More school building works completed! Posted on 27 Apr 2014

We are pleased to report that the second classroom, the teachers’ storeroom and the school toilets were all completed this month. The number attending the school is still increasing and at present the school provides education for 240 children!

Dig Deep, who organised our previous trip to the area,  also provides hygiene training for the teachers in the school who in turn transfer the knowledge to not only the children in the school but also to the parents.

 

Our official opening… and the school committee visits Ndanai community Posted on 23 Feb 2014

Rimas visited the school and opened it officially for the community. The school committee participated in the interview process for selecting the contractor for next step of building construction for the second classroom, teachers’ office/store room and completing toilets. The contractor who has been selected was also given to carry out the water harvesting system which was the project funded by The Long Well Walk.

During the visit, Rimas organised a trip for the Alton Maasai school committee and Teachers’ visit to Ndanai community. The trip was supported by Dig Deep. Alton Maasai Project visited a number of projects in this area – a girl’s secondary school which had water harvesting system installed by Dig Deep, a children home with disabled children, a primary school and a community water project.

The visit was very successful and the members of Alton Maasai Project learnt about the importance of education and how to maintain water-harvesting system.

 

First classroom finished and it’s already full! Posted on 15 Dec 2013

The first class room was constructed in April 2013 and completed in June 2013. The school was up running in June and 90 children attended school and 68 women also took classes at the school on Saturdays.

Before the end of year, there was an increase in enrolment of children showing the demand in the school. By December 2013, 140 children had registered in one class!

 

Team Alton Maasai go for gold in 10km fundraiser! Posted on 30 Sep 2012

Rimas and her friend Michaelle Lukanu organized a team to take part in the Ten Ten Ten Race that took part in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield on Sunday 23rd September 2012. The team made a great effort by all finishing the 10 kilometre race (that’s just over 6 miles)! We even had Gooshi the mascot from Sheffield Is My Planet supporting us!

Team Alton Maasai were Rimas Tankile Morris, Michaelle Lukanu, Lorraine Reuber, Emily Clark, Rob Unwin, Clive Belgeone, Mike Braddick, Markus Reuber, Sally Pearse, Micu Mensonen, Zuzana Hermannova, Georgina Njoki and Natacha Take. Thanks to them and to all our sponsors – once we’ve got all our donations through, we’ll let you know how much we’ve raised for the project from the race!

As a bonus, Totley All Saints Primary School in Sheffield also had a fundraiser for Alton Maasai and Rimas will be visiting them and their teacher Diane Harris during a morning assembly in October to thank them and explain about the project.

 

Chris Morris and his honeyed fundraising efforts Posted on 17 Sep 2012

Rimas’s husband Chris, when taking time out from organising fair trade treks and safaris, keeps a well tended garden with plenty of homegrown fruit and vegetables. In recent years Chris has taken to beekeeping, with help and advice from a knowledgable neighbour and the local beekeepers association he has joined. His hive survived the recent disaster affecting bee populations, and has gone on to produce bumper crops of very tasty honey. Chris has bottled this up and is selling it in aid of the Alton Maasai Project. How ‘sweet’ of him!

 

Rimas visits San Francisco to promote project Posted on 30 Aug 2012

Rimas writes about her recent trip to San Francisco in America to help promote the project:

“I had a couple of speaking engagements while I was in America. This included a gathering at the house of Ann and Bill Alton where we received generous donations. I told them my personal story of growing up, of not having the opportunity to go to school and my lesson of being a lucky one after accessing education. I explained how this made me care about the future education of Maasai children and adults and encouraged me to team up with Ann and Bill to create a Learning Centre. Without each others support this school would not be built.

The Maasai community has survived many of the obstacles that colonisation bequests to those in the lands that have suffered conquest. However, without an education of the type needed to overcome economic disadvantages in the current global society, the growing cycle of poverty, disease, gender inequality and marginalization will impoverish future generations. Without education, the young people will continue to remain prey to the chaos of warfare that hovers in the cities.

We also believe that the mothers are the backbone of our communities, and when they are educated, whole communities grow strong. The school you are helping to fund will provide the kind of education that the mothers have organised the community to receive: An education that will make their dreams for a healthier, brighter and safer future come true for their children.”

 

Asante Africa CEO visits the project Posted on 19 Aug 2012

Erna Grasz, who is the CEO of Asante Africa Foundation, visited the project and the community in Kenya. The community presented her with the registration certificate of the women’s community-based organisation and a copy of the title deed for the Alton Maasai school. This is her own account of her visit:

“A few details on the meeting with the village that took place today…

We had an amazing afternoon. We met Isele Takile (Rimas’s sister) in Ololalungu as well as a teacher names Osono. Both are signatories and officiers of the Alton Maasai Project. They guided us to the village where the classrooms would be built. Now I understand the issues.

Men and women and women came from km’s around to come meet with us. They traveled through wheat fields, maize fields and in large groups they traveled. They were laughing because everyone ahd a baby on their back but a couple of us. They were teasing us for not having a baby on our back. Everyone was very excited to hear what the latest progress is and how soon they would be able to start on the project.

This deeply rural community is truly 15 kilometre (9.5 miles) to the closest primary school. One family had lost a child to a lion attach a couple of years ago and another family had lost a child to drowning in the river trying to cross the river on the way to school. This school is to act as a place to get started while the children grow a bit and get strong and big enough to consider the 15km walk. Wow! There were a lot of kids and mamas in this community. This nursery school will serve over 150 kids of different ages and the women are
passionate about using the same space for their own learning in the afternoons. It is very obvious the community is organized and they have thought about a lot of the issues already.

  • They have a bank account set up with 3 signatories
  • They already had a dedicated CBO project set up for the Alton Maasai Project
  • One land owner has dedicated a 2 acre parcel to the project and just today while we were all at the village meeting, another gentleman donated another 1 acre to the same parcel. GREAT. The family that donated the initial 2 acres is a young man who has done well and he and his 2 wives were very much wanting the children to be getting a stronger education.
  • Very collaborative group of people. Vocal women and a really clear of what they wanted and why.

Gathii did a nice job of describing our organization and explaining his steps to get his project off the ground. I explained that Rimas was in the USA in 2 weeks to help raise more funds.  After all the discussion and conversation, the children were getting so restless and eager to play and move about. We went into one of the houses and had chai.

We were all very happy to be a part of this project. Rimas Morris and her team members are doing a wonderfully great thing for this community. It is very much needed.”