Which ways to go?
With all the environmental and climactic issues the Maasai are facing, some easily say it's only a matter of time until their traditional ways are lost completely.
We do accept that times are changing, and that change is an inevitable force in this universe. We do not accept that this means an entire peoples' way of life has to be lost.
We believe we can strengthen traditional beliefs through cross-cultural sharing and appropriate education to motivate positive change. This is all in accordance with the needs and wants of the Maasai themselves, supported through awareness of the outside world. This is clear they need and want this, and it will enable them to not have to blindly follow 'civilized' ways, but rather learn and share, give and take. We emphasize that all people and cultures involved will benefit and grow.
This growth we envision is found in our Creating Resilience section. It is not to be confused with the standard use of the word 'development'.
Challenges facing Traditional cultures
This powerful video highlights just how much cultural destruction is a reality, not only in the Maasai Mara, but throughout the globe. This is the extreme reality the Maasai face, but groups like Survival International and Oltumo project are focusing on empowering the positive change makers. To skip ahead to the positive action of Oltumo, go here.
A nice summary of the threats specific to the Maasai Culture, an example of a way to preserve their rich history through the use of technology. A tool Oltumo also has in our toolbox. Reinforcing the ethics of facilitating change while preserving cultural strengths is our directive, rather than directing the change itself.
One major conflict of interests in the Maasai's existence is the situation of the tourism industry. Due to their limited access to standardized education and 'developed society' experience, the Maasai are often taken advantage of and mistreated. The trend seems to also lean strongly towards providing for tourists over both the Maasai people and the wildlife.
Simple and clear example using traditional and modern medicine as the focus, emphasizing the western-ways acceptance by traditional cultures. Click here to see our ideas for a solution!