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A letter from Daniel

Daniel Pariken
My name is Daniel Pariken and I am the founder of Maasai Community Concern & Children Programme (MACCOP).

I was inspired by my father, who sold most of his possessions to provide me and my siblings with an education, and by the kindness of a lady who sponsored me to go to university. In 2011 I founded MACCOP to give my community hope and a chance to improve their living conditions, by actively involving volunteers who sharing knowledge and cultural experiences.

Here are a few reasons for why I founded this project, and felt passionate to make a change;

  • First I grew up in a poor family and my parents could only afford to provide us with one or two meals a week, and wanted to improve the living standards for future generations and their families.
  • I saw many children dropping out of school because their parents could not afford to take them to school, and this led to young Maasai boys and girls being forced into early marriages.
  • There were no hospitals, no schools, no roads and no one to advocate for real change.
  • HIV/Aids, maternal deaths and other preventable diseases made many children orphans and left them with an uncertain future.

All volunteers that come and work on the project make such a positive impact on this rural community, and I look forward to welcoming future international volunteers. If you have any questions regarding the project, please send me an email and I will respond ASAP. Further I assure you that you will have an experience of a lifetime in the country of wonders. Congratulations on choosing to make a significant difference in Kenya. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you into our Maasai community!

Best regards,

Daniel Pariken, Project Coordinator – Maasai Kenya
Mobile +254 722 846 96
E-mail: pariken@maccopkenya.org
P.O Box 822-00208 Ngong Hills, Kenya

Meet the Team

MACCOP Coordinators based in Olasiti Village. All of the coordinators will support volunteers during their stay, by doing the following:
  • Orientation – Welcoming you to the project, giving you a tour around the village & local town.
  • Deal with any problems or worries you may have.
  • Help organise what projects you would like to volunteer for during your stay.
  • They can help you arrange transport into town.
  • Give you guided tours around the local area, such as the Giraffe Walk.
  • Help to organise the trips available during free time.
  • Support volunteers with any activities they wish to plan & facilitate.
Francis Leteipan
Francis Leteipan
In Country Project Coordinator
Josphat Tajeu
Josphat Tajeu
Team Manager & Treasurer
Daniel Ntayia Backson
Daniel Ntayia Backson
Coordinator for Garden & Agriculture
Riyies Lemayian Derrick
Riyies Lemayian Derrick
Coordinator of Renovations & Construction
Ann Shiko
Ann Shiko
Coordinator for Health & Medical/Children’s Home
Prescilla Namnyak
Prescilla Namnyak
Coordinator for the Children’s Home
Jane Naishorua
Jane Naishorua
Coordinator for the School
Claire Renn
Claire Renn (Naserian)
International Volunteer Coordinator

History

ABOUT OLASITI VILLAGE

Olasit is a traditional Maasai village where interconnected families of the clan live in peace, without any electricity, internet or running water. Living off the land and the animals, we live as we have for centuries – proudly Maasai. While the modern world slowly transforms Maasai communities across East Africa, our community is challenged to strike a balance between positive change and maintaining our traditions and identity.

Olasiti villages lie on the leeward side of the Ngong Hills, 14kms from Ngong Town and 60km West of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The landscape is characterized by bold rugged rocky hills of the Rift Valley. The area is covered by the dry savannah grassland vegetation which is dominated by Acacia shrubs/trees. There are few seasonal rivers and several marshes. There are true volcanic soils which are ideal in the growing of various foodstuffs and for the pastures of both domestic and wild animals.

Hundreds of years ago the Masai including the those at Olasiti Village lived in huts made of twigs and sticks, recently due to the scarcity of wood following droughts, many families live in simple shelters made from corrugated metal.

In the morning animal noises start early so you might not need an alarm clock! Health centres are located in the Masai land at Oloosho-oibor and Ilkilorit villages and Ngong town. Ngong is the closest town to the Masai villages over the ridge. It is a 1.5 hour walk through pleasant wooded countryside.

There is a great community spirit in the Masai People at Olasiti, away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Nairobi, by contrast everyone here knows each other, looks out for one another and as a consequence, crime is virtually non-existent.

In Olasiti, the morning silence is broken by the birds and the cow bells of the waking herds. The symphony is a marvellous alarm clock. Very early fires are started so that tea and ugali (ground maize) can be served before the young warriors take their herds out to graze and find water. When water is scarce, their journey can take hours. Water is the source of all life in our Maasai world. Lives depend on rainy seasons each year.

Maasai have a rich and colorful cultural heritage which you can learn all about during your stay. The Olasiti landscape has changed over time and you can enjoy stories from the elders in our village, who remember when there were lions, rhino, zebra and giraffe roaming freely and about the traditions of the transformation from Maasai boy to a Maasai Warrior and the rituals involved.