fails to provide adequate compensation to the Maasai communities.
The goal of the café & marketplace is for the Maasai people, especially women, to benefit directly from tourism educating visitors about Maasai culture. The Maasai culture is known around the world, however, the Maasai people themselves have had little opportunity to tell or prosper from their own story and rich culture. The majority of the Maasai living around the Park still suffer from a lack of clean water, healthcare, adequate nutrition, and education opportunities, especially for Masasi women who suffer the most from illiteracy, they are often trapped in a cycle of poverty while watching tourists enjoy safari’s through their land to see the wildlife.