On April 24 Mara Elephant Project was pleased to host 11 scholarship students from The Maa Trust to tour MEP HQ and learn about conservation from MEP rangers.
The Maa Trust children at MEP HQ with Wilson & Ekru.
The Maa Trust’s is an organization working towards a harmonious balance between conservation and sustainable human development in the Maasai Mara. They have a wide range of projects that increase the benefits to Maasai landowners of having wildlife on their land. These include schools, honey production, conservation education, beadwork, water and sanitation, health clinics and bursary programs.
Currently, The Maa Trust is facilitating full sponsored bursaries for 11 children in primary school, all of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds. These children don’t have a safe home to return to while on a school break so along with the Great Plains Foundation, The Maa Trust coordinates educational trips for the children to take while on Easter break to learn about conservation.
Coming to tour MEP HQ was the perfect opportunity to show these children MEP rangers are considered pillars in the community and that jobs in conservation are regarded with great esteem and should be considered for their future. Dr. Crystal Courtney, CEO of The Maa Trust, said activities like these help these children see outside traditional jobs like a doctor or a lawyer.
Wilson and Ekru talking about collaring and monitoring elephants.
MEP Senior Warden Ekru and Tracking Manager Wilson both gave presentations to the children, showed them our tracking system for elephants as well as War of Space, a short film featuring MEP. The kids enjoyed lunch at the ranger mess hall and then were treated to a game drive where they were able to see MEP’s collared bull elephant Kegol.
The children watching War of Space.
MEP CEO Marc Goss, who spoke of the importance of the Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter to MEP operations, also treated the kids to a tour of the helicopter and demonstrated a flight. He encouraged the children to think about being pilots and was a great example, along with the rangers, of how jobs in conservation are worth pursuing.
MEP CEO Marc Goss with the children in front of the helicopter.
MEP believes that children are the future custodians of our ecosystem and experiences like the one these children from The Maa Trust got at MEP, will help usher them into important roles in sustaining the future of Kenya’s wildlife.