Inspiring Change for the Lives of the Maasai People – One Safari at a Time

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Four years ago while travelling in Tanzania, we met an extraordinary Maasai man who was our professional safari guide. His name is Abby Olemisiko. Abby had a vision for the future of his tribe that inspired me to get involved. He explained the challenges that he faced to get his vision off the ground. I knew I could help and from that, my life has been enriched ten fold for every hour that I support him.

First – at that time, there was no Maasai-owned and operated safari company even though most safaris in East Africa take place on traditional Maasai territory. The Maasai are often exploited and paid poorly in the tourism industry but they never have had the chance to own and run their own safari business. Abby wanted to be the first Maasai safari business owner.

Second – there was no safari company that hired and trained Maasai women to work in one of the highest paying tourism jobs so that they could empower their families and break the chain of women having few options in life. There were no Maasai women professional safari guides – Abby wanted that to change.

Third – there was no safari company that offered authentic cultural safaris into Maasailand. Abby wanted to bring guests to his visit and to create organic exchanges and learning opportunities for both tourists and his village. Abby believes that through cultural interchange, we all benefit.

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Working with my Maasai brothers in Tanzania (Abby is on the right).

From his passion to empower his people and his commitment to improving the lives of Maasai women, with my help, Abby established Boutique Safari in 2015. I offered to create and manage their website, social media, establish their business administration and guide them to the point where they could take over. It’s been almost two years and Boutique Safari is a huge success. Just take a look at their website (http://www.boutique-safari.com)  and you’ll see the incredible job they are doing.

Their work ethic and persistence sustain their vision. Boutique has broken down walls faced by Maasai girls. By creating the first Women’s Safari Program, Boutique has sponsored Maasai girls to complete their high school education and get their Professional Guide certificates. Boutique guests have the option of having a Maasai woman or man guide their safari – a first in Africa! They have the only authentic treks in Maasailand and every safari guest gets the chance to learn from and engage with the Maasai in a meaningful way.

I continue to help Boutique as they still need support  – but their personal and business growth is inspiring. I do it because I believe in their vision and I am inspired by their commitment to improve the lives of their community.  Aligned with their corporate vision, they truly are:

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Inspiring Change for the Lives of the Maasai People – One Safari at a Time

Below are photos of our guests having an exceptional Maasai safari, including with Abby wearing his traditional robes and Maasai women guides.

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Submitted by:

Paul Pelletier LL.B. PMP
Paul Pelletier Consulting
www.paulpelletierconsulting.com

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