Basecamp’s Koiyaki Guiding School (KGS) project is Kenya’s only community guiding school, aimed to equip local Maasais with requisite skills to respond to new livelihood opportunities and challenges arising from tourism, while securing their vital, traditional knowledge on conservation.
Koiyaki guides are trained to offer guests an authentic safari experience, based on classroom knowledge and years of cultural interaction with nature. The value of skilled and committed guides is demonstrated by the fact that insensitive guiding skills have been identified as a contributing factor to the decline of the vulnerable Mara cheetah population and a leading cause of environmental degradation in the fragile Mara eco-system.
Koiyaki Guiding School is a community empowerment facility started in 2005 to improve the standards
of guiding in the Maasai Mara eco-system and in Kenya at large. Since then, 125 students have been trained as professional safari guides. Each year, 23 new guides are trained at the school, the training is based on a one year program.
In 2008, Basecamp Kenya Foundation was nominated by the local community to be the main facilitator for KGS. In 2009, it was recognised as the 2009 Global award winner for community empowerment – demonstrating that it has made immense progress in attaining its vision of being a centre of excellence for community empowerment. As of mid- 2010, the school hosts a volunteer program in partnership between Basecamp and African Encounter.
From our perspective, Koiyaki Guiding School is a community capacity centre that has the potential to transform the lives of the youth through training that emphasizes sustainable tourism/development practices and offers opportunities for employment.
The next five years will see a complete review of the curriculum to support other training needs of the community including conservancy management, chefs, languages, environmental management, photography, project management among many others. Basecamp invites partners to support this program through donation of equipment, talent, time or funds. Our ambition is to establish a revolving fund to finance enterprises for youth graduating from the school and unable to find employment in the tourism industry.
The life-transforming investment of a sponsorship for one student to graduate with a bronze medal from Kenya Professional Guides Association, including all accommodation and meals costs USD 2,000.
PROJECT UPDATE: Guiding School Sponsor Letter April 2011 (pdf)
Koiyaki, Maasai Mara, Kenya
To Create a World Leading training and capacity building institution of higher learning, based in Naboisho in the maasai
wilderness, to stimulate social development and prepare the Maasai society for future challenges.
Started 2005; 3 year consultancy contract, renewable.
Please see supplementary information:
Koyiaki Guide School
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