Date: November 13th, 2021

Time: 2:00 PM


United Nations Building in Balboa Park
2171 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

What to expect (more detailed description further below)

  • Photography Exhibit
  • Cultural artifacts
  • Maasai handicraft
  • Maasai delicacies
  • Art & Cultural talks
  • Fun family activities

Please bring a pair of shoes to donate to the “Shoes for Schools” shoe drive – If each of us donates a pair of new or gently used shoes we can ensure Maasai children in Kenya receive an education! You can learn more here: http://shoes4maasai.org/

Detailed Description

We invite you – the San Diego community – to join us in celebrating World Kindness Day with a fun cultural event for the entire family.  The event will take place this Saturday in San Diego at Balboa Park! Learn about the Maasai heritage, one of the oldest living cultures in Africa.

Enjoy cultural activities for the entire family including an art exhibition, tribal body painting, Maasai handicraft market, and learn from the Maasai about their ancient traditions on how to create a more peaceful and sustainable society for the benefit of all humanity.
Please bring a pair of shoes to donate to the “Shoes for Schools” shoe drive – If each of us donates a pair of new or gently used shoes we can ensure Maasai children in Kenya receive an education!

This Photographic Art Exhibition invites you to celebrate our human diversity and take a deeper look at how indigenous people live in harmony with the environment and maintain peace in society. Indigenous knowledge leads the way to live sustainably and at peace with nature; to protect people, wildlife, and the planet as a whole. As guardians of the earth, indigenous peoples play a critical role in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the benefit of all humanity.

Globally, there are an estimated 476.6 million indigenous peoples, they represent 6.2% of the world’s population, yet they occupy and manage over 25% of the Earth’s land surfaces, including the most underdeveloped areas, rich in biodiversity. The art exhibition “Indigenous Peoples For World Peace” was curated by Jessica Censotti in collaboration with indigenous cultural custodians from various tribes in East Africa with direction and support of the Maasai cultural chiefs at the Maasai Heritage Museum. We hope this exhibition will inspire you to learn from indigenous communities on maintaining peace in society so together we can create a world where peace can flourish.

Rare sacred cultural belongings of the Maasai, which they bring to San Diego to share their ancient heritage with our local community. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some rare artifacts curated by the Maasai community, who are located about 10,000 miles from San Diego. They are sharing some of their most precious artifacts, right in your city. 

Visit the Maasai handicraft Market to Economically Empower Maasai Women and Support to MCV Humanitarian Programs

*All proceeds from sales/donations will go towards building a school 

Beadwork is a pillar of Maasai Indigenous design. For centuries, Maasai women have practiced their jewelry craft with beadwork techniques that have been passed down through generations. Now, Mcv is working with Maasai women are collaborating with international designers to develop a unique line of jewelry for the global market. 

MCV works with Maasai women who never attended school, The mothers we are working with are illiterate, living in remote areas without job opportunities to support their families or pay their children’s school fees, so the products MCV offers is a lifeline. As these mothers make more of an income, even more young girls will receive an education. The women in our program are already selling the jewelry and earning enough income to buy food for their families and pay their children’s school fees, all in the hopes to break the cycle of poverty. Their girls will receive an education, learn to read and write, and, like their mothers, begin givingback to their communities. 

Our goal is to keep the Maasai culture’s traditions of beadworking alive while inspiring artists to try new styles, creating pieces that uphold ancient culture with designs while reaching a global market. This economic empowerment opportunities for Maasai women, gives them a voice in their families and in their communities. By supporting a Maasai woman, you give her the tools to change her world and, consequently, improve the world around her.

Come try a sample of Maasai traditional food from Flavors of East Africa – a tasty restaurant located near Balboa Park, which has been serving San Diego for over a decade. 

Learn Maasai ancient board games & try traditional face painting with clay from Maasailand that is a practice of traditional beauty.

Featured Guests

Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori

Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori

Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori was born and raised in a small rural village in the Rift Valley of Kajiado, Kenya. She grew up in the Maasai community, a beautiful, and rich culture which has been marginalized and which lacks resources. This has led to many children not receiving an education.

Many families – if there was any school available at all – had to choose between sending their boys or girls to school and often chose to send the boys to school while marrying the girls off as child brides to pay for the boys schooling.Nashipae’s family’s situation was very similar, she had to walk many miles to school, sometimes having to miss school for months because of lack of resources. However, when she was in high school, she got introduced to a nonprofit whose focus was to empower Maasai girls and further their education.

This organization paid for her school fees and eventually she received a scholarship through USAID which allowed her to go to college in Chicago. Today, she is the program manager for the UW Carbonne Cancer Center, and a member of My Chosen Vessels. She knows first-hand what it is like to not afford a basic human right such as education, and that is why she supports MCV’s mission and encourages anyone who is able, to help MCV provide an education for girls and boys in rural Maasai land.

Stanley Rodriguez

Stanley Rodriguez is a member of the Kumeyaay Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation. He is an educator, language teacher, an advocate for his community’s culture and traditions and serves in a number of advising and teaching roles in the San Diego and Native Kumeyaay communities and a tribal singer. He is also a Persian Gulf War Veteran who served nine years in the U.S. Navy

He has held the elected position of legislator for the Santa Ysabel Tribe of the Iipay Nation. He has an MA in Human Behavior worked as a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor and now teaches full time, having completed his PhD in Higher Education from UCSD.

Stan Rodriguez learned from his Grandmother and other Kumeyaay Elders the methods and culture. Rodriguez sits on the board of a group whose vision is to strengthen language and cultural revitalization, known as the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival. Rodriguez has been teaching Kumeyaay language classes at Kumeyaay Community College on the Sycuan Reservation since 2000. The college is open to Native and non-Native students. Rodriguez does this work in an effort to bring Native American culture to any willing to learn. He has taught workshops at the Northwest Indian Language Institute, and he has been supported by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts in his efforts to learn traditional song cycles, such as Wild Cat, from master artists. Rodriguez regularly performs and provides demonstrations of tribal songs, games, traditional tool making, and structure building.

Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori
Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori

Timothy Stiven

Timothy Stiven is the President of San Diego Sister Cities Association (SanDISCA) and a teacher of AP History and Humanities at Canyon Crest Academy. Originally from San Diego, and a fourth generation teacher, he’s know he wanted to be a teacher since he was 10 years old.
He received his B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in History and Minor in Political Science. He received his Secondary Teaching Credential the following year and have been teaching ever since. He taught History and Humanities in Los Angeles for 18 years in public and private college prep schools, until he moved back to San Diego in 2006, to teach at Canyon Crest Academy, a public school dedicated to the Arts and Science. At Canyon Crest, he is a Coordinator of The Envision Conservatory for the Humanities. The Conservatory, a three-year, student-created, project-based, after-school program – committed to deepening students’ mastery of the Humanities. One of the projects, a comic book about a hummingbird that migrates to Panama, brought him to the San Diego International Sister Cities Association.

Through the efforts of SanDISCA and SCI in 2015, San Diego become a Sister City with the City of Panama. From that relationship, my students have collaborated with three schools in Panama. Another separate Humanities project, Aquascope has “ambassadors” in eleven countries on every continent but Antarctica, providing after-school STEM curriculum. Since 2018, he has been working with the City of Tijuana, Mexico organizing the San Diego-Tijuana Sister Cities All Star Youth Soccer Tournament or Balboa Cup.  Games were played on both sides of the border and enable both cities to show off the best of their young athletes. He is a member of the World Affairs Council of San Diego and San Diego Diplomacy Council and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and Commerce.

Jessica Censotti

Jessica Censotti is the founder and Executive Director of My Chosen Vessels (MCV), a 501(c)(3) Organization in the USA & a registered NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Kenya dedicated to empowering the Maasai Community.

Her professional experience includes strategic planning, leadership development, human resources management, organizational development, creative design and visual media. Her practical insights are gleaned from direct work experience in humanitarian project development and organizational development, in particular, with underdeveloped communities and indigenous people.

Jessica has dynamic public speaking and presentation skills and expertise in facilitation as well as adult and children learning methodologies. She is also a professional photographer and creative documentary producer. She has successfully managed multiple projects working with people of diverse backgrounds. Ms. Censotti earned her Bachelors of Arts in education from Northeastern University in Chicago, IL. Ms. Censotti has traveled overseas to many countries and has lived in Africa for extended periods of times managing water, health and sanitation projects in Kenya. She demonstrates a natural aptitude to work with diverse groups of people from grassroots to community leaders to policy makers. She has coordinated logistics and program management involving undergraduate students and professional engineers. She is dedicated to making an impact in indigenous peoples lives through her NGO and its partners. Humanitarian work is her passion, especially amongst the indigenous people.

Everlyne Nashipae Nkadori
Bettina Hausmann

Bettina Hausmann

Bettina Hausmann not only has been a member of United Nations Associations (UNAs) in four countries, but also she is currently the Executive Director of the UNA San Diego Chapter, an executive member of the UNA Southern California Division, and a UNA-USA National Council Regional Representative.

Bettina’s involvement in UNAs started in 1991 when she joined UNA-Germany: “I was exposed truly to what the UN does in terms of peacekeeping missions and it was really unusual for Europe to have this so close to home, during the war where actual UN involvement took place. It was a curiosity that really brought me to the UN Association in Germany. It formed in 1951 in Berlin so now having the (Berlin) Wall removed and a reunited Germany, I had access to the civil society group of really interested and engaged international members and how they work to promote the UN in their countries.”

Bettina then moved to the United States from East Germany in 2003 after working in France, Switzerland, and Austria. In California, she completed two Master’s degrees at the University of California at San Diego, focusing on international relations. “[San Diego] has a landscape of incredible NGOs and civil societies like the World Affairs Council, and the San Diego Diplomacy Council. There are so many different networks that we tapped into.”

Host Organizations

Founded in 2009, My Chosen Vessels (MCV) is a 501(c)(3) Organization in the USA & a registered NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Kenya. Their mission is to empower Maasai people through our water, education and culture conservation initiatives.

The World Needs the UN. The UN Needs You. The San Diego Chapter (UNA-USA San Diego), established in 1946, promotes engagement with the United Nations by translating its global initiatives into our local context.

San Diego Unified serves more than 121,000 students in pre-school through grade 12 and is the second largest district in California. The student population is extremely diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.

SanDISCA’s mission is to increase the visibility, effectiveness, efficiency and viability of the City of San Diego’s Sister City Societies. To promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.