Five years ago Jason Ingamells of Woodland Ways Bushcraft & Survival became aware of the plight of the Maasia tribes people of the Rift Valley in Kenya, who due to the lack of education and the encroaching pressures of the modern world are struggling to retain their unique way of life and culture.
This prompted Jason to act and he managed to raise enough money (some of it his own) to build a small school house and employ one teacher to educate ten children.
Five years on he has managed to raise enough to build a larger schoolhouse with four classrooms, a teachers office, toilets, water supply and three full time teachers who educate 67 children up to school year 7 pupils who also receive one good meal per day.
The modern world is upon them and it will change them. So though education we are hoping that this and future generations will be better equipped to adjust to these changes while at the same time retain their fascinating culture and heritage.
To do this Jason raises funds to support the education program by (once a year) taking a small group of people to the Maasia village, during these trips they immerse themselves into traditional Maasia life and culture.
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to join Jason on the trip to Kenya were I got to see first hand the charity work that he has done to bring education to the children of the village. I have to say It was an extremely humbling and amazing experience that has changed my perspective about many things in my life and has compelled me to help Jason with fund raising.
The one thing that struck me the most and what I believe to be their strength is the immense sense of community and family which is held together by a system that is built upon respect for your elders. These are key cornerstones of society that sadly seem to be (in my opinion) lacking in our world which we could do well to try and reinstate. Another thing that was completely overwhelming was the generosity and kindness that was shown to us by people who have very little but would give us everything.
During my stay I had a few moments of sadness balanced buy many moments of happiness with quite a few adventures thrown in. I saw many amazing things and learnt as much about myself as I did about the Maasia. When I finally had to say farewell it was to a whole new family that one day I will return to.
If you would like to join the next trip to the village you will find full details at http://www.woodland-ways.co.uk/buy-online-massai-warrior-expedition--200.html
To raise further funds Jason brings the Oloip Maasai Dancers to the UK to perform at events.
These events consist of a fascinating introduction talk about the Massia their culture and the issues they face. Followed by a captivating and extensive performance of traditional Maasia song and dance. The most well known being the Adumu or jumping dance. This is traditionally an opportunity for a warrior to demonstrate his stamina and strength by jumping as high as he can to the rising chorus of the circle of warriors surrounding him. This is followed by an opportunity for those attending to ask questions, chat, take photos and purchase traditional hand made Maasia bead jewellery and other hand made craft items.
The troop will be touring in the UK in July and August
you will be able to see there schedule on
If you are planning an event and feel that the dance troop would add something different and intere
sting or you would like the troop to perform at your school, club, WI or social gathering and at
the same time help to support a very worthy course, then you will find contact details on www.bushcraftfoundation.org.uk
The registered charity is Woodland Ways Bushcraft Foundation. As this is a small charity with a current focus on one community and completely run by volunteers we can absolutely guarantee that 100% of the money raised is spent directly on those who need it the most.
David Craze - Ronnie Sunshines Founder