The Masai Mara has had a year full of excitement. As it does every year, the Mara has played host to the remarkable wildebeest migration, a phenomenon of over 2 million animals following a clockwise loop of approximately 1,800 miles in search of rain and grass. This year also saw dramatic weather patterns, bringing in big storms and heavy rainfall for a number of weeks.
What else has been happening in Elewana’s Sand River Masai Mara? Big things, especially initiatives being taken by the Life & Land Foundation. With the help of Life & Land, Sand River has been working closely with a small, primary school, Embiti Primary School, located on the outskirts of the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Embiti Primary School, while relatively new and still in the early stages of development, is home to 148 children, 70 boys, and 78 girls, along with 7 teachers. Of the 7 teachers, 2 are employed by the government and 5 are employed by the school committee and are funded by parental contributions. But the school’s facilities are still limited, with only 2 permanent classrooms, 1 semi-permanent classroom, 1 block of toilets and 1 semi-permanent teachers’ house. And only one of the two classrooms is powered by a government-provided solar system.
The Embiti Primary School is part of the Wildlife Warrior Program and hosts Wildlife Warrior Clubs which are both designed to promote activities involving inter-generational knowledge sharing, innovative thinking, and proactive wildlife conservation. Once or twice a term, Life & Land educators visit the program and get everyone involved in lively interactive activities for the children, such as conservation and education-themed videos and tree planting using innovative seed-balling techniques. They are currently working on an ongoing project which will install a rainwater harvesting system, plumbing to the nearest borehole, and a large water tank. This system will help the school with its water supply and stop the children from having to walk 2km each way to collect buckets of water for cooking or washing purposes. Every day, the program strives to help develop a generation of East Africa’s conservationists.
Recently, two guests staying at Elewana Sand River, Emma and Emily (also known as Eminem), went to visit the Embiti Primary School. They were entranced with the liveliness of the children and their enthusiasm for learning but saddened to find out that many of the kids leave school at an early age because there simply are not enough classrooms to house the older students. When Emma and Emily returned home to the States they started a fundraising campaign to support the construction of a further permanent classroom for the students. These best friends have a shared passion for helping others and have set up a crowd-fundraising page to help the Embiti Primary School.
To read Emma and Emily’s full story, watch a video from their time at Embiti School, and make your own contribution to help these women and their quest to build a classroom in Africa, please click here.