MEP’s First Official Event in Kenya

IMG_1523On April 27 Mara Elephant Project hosted their first official Kenyan event at Nairobi’s Tribe Hotel. The purpose of this event was to bring key stakeholders and business leaders in Kenya together to learn about MEP’s mission in the Mara and invite them to partner with us to protect elephants and conserve the greater Mara ecosystem, a critical natural asset of Kenya.

 

The entrance to the event space at Tribe Hotel. 

 

 

Six of our Kenyan trustees were in attendance at the event as well as MEP CEO Marc Goss, Development Director Victoria Fanthorpe and the Executive Director of the ESCAPE Foundation, MEP’s primary funder.

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Kenyan Trustee Beatrice speaking with MEP rangers Wilson & John.

Trustees Moses Kamau and Beatrice Karanja were our host presenters for the evening and spoke very passionately about why they joined the MEP herd.

“What we really want to do tonight is take you on this journey of our first five years and what we’ve achieved and inspire you to walk with us in the next part of our journey. Conservation is at a crossroads in Kenya and it’s a time where we all as Kenyans need to stand up for our natural heritage and our assets.” Beatrice Karanja

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Trustees Beatrice and Moses hosting the event. 

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Tribe Hotel owner, Shamim Ehsani, generously hosted the event and introduced his school classmate, MEP CEO Marc Goss.

 

Shamim introducing Marc. 

 

“People might question what a city hotel in Nairobi has to do with elephants in the Maasai Mara, but I think that question really comes down to more of a shared responsibility we all have, and I think some people in this room have money, some people in this room have influence and some people in this room have ideas and whatever you have I think it’s our responsibility as custodians of the planet to share that and to come together and protect the Earth.” Shamim Ehsani

MEP’s CEO Marc Goss gave a brief presentation on MEP’s achievements over the last five years as well as the change in our ‘boots on the ground’ objectives for the future, including addressing the increase in human-elephant conflict in the Mara.

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Marc pointing out MEP’s area of operation in the Maasai Mara.

“So, that’s our next challenge. Our organization is now adapting to try to mitigate, understand and stop conflict where we can in our area of operation.” Marc Goss

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MEP Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua and ranger John LeShan both spoke about serving on the frontlines for MEP and the impact MEP has had in the Mara communities.

 

Wilson speaking at the MEP event. 

 

 

Finally, we ended the night with ESCAPE Foundation’s Executive Director Brian Kearney-Grieve saying a few words about why ESCAPE feels so passionately about funding MEP and the future of MEP funding.DSC08184

Brian Kearney-Grieve speaking about ESCAPE’s passion for MEP.

“We look for value for money. When looking at organizations we ask ourselves is this an organization where the money really goes to the frontline and delivers? The other thing we look for is, are they leading by evidence? Because if you’re not lead by evidence how do you know that you’re having an impact? The final thing that we look for is, what are the outcomes? MEP started by looking to address the crisis around poaching and we can see how much that poaching crisis has fallen in the Mara where it’s operating. Now, we have the evidence that there is a new challenge: human-elephant conflict and protecting both the wildlife and the communities that live with wildlife. To me, my message to you, if you’re looking for an organization where you’re looking to get a really good return on investment with high impact, here’s a really good opportunity for you.” Brian Kearney-Grieve

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Thank you to everyone who came to the event, and thank you to our Kenyan trustees, rangers, CEO, development director and the Tribe Hotel for making this event a success.

 

Guests left with a goody bag filled with MEP merchandise, the presentation and pamphlet.

 

 

 

 

MEP, as a Kenyan NGO, wants to partner with Kenyan organizations to help protect elephants and conserve the greater Mara ecosystem.
We encourage everyone to join our herd.

 

We will leave you with words from MEP Kenyan Trustee Colin Church.

“Somehow we have got to change this thinking. When oil is struck in Turkana everyone shakes and gets excited, and yet the greatest asset that we have as a nation is not necessarily oil, it’s what can give people jobs, and income and revenue from the land they’re on. This whole reason to have this event was to get ownership by Kenyan society for the Mara Elephant Project and I’d like to salute them for taking the leadership and let’s get it spread more!” Colin Church

 

 

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