How We Work
At The Maa Trust, we believe in research-based development and undertake detailed baseline and endline assessments so as to both quantify and qualify our impact.
The Maa Trust is a non-profit organisation working with community-owned conservancies in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We work to increase the benefits of wildlife and conservation to Maasai families so that they appreciate, and contribute to the protection of, wild animals on their land.
Our team has spent years going door-to-door asking thousands of people for their views, needs and aspirations. We listen carefully to what they say, think and ask for. We act on this, rather than what donors want to give. By directing funding appropriately, and ensuring projects are set up and handed over in a sustainable manner, we help people to help themselves.
Unlike many organisations working in remote areas of Kenya, we are a permanent presence on the ground in the Maasai Mara and we directly oversee all of our projects. While we strongly encourage communities to take ownership of projects upon completion, we continually monitor our work, and we are on hand should they need advice or guidance with repairs or maintenance issues.
The Maa Trust empowers local people by promoting small business startups & micro finance schemes, enabling them to make their own money and to invest in their family’s development. For example, in our social enterprises, Maa Beadwork and Maa Honey, we measure the success of these projects not only on how much money the ladies earn, but also the impact that these earnings have upon their lives. Our members self-identify their needs and wish list of items, and The Maa Trust helps them to save up for and attain these. Despite a severe lack of education granted to girl children in previous years, our female beadwork and honey members are now affording and investing in clean drinking water for their homes, solar power, alternative fuel to firewood, and they can now send more of their children to school.
We believe that education is a key to the success of the Mara conservancies and to the survival of this world-famous ecosystem. In collaboration with donor organisations, The Maa Trust builds classrooms and dormitories with electricity and clean water; connects children in need with scholarship and bursary sponsors; and organizes conservation education for students and teachers.
How We Work
The Vocational Training Centre (VTC) is the first building constructed as part of the new Maa Trust headquarters. IEEE Smart Village and Sidekick Foundation has funded the VTC, which has been built using Maa Bricks. This building is fully operational.
The 12 staff rooms have also been constructed. They were funded by Franc and Eli Kiefer, and Robin and Stella Podmore.
An 11.7kWh SunBlazer solar system has been installed to power the whole site, under the guidance of REIc and funded by Great Plains Conservation Foundation and IEEE Smart Village.
The next building that we are trying to raise funds for is the culture and conservation education center, which will house Maa Beadwork production center and a sales outlet.