Kakuta Hamisi had a simple dream as a boy – he wanted to go to school. But there was no school in the small Kenyan village of Merrueshi where he grew up.
Kakuta did learn to herd the family cattle, and he was trained to be a Maasai warrior. His family sold the cows necessary to send their son to a boarding school that would extend young Kakuta’s education beyond that. Kakuta took that education all the way to the United States, where he graduated from The Evergreen State College and then began his own non-profit organization, The Maasai Association, aimed at supporting the Maasai region.
The next stage of Kakuta’s life was driven by the desire to give back to his community. There still was no school, water, or medical clinic in Merruseshi. Today, Kakuta has managed to provide all of these things with the assistance of donors and travelers. Now, children receive vaccinations and women give birth in a clean, well-run clinic that is serviced by a newly-purchased ambulance. A generous Seattle family of Crooked Trails travelers sponsored a village pump and water system; it used to take hours of walking to haul water to local homes. And now, in the small Maasai community of Merrueshi, there is a school with over 500 students, built in partnership with Kakuta Hamisi and donors from Crooked Trails and the Maasai Association.
So much good has come to Merrueshi through Kakuta’s hard work and the help of travelers that people from a wide radius of surrounding villages come to the clinic and the school. The school dormitories are over-capacity and they are in desperate need of a new dormitory, especially for the girls that come from so far – school access for girls in developing nations is, of course, particularly challenging and under-funded. Kakuta estimates that the new girls’ dorm will cost $25,000, will house 100 girls, and can be completed in about 1 month once funds are available. We are helping to raise funds for a boys’ dorm as well.
Crooked Trails has set up a fund to gather donations for the dormitories, and we are also looking for groups of travelers who might like to travel to Merrueshi and help with building. After a wonderful experience volunteering, meeting the kids and hanging out with the locals, the warriors will take participants on safari at nearby Amboseli and Maasai Mara.
Contact us if your group would like to learn more about traveling to Kenya and helping build the dorms!
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