My Chosen Vessels hosted a Maasai Conference, Shaping the Future of the Maasai: Challenges, Opportunities, and Aspirations, at Sentrim Lodge in Amboseli, Kenya on March 15, 2018. This full-day event convened Maasai cultural leaders, Non-Governmental Organizations and Kenya government representatives to discuss the Maasai and MCV’s collaborative legacy project to build a Maasai Cultural Heritage Museum in Amboseli, Kenya.
Guest speakers included representatives from Kajido County Government, MCV Board of Directors, Masai Technical Training Institute, Kenya Rotary, Big Life Foundation, Amor Ministries, and Hand in Hand Eastern Africa. These speakers led conversations that fostered solutions and explored ways to positively impact Maasai communities. Panel discussions and group discussions addressed issues such as entrepreneurship, vocational training, and improving the quality of life for the Maasai people through job creation, tourism, wildlife conservation, and cultural heritage.
Additionally, this important gathering brought 15 Maasai cultural chiefs together for the first time to discuss their development with the Kenya government officials and Maasai government chiefs. We applaud His Excellency Joseph Ole Lenku, Governor Kajiado County as our keynote speaker and for his support for MCV’s Maasai Cultural Heritage Museum. We commend the Governor’s enthusiasm to safeguard Maasai culture and promote the contributions the Maasai have made to Kenya at large.
We thank the Kajiado County Kenya Government for sponsoring this conference and for their support of MCV’s work with the Maasai communities. This conference marked a step toward safeguarding Maasai culture and globally promoting Kenya’s rich heritage and generating tourism that will benefit the lives of the Maasai people.
The Maasai Conference will be an annual event. The next conference, Maasai Indigenous Rights: Safeguarding Intangible Heritage and Community Land Rights, will take place in March 2019. At this conference, MCV will distribute the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This declaration was translated into the Maasai language by MCV so that it may be used as a tool to protect Maasai heritage. Additionally, trainings in meditation, organizing, and advocacy to protect Maasai land rights will be offered.