Photo © Peadar Brehony
Culture & Livelihoods
The survival of Kenya’s amazing wildlife and the tourism that goes along with it are inextricably tied to Maasai culture. The Maasai have coexisted with wildlife for centuries. Their traditional pastoral way of moving with their livestock prevents land degradation and permanent settlements, providing a landscape in which both people and wildlife can thrive. However, pressures from drought, political and cultural changes, land development, population growth and demand for resources are disrupting the Maasai way of life and this long-standing relationship with nature. The result is that communities may lose access to their land, water, wildlife resources and aspects of their culture.
ACC US supports communities as they identify and implement innovative ways to improve their livelihood while mutually benefiting wildlife and the environment. We raise funds and resources to help communities establish Women’s Enterprises, such as nature-based products, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and beaded products; Game Scout programs and improved rangeland and wildlife management practices. We also support a Maasai Cultural Heritage program to preserve Maasai knowledge about their environment and traditional ways of life.
Lale’enok Resource Centre
The name Lale’enok is Maa, and means place where information is brought and shared. Lale’enok Resource Centre, (aka South Rift Resource Centre), facilitates the advancement of community livelihoods, sustainable resource management and human-wildlife coexistence through the integration of research, livestock development, tourism, and other income generating community projects. As a physical place for information storage and sharing, the centre provides the community with a forum to engage partners in knowledge creation, dissemination and application.
Twala Cultural Manyatta
Twala Cultural Manyatta provides guided ecotours, Maasai cultural experiences, and affordable accommodations. The Manyatta was initiated by local Maasai women to provide a unique and authentic experience for visitors while fostering respect and understanding of the local environment and culture. It is located in the stunning wildlife-filled Laikipia plateau, near Mt. Kenya.
Noonkotiak Community Resource Centre
The Noonkotiak Community Resource Centre was officially allocated land by Olgulului Group Ranch in 2013 and launched by ACC and partners in March of 2016. The Centre is a knowledge sharing hub, a women empowerment centre and a research focal point for the entire Amboseli Ecosystem.
Increasing women’s economic opportunities is imperative to building sustainable conservation practices and more equitable societies. We support programs that empower women to develop conservation-related enterprises so that they can more actively contribute to their community’s livelihood.
Game Scouts are the front line in the battle against poaching. This program provides training for community members so that they can protect wildlife, tourists and livestock; engage in community conflict resolution; collect ecological data; and generate and distribute environmental information to enhance community awareness.
Maasai Cultural Heritage
The Maasai Cultural Heritage Program mobilizes communities in Kenya to revive and celebrate their common heritage through annual cultural festivals (the first held in 2013), a cultural heritage center and museum, cultural exchanges, and the development of cultural tourism that brings benefits to the genuine custodians of their culture.