It’s been an exciting time for The Maa Trust recently, with two new initiatives our guests can discover during their stay – beekeeping and traditional beadwork. Mahali Mzuri works closely with this non-profit organisation to support its crucial conservation efforts in Kenya’s Maasai Mara ecosystem, and our Maasai community experience trips are the perfect way to get a flavour for daily life in the Mara.
One of the big projects the Maa Trust has been working on is the opening of Maa Beadwork. Combining art and material from their tribal heritage, Maa Beadwork members have created stunning collections of colourful and professionally produced signature pieces of jewellery and accessories, enabling them to bring their traditional skills to a world platform. A new Maasai Beading shop in the Maa Trust headquarters, which is based near to the Olare Orok Airstrip, will be opening its doors from the 1st June. Guests staying at the camp will be able to go and see the ladies beading in the new workshop and buy directly from them. This is a great opportunity to meet the ladies in person and see the beautiful pieces they produce. The shop will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 4pm. It has been estimated the development of this project will directly support over 450 women and their families around the Olare Motorogi and Maboisho Conservancies. Even if you are unable to visit the Beading Shop as part of your visit, each guest on arrival can expect to receive a beautiful beaded bracelet as a welcome gift! If you would like some more details, or to purchase some of the beautiful jewellery and accessories on sale, take a look through the Maa Trust catalogue – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ab4ugEq75Ca1JjNzhJM1JhdUk/view
Another recent success story the Trust has supported is the development of Maa beekeeping and honey production. The team have just had their first harvest of honey and are busy bottling as we speak. The women’s group who own the 74 hives have been busy making the beautifully decorated bottles, all of which include a bracelet as a keepsake. To help make each visit even sweeter, the honey will be available for guests to enjoy whilst staying at Mahali Mzuri and for them to buy and take home with them as a tasty memento from their stay (supplies permitting!). Inspired by this project, the team at Mahali Mzuri have purchased bee boxes of their own. The plan is for staff on site to be trained to keep bees, which will increase the honey supply available to them as well as offering a new skill.
The Maa Trust would like to thank everyone for their support in really helping to get these projects off the ground. Maa Beadwork and Maa Honey are growing at an astounding rate. The Trust will be opening three satellite beading workshops in June and thanks to Africa Exchange they will also be doubling honey harvesting capabilities. If you would like more information about The Maa Trust, further details are available on their website – http://themaatrust.org/
At Mahali Mzuri, we run special Maasai community experiences where guests can visit one of the local villages to get a flavour for daily life in the Mara. During your visit you can expect to learn how houses are built, help milk the cattle or even enjoy a basic lesson in Maa (the Maasai language). During such visits, 40% of the tour costs go directly to the host family and 60% goes to the Maa Trust for a variety of community projects.