I am managing this GoFundMe on behalf of beloved friend and Maasai community leader, Jack Lekishon. He says:
Mara community has greatly been affected by the impact of the current pandemic crisis of COVID-19 on Masai Mara residents and the immediate environs. The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time.
As people across the world struggle against COVID-19 pandemic regardless each one's way of life, the maasai people of East Africa already change the ancient customs to minimize the impact of the disease.
The maasai are an indigenous tribe that has been living as seasonal pastoralists for centuries.
I am seeking support to the most disadvantaged women's group in the Talek region of maasai Mara in Kenya, who maintain and enhance the handicraft skills, knowledge and designs of the maasai's famous bead and leather work.
The bead work and fair trade of these maasai local women certified guests (tourists) both locally and international hence enabling them to sell their beads and ornaments so as to earn a capital to sustain their livelihoods and their families.
These most disadvantaged maasai women apply their handicrafted products providing them with a reliable source of their own income. But now it has become past-history due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Life in the maasai villages, where these women lives has become difficult due to the restrictions in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 disease.
The poverty rate are high as they struggle for livelihood opportunities in an economic system foreign to their culture.
The maasai community relies on tourism heavily on an approximately rate of 100%. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya both internal and external borders is closed and therefore, there aren't any visitors.
The livestock markets have been closed down making it difficult for the community to acquire food. They are also in need of hygiene products-soaps and sanitizers.
The maasai community along the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve is suffering from an horrible collapse of food supply and health security in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The maasai people that are already vulnerable and marginalised population are hit hard by COVID-19 disease.
With the closure complete collapse of "Safari" tourism, they have lost their only source of income to survive. Families here have a critical shortage of food. These most disadvantaged families have no vehicles to get to the market and if they could get, they have no money to buy foodstuffs and the rural area shops are shut-down!
My goal, through your help is to provide the basic needs (food relief, water)while families stay safe at home.
In additional concern is the protection of wildlife, as this Mara region is the most rich-wildlife region of Kenya-Maasai Mara National Game Reserve and Conservancies ecosystems.
This is due with no other choices, the most vulnerable, desperate and disadvantaged family members may need to turn to hunting of wildlife for food and charcoal burning for sell to earn income.
When we come together and help, we will save lives of people, sustain the maasai-way of life-culture, conservation of both wildlife and habitats, and the survival and the well being of thousands of people in the Maasai Mara.
The following is needed:
●Food: flour, potatoes and cooking oil delivered to rural maasai families at home
●Water: Re-usable water containers filled with clean water for cleaning hands
●Sanitation: Hand soups, and face masks
I know many of us are facing serious challenges of our own right now. But if enough of us chip in just the cost of a coffee, we can help save Maasai Mara.
Together with Maasai elders, we have put a bold emergency plan to feed thousands of people from the most affected areas as mentioned in the letter once we get your support. This will also aid us to protect our wildlife and its environs.
Your donation/support will all go along way to the localcommunity.
I, Jack Lekishon, will lead all this efforts on the ground and, along with Volunteers especially the youths from the Masai Mara region.
The are covered is Talek-Sekenani-Nkoilale along the edge of the Great Maasai Mara National Game Reserve, where approximately 2500 families live in traditional maasai "manyatta" house-like structures, without power, food, water and vehicles. Together We Can!
Please join us!
Cheryl V Ewers