Another campaign being approached to Wild Navigator this week has been a social initiative from Laikipia region of North Kenya which focuses its attention on educating a conservation hunting community through a medium of cricket as a sport.

Campaign – The Maasai Cricket Warriors

(http://www.wildnavigator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cric5.jpg)In a remote semi-arid region of Northern Maasailand in Kenya, Maasai Warriors have exchanged their spears for cricket bats.

Ailya Bauer (Coach & Co-ordinator – Maasai Cricket Warriors) started a cricket program amongst Maasai children and youth in Laikipia North, Kenya in May 2007. They have now managed to introduce cricket into 16 schools in the Dol Dol and Nanyuki areas (8 Schools in Dol Dol/Laikipia North and 8 Schools in Nanyuki) of the Laikipia Region in the Rift Valley of Kenya.

Cricket development is being used as a vehicle to target social issues including:

Creating HIV/Aids awareness through cricket,
Targeting Alcohol and substance abuse through cricket,
Empowering Girls and Women through sports/cricket,
Building peace amongst rival communities through sports/cricket,
Using cricket as a way to spread messages about conservation and engaging children and youth in conservation activities.

Their conservation related activities include conservation related awareness amongst participating children and youth. They are currently also experimenting with ways to convert invasive cactus plants into fuel briquettes to reduce tree felling for charcoal production which is leaving the area denuded and vulnerable to erosion. If successful, this will be a project that the youth in the area will be involved in to protect the surrounding environment.

(http://www.wildnavigator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cricket2.jpg)They currently have a campaign running to try and raise funds to send 10 of their up-and-coming Cricket warriors to attend a sports academy for 2 months.

Herewith details of their campaign which can also be followed here:

http://www.indiegogo.com/Maasai-Cricket-Warriors-From-Kenya?a=244924&i=addr (http://www.indiegogo.com/Maasai-Cricket-Warriors-From-Kenya? a=244924&i=addr)

Their Story

The Maasai Cricket Warriors are Maasai youth from Laikipia North in Kenya who have taken up playing cricket. Through cricket development within rural Maasailand we wish to empower youth by tackling social problems to bring about positive change.

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The Maasai are among some of the poorest people in East Africa. As pastoralists they have limited access to education and health care and basic amenities that we all

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Maasai Youth Development Program – The Cricket Warriors | Wild Navigator 12/22/11 10:50 PM

take for granted are scarce. The daily burden and toil of the Maasai consists of men, women, girls and boys of all ages walking miles each day in the fierce sun to find grazing for their livestock and in search of water and firewood for survival. Employment opportunities for Maasai youth are scarce, and without secondary education, which only a few fortunate individuals can afford, the youth face a bleak and challenging future.

By developing cricket and sports amongst Maasai youth and children the aim is to empower the youth in Maasai communities of Kenya while enhancing their participation in community development, allowing them to become healthy, productive and well adjusted members of society.

(http://www.wildnavigator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cricket-maasai.jpg)Through cricket development amongst schools and youth within Maasai communities a platform is built to promote education and as a means of encouraging sustainable social change. This is achieved by focusing on developing personalities, improving life skills and reducing at-risk behaviour by broadening youths’ horizons, bridging social divides, increasing health-related awareness and providing participants with the tools to help them make the right choices when facing social challenges. Key issues that are being addressed include: HIV/AIDS awareness amongst youth, combating gender discrimination, reducing alcohol and substance abuse, raising awareness of environmental and conservation issues amongst youth and children and contributing to peace building efforts and local development.

What They Need & What You Get as a Supporter

Ten members of the Maasai Cricket Warriors Team have been selected and offered the opportunity to attend a professional cricket academy for 2 months. The “Legends Cricket Nursery” Academy which is run by 5 former Kenyan International Cricketers is based in Mombasa, 800km (500mi) away from Northern Maasailand. The 10-man team have been invited to attend the academy complimentary provided that have raised the funds to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, meals and upkeep for the 2 months. The expenses for each player for the 2-month period is $300 which amounts to $3,000 for the team of ten.

This unique opportunity will enhance the development of these individuals and afford them the chance to improve their skills and to pursue greater heights in their sport. This will also be a well deserved opportunity for these young men to broaden their horizons and to have the experience of traveling beyond their boundaries and to see

the world in a different light.

(http://www.wildnavigator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cric4.jpg)In addition to the Maasai Cricket Warriors being avid cricket enthusiasts with abundant talent they are also role models in their communities where they are actively campaigning against retrogressive and harmful cultural practices such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and early childhood marriages and fighting for the rights of women in order to eradicate discrimination against women

in Maasailand. Through sports participation they are also promoting healthier lifestyles and spreading awareness about HIV/Aids Awareness amongst youth.

In the event that we are unable to raise the total funds required we will use the amount raised to send as many individuals to the academy that the funds allow for.

As a gesture of our appreciation for your support each donor will receive a personalized message of gratitude from one of the Cricket Warriors and in addition those who contribute at least $50, will receive a digital downloadable selection of unique traditional Maasai Songs and Tunes. We also have unique locally handcrafted 15-inch miniature cricket bats with beautiful Maasai beaded handles on offer for any donations of $150 or more. The beadwork is done locally in the village where the Maasai Warriors reside and it supports a women’s self-help initiative. For those individuals who generously donate $500 or more, we will reward you with an additional traditional Maasai “Shuka” (Blanket) and a miniature souvenir Spear.

Join in and show your support. Thank you. ————

Wild Navigator thanks Aliya Bauer (Co-ordinator & Coach. Maasai Cricket Warriors) for providing all information of their campaign. All pictures

Copyright @ Maasai Cricket Warriors Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/Maasai.Cricket.Warriors)

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