MARA NAPA FOUNDATION
A CHANCE ENCOUNTER
Our story begins with a chance encounter by two individuals from diverse backgrounds and separate continents. From this meeting in 2018, a friendship developed. And from that friendship, a shared passion was discovered, which blossomed into a plan to help the local people of the Maasai Mara, their pristine land, and the endangered wildlife that roam there. MNF, a US non-profit and 501c3, is guided by the two friends, Michelle Nirenstein and Prince Harris Taga. Currently, MNF supports projects at the 15 acre Mara Napa Center and the surrounding communities.
BUILDING SELF RELIANCE
Whether MNF is building a meeting hall for women, a home for an elder, or filling potholes in the town center, we employ local Maasai, experienced or not. Those who have already acquired skills, teach others, helping them become useful, employable members of the community. They learn construction, plumbing, auto mechanics, hospitality and more. A great sense of pride and ownership is fostered in everything we do together. It takes a village.
Everyone is valuable.
Opportunity Brings Success
In the Maasai culture, women do most of the work. To honor and empower them, we have built a special gathering place - the first of its kind in the Mara - where women of the community can gather, sheltered from the harsh sun. Here they enjoy companionship, reading in the library, sharing ideas, attending lectures, educating their children, and learning new things on the computers. Entrepreneurship, design, and product development are cultivated, and self-reliance grows. There is also an all-women run water business, that provides purified water to the local community and nearby camps. Here, women feel valued and empowered.
Wildlife and Habitat Protection
Reverence for wildlife is developed through education and positive encounters. By learning how similar animal families are to their own, children begin to care about their fellow inhabitants. We bring films and lectures to local schools and take the children to Maasai Mara National Reserve for their first safari. Human/ wildlife conflict is an ongoing challenge in the Mara. But it can be mitigated through education, land leases (that ensure wildlife have enough free range), drone surveillance to provide radio contact with the locals to warn of wildlife encroachments, or to turn wildlife away from human interactions. These are just some of the conservation efforts of MNF.
Interactive Museum...Coming Soon!
A state of the art hands-on museum is planned at the Mara Napa Center. Currently, there is no cultural center, book store, or museum in the Mara Triangle. There are few photographs or historical accounts of Maasai life. In order to preserve and share the customs and artifacts of this important tribe, we are in the process of curating objects, art, and costumes, as well as recording oral histories and photographing the Maasai population in the Mara.
___adopt a worker for a month/year
___support a land lease
___purchase bee keeping supplies for a woman
___fund an educational program
___become a patron of the museum
___give to the general fund
All contributions are tax deductible and we thank you for your support.
Please make checks payable to:
MARA NAPA FOUNDATION and note in the memo line any specific requests.
Mara Napa Foundation
1612 Maple Ave
Austin, TX. 78702