JOIN THE ENJOLAATA MOMENTS!
“Enjoolata!” describes the joy felt when something hidden becomes known. To create more “Enjoolata moments”, Basecamp Explorer Kenya will establish the Enjolaata Awareness and Training Centre in the midst of Basecamp Explorer’s birthplace – the Basecamp Maasai Mara in Talek. The philosophy of the center is founded on our belief that the best ideas, solutions and results are generated in a community of likeminded people. Here people come together understanding that everybody can contribute to safeguarding the Maasai Mara. Individual strengths add up to collective power, forming a strong basis for the co-creation of game-changing models, tackling existing and future challenges for the Maasai Mara, its people and wildlife.
The Maasai Mara is one of the world’s most important habitats for wildlife, biodiversity and the indigenous Maasai people. For centuries, the Maasai and their livestock co-existed with the wild animals in harmony with nature. With the introduction of civilization, this original balance has been lost, putting the Maasai Mara ecosystem as we know it on the brink of extinction: wildlife population and biodiversity are severely diminished, and the Maasai face the risk of losing their culture while struggling to find a place in the economic system of a globalized world.
The purpose of the Enjolaata Awareness and Training Centre is to serve as a center and meeting point for the community of Maasai people, eco-tourism partners, community and national authorities, NGOs, tourists, scientists, foundation and media representatives – generally all people and organizations who are interested in the conservation of the iconic habitat of the Maasai Mara, the protection of its wildlife population, the preservation of the Maasai cultural heritage, and the empowerment the Maasai people and their communities.
The ENJOLAATA CENTRE is a platform aiming to
- Empower Maasai people and build capacities in local communities
- Connect like-minded people
- Facilitate collaboration and vital cooperation between communities and conservancies in key areas such as infrastructure, security and anti-poaching, capacity building, knowledge sharing, branding, wildlife research
- Showcase Basecamp Explorer Kenya´s pioneering model and like-minded tourist operators of responsible community-based tourism and other effective, scalable high-impact solutions and best practices
- Share other successful solutions for creating a stronger Maasai Mara of tomorrow
- Raise awareness locally and globally on key issues related to the survival of the Mara ecosystem – and sharing these experience also for the conservation of other global ecosystems of critical importance
The ambition of the EnjolaatA centre is to become a
- A leading center for youth education (vocational training) and empowerment of the local people and their communities
- Go-to-destination and the source for anybody interested in experiencing, studying, supporting, collaborating, and exchanging on the Maasai Mara ecosystem, its wildlife, natural habitat, and the culture and people of the Maasai tribe
- Hub for the preservation and authentic experience of the Maasai culture – visitors experience the Maasai way of living like in no other place in the world; in the replica Manyatta – the traditional Maasai home – the centuries-old Maasai cultural heritage becomes tangible
- Meeting place for sharing experiences, shaping the agenda and setting the mutual goals for responsible community-based tourism
- Center of social entrepreneurship and cutting-edge solutions in the Masai Mara, collaborating with successful social enterprises from Africa and around the world
The Enjolaata Centre will be located within the area of the Basecamp Maasai Mara campsite – which has a long-term lease from a Maasai landowner. The site is centrally located at an easily accessible spot between the reception, tree plantation area and an accommodation facility for volunteers, pupils on a school excursion, researchers and other guests and partners visiting the centre (see the area within the red circle).
Advantages of enjolaata centre´s positioning in the Basecamp Masai Mara camp
- Basecamp Masai Mara is a showcase area for best practice models in re-establishing biodiversity, reviving the ecosystem, capturing carbon emission, tackling the human-wildlife conflict, empowering local people with training and employment opportunities, building community infrastructure through water access points, resource and waste management.
- Basecamp Masai Mara, the Enjolaata Centre, and the tourism industry are connected through a triple-win situation: Basecamp Masai Mara’s guests become visitors at the Enjolaata Centre, and centre visitors most likely will become paying safari tourists, securing growing employment opportunities for the local population, strengthening the economic stability of the Maasai Mara region and the Kenyan tourism industry as a whole.
- Situated along the Talek River on the boundary of the Mara Reserve and at the same time nearby the growing Talek village, Basecamp Masai Mara is positioned in a strategically critical and centrally located area. Located close to the village with rapid urbanization challenges for the Maasai communities, enables a deep understanding of the multi-dimensional challenges, own experiences and interactions with the local community, and an uninterrupted exposure to vast numbers of animals.
- Basecamp Masai Mara has the capacity to host the Enjolaata Centre visitors and guests, providing them with best-in-class service, infrastructure, working facilities and collaboration possibilities situated in the micro-climate of the Basecamp Masai Mara forest – an unparalleled location in the Maasai Mara for this purpose.
The Enjolaata Centre is a multi-functional facility that targets relevant stakeholders with a broad range of offerings. Apart from the Enjolaata Centre’s main building, the Basecamp Masai Mara offers a number of additional sites surrounding the centre, such as the reforestation area, beading art center etc.
The Enjolaata Centre offering comprises of three main categories
- Educational classes and job training with a special focus on vocational training for Maasai youth
- Education and awareness-raising addressing mainly local Maasai, Basecamp Masai Mara guests, partners, volunteers, researchers
- Education and entertainment about Maasai culture, wildlife and biodiversity, addressing mainly local Maasai, Basecamp Masai Mara guests, partners, volunteers, researchers
In the first half of 2018, the centre’s concept was defined and a plan laid out for the construction of the centre which is set to begin in early 2019. The centre will house the new BMB art and craft centre, a community radio station run by the Friends of Masai Mara (FOMM)
and display artifacts on the Maasai community and culture as well as introduce the visitors to the Basecamp community projects.
Researchers, photographers etc. who share their insights/ work results with BCEK, also benefiting the broader Maasai Mara ecosystem, stay in the TCC guest facilities free of charge. Otherwise they are charged rates. The access to and the use of the TCC is free of charge for the local Maasai communities, subsidized by a flat fee added to the BCMM guest’s invoice – if they chose to support the TCC.
Main funding sources are
- Financial and non-financial support from Basecamp
- Paid workshops hosted for partners, researchers etc.
- Fees earned for renting the TCC as an event venue
- Charitable donations by foundations, development agencies and private donors
The total funding needs amount to USD 100´000, comprised of the following cost positions
- Enjolaata Centre buildings and tents – including conference area for approx. 20 pax: USD 50´000
- Enjolaata Centre researcher and volunteer accommodation tents: USD 20´000
- Furniture and lamps: USD 10´000
- Equipments, such as computer, beamer, beamer screen, loud speaker etc.: USD 10´000
- Communication and marketing campaigns, such as launch and operations of the first year): USD 10´000
Kristiansand Dyrepark, one of the main donors and strategic partners of Mara Naboisho Conservancy, has stated its strategic interest in developing a joint communication platform on development & environmental issues within the planned Enjoolata Centre. Today, Dyreparken welcomes one million visitors yearly, thus the importance of this possibility should be emphasized. Both Basecamp Explorer and Dyreparken would welcome discussions with NORAD on how to structure such communications and what content and issues should be emphasized for the combined audience in the Mara and in Kristiansand Dyrepark. Kristiansand Dyrepark and Basecamp Explorer will work out a detailed implementation plan for the developed communications strategy, and make their final investment decision on the idea once NORAD’s decision on Basecamp Explorer’s grant application has been taken.
Natija Dolic, former Head of Marketing and Communications of LGT Venture Philanthropy, one of Basecamp Explorer’s main strategic partners and funders for extending the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, has agreed to support and has already started working on the development of the Enjolaata Centre concept, and its communications and marketing strategy.
The Enjolaata Centre is an initiative that represents, enforces and scales best-in-class models to sustain the Maasai Mara ecosystem, protect wildlife, revive biodiversity, empower local communities and preserve the Maasai cultural heritage.
The Enjolaata Centre attracts further tourists to the Maasai Mara, securing growing employment opportunities for the local population, strengthening the economic stability of the Maasai Mara region and the whole Kenyan tourism industry.
The Enjolaata Centre fills a critical gap for the local need of education, job-training, awareness raising; there are no similar center in the Maasai Mara. The vision & programs will be shared and aligned with those of our partners under Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancy Association.