Land grabbing and forced evictions fueled by certain aspects of the safari tourism industry are threatening the Indigenous Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania with impoverishment and cultural extinction. Adding insult to injury, Maasai are objectified as tourist attractions and overlooked by tour companies for upper management roles and as field guides.
At Adumu Impact, we believe that with access to training, jobs, and entrepreneurial opportunities, Maasai can be the primary beneficiaries of tourism occurring on their ancestral lands. This, in turn, gives Maasai more leverage to hold onto their homelands for sustainable livelihoods that benefit Indigenous people and wildlife. Our mission is to increase economic and cultural self-determination of host communities in East Africa, empowering them to systemically address broader challenges related to poverty and climate change.
Despite having intimate knowledge of the wildlife and landscapes, most Maasai cannot afford guide training from the local colleges. Maasai women face further obstacles to participation in the safari sector, as long-standing traditional gender roles hinder women’s opportunities for education and employment.
Launching in May 2021, the Adumu Impact Fund guide training program strives to provide full scholarships to 16 Maasai, including 9 women from a local Maasai women’s empowerment organization who have enrolled, on condition of our fundraising efforts. Completion of the program will certify their knowledge of:
Flora and fauna identification
English, public speaking, and science communication
Computer and camera skills
Driving and safety in rough terrain
Hospitality, management, and culinary arts
Every donation has an impact.
$5 - one uniform for camp staff
$10 - one set of linens
$25 one month of electricity for the camp
$50 one month of wifi for the camp
$100 - one month of driving school for one student
$250 - one month of professor fees
$500 - a Tourism Certificate for one student
$1,000 - one bathroom tent with shower, wash basin, and toilet
$5,000 - one student tent (accommodates 8)
VOLUNTEER for Adumu Impact: You can directly support the Maasai Guide Training Camp and future projects by donating weeks or months of your industry-related skills as a teacher or consultant to our projects. Contributions can be on-site, remote, or a combination thereof. We are looking for volunteers in the following areas:
When you donate, please check the box indicating that you would like to volunteer and we will get in touch with you. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are very few women tour guides in Tanzania and Kenya, and women are lacking the economic benefits from tourism that guiding provides. Adumu Impact is partnering with a nonprofit community based organization in Loliondo, Tanzania that works to achieve gender equality and community development through the empowerment of Maasai women and girls. This organization has already connected us with 9 Maasai women who aspire to become expert field guides by enrolling in our training program. This respected organization in the community of Maasai activists in Tanzania, understands the potential for tourism to help Maasai pastoralists hold on to land and culture and to empower women economically.
The Adumu Impact Fund is a brand new non-profit based in Davis, California. Our mission is to increase economic and cultural self-determination of host communities in East Africa, empowering them to systemically address broader challenges related to poverty and climate change. This mission is very close to our hearts as our co-founder, David, is a Maasai from Tanzania. As a young man, David was fortunate to receive the support of an American to fund his education in African wildlife management and safari guiding. Now, as a wildlife biologist living and working in the United States, he wants to extend that same opportunity to other members of the Maasai community. Named after the adumu, a traditional jumping dance performed by the Maasai, Adumu Impact is dedicated to uplifting Indigenous communities in East Africa.
Adumu Impact Fund’s first project will be a guide and hospitality training camp. The safari tourism industry in East Africa is highly profitable, but local Maasai see a minute percentage of the economic benefits. Despite having intimate knowledge of the wildlife and landscapes, most Maasai cannot afford guide training from the local colleges. Additionally, to be contracted as a guide, one must own or have access to a 4x4 vehicle, creating an additional barrier to Maasai and other marginalized host-communities. Maasai women face further obstacles to participation in the safari sector, as long-standing traditional gender roles hinder women’s opportunities for employment.
Launching in May 2021, the Adumu Impact Fund guide training program strives to provide full scholarships to 16 Maasai, at least 50% of whom are women. Completion of the program will certify their knowledge of:
Savannah ecology and conservation biology
Traditional ecological knowledge of the Maasai
Maasai history and land rights
Walking, biking, and driving safaris
They will also be provided access to 4x4 vehicles so they can be employed by Adumu Safaris or contracted by other companies.
We plan to expand the program to include training in hospitality, management, and culinary arts. This will further increase the opportunities for Maasai to capture the economic benefits of the safari tourism industry and increase economic self-determination.
We are fundraising to cover the costs of setting up the camp and running the first year of training. We need:
2 student tents that accommodate 8 students each
4 bathroom tents
4 guest tents
1 mess tent
1 kitchen tent
Linens for students and guests
2 4X4 safari vehicles and fuel
12 months of professor fees
Salaries & uniforms for camp staff
Wifi & electricity
Food & beverages for students, staff, and guests
Through this program, Adumu Impact Fund hopes not only to alleviate poverty amongst Maasai, but also to challenge the status-quo and pioneer a Maasai owned and operated safari industry. Maasai self-determination is critical to their cultural survival and the survival of the extraordinary wildlife and landscapes that make tourism to the region so popular.
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Learn more about other projects on the horizon at our website: www.adumuimpact.org