Dr. Crystal Mogensen
Originally from the UK, Crystal has been working in the Maasai Mara for almost 10 years now. For her undergraduate studies she assessed the environmental impacts of tourism inside the Maasai Mara National Reserve and then for her Masters she examined the definition of ecotourism and the extent to which conservancies conform. For her Ph.D. she went on to investigate how development is defined within the Mara, and the extent to which conservancies contribute. This Ph.D. forms the research basis for all development interventions undertaken by The Maa Trust. For five years she has lived with her partner in a Maasai homestead in Olesere village.
Marias Ripau is the Programs Manager at The Maa Trust. His roles are wide and diverse but he generally sums it up as that of connecting all the actors in The Trust and beyond to strategically pursue the vision and mission of the organization.
Marias Ripau has over eight years’ experience in grants and financial management of development projects. Over this period, he has acquired valuable experience in project design, planning and implementation. His focus is on social enterprise development that pursues capacity building training and financial inclusion that expands economic, environmental and social opportunities of vulnerable communities. Marias is committed to pursuing financial inclusion through demand-driven trainings, community engagement and participatory approaches that improve people’s technical skills.
Marias graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce-Development Finance from KCA University in 2011, and is a certified public accountant. Currently, he is pursuing a Masters of Development Practice at Regis University in Denver Colorado, USA.
Maa Beadwork Manager
Resian Letoluo originates from Olkinyei. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree-Human Resource Management Option from Kabarak University and a Post-graduate Diploma in HRM from the College of Human Resource Management but during her time working with Crystal, looking at the relationship between development and conservancies, she discovered that her passion lies working with women in the Mara. As a Maasai woman herself, Resian feels an obligation to use her skills to support and nurture the women of the Mara by giving them new opportunities. For the trust’s scholarship programme she is a shining example to these children what they are able to achieve in life. To Resian, her work at the trust is not just a job, but her passion.
Taz has recently joined The MAA Trust after working as a camp manager for 6 months in the Naboisho conservancy and previous to that in the corporate sector for 10 years in both Australia and the UK. She is originally from South- African therefore has returned ‘home’. She is passionate about the wildlife and people and is incredibly keen to be able to represent the MAA Trust.
Tom Saitoti ole Nkoriompai
Tom has a degree in Finance from Moi University and MBA from Kenyatta University. He is also Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Tom is from Olendeem -Melili Ward. He heads the Finance Department and works closely with Kelvin to ensure the smooth running of finance in various projects in the Trust.
Kelvin joined the Trust’s team in 2016. He is assisting Tom with the Trust’s accounts, ensuring the smooth running of finances within each project. Kelvin graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree- Finance Option.
Ntimama is the Trust’s longest serving employee and is from the local area. He started working at the trust as a young man and has now been trained in various fields. He is the Coordinator of Maa Honey and is fully trained in Beekeeping and Honey Processing from Baraka Agricultural College in Molo, Kenya. Ntimama is also the Trust’s youth Coordinator, overseeing the scholarship and arranging community meetings. Ntimama is keen to further his education, and the trust is supporting him through his diploma in social work at Maasai Mara University. As part of this diploma, he is working with our Outreach Programme.
Seleyian is the founder of MURUA, an organization that focuses to have a zero FGM/FGC community through training, advocating and sourcing resources to ensure these girls remain in school. Seleyian has joined The Maa Trust as Female Youth Coordinator working on our End FGM Program, school outreach program and youth enterprise. She has a Diploma in Community Development and Social Work with 11 years’ experience in community development, she has a special interest in child protection, prevention of gender based violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual health education and menstrual hygiene management.
Women’s Empowerment Officer
Sitatian Isen Kipetu
Sitatian Isen Kipetu, is a co-founder of Maasai Action for Change, based in Olkinyei. She has a Diploma in Community Development and has a special interest in community empowerment. Isen has joined The Maa Trust as Women;s Empowerment Officer with the responsibility of Monitoring and Evaluating Maa Trust’s work with women and undertaking capacity building through workshops.
Maa Brick Coordinator
Ronald Michael Kamau
Kamau is designer by profession with extensive experience in the construction industry as both design consultant and building contractor. Ronald has many and varied interests, but on the top of this long list is sustainable housing, youth development and entrepreneurship. His role as Maa brick coordinate is perfect match because it combines his three top most pursuits. In his current role, Ronald contributes towards improving the housing standards whilst also ensuring that the demand for housing and settlement development does not contribute to degradation of the invaluable resource that is the Maasai Mara ecosystem. He does this by ensuring that the sustainable use of local resources in the building process. From a social perceptive his role also involves developing necessary skills among the local youth so they can service the emerging house sector in the area.
Dig Deep’s Mara Field Officer
Jonathan previously worked as a research assistant for The Maa Trust before moving over to be Dig Deep’s field officer. Although employed by Dig Deep, Jonathan is based at The Maa Trust’s HQ and he is a valuable asset to have around. Jonathan is from Talek and has both a broad and detailed knowledge of local intricacies. We work together with Dig Deep on all of our water and sanitation projects, and Jonathan is the key person on the ground for these tasks. In his personal time he is passionate about water resource management as well as supporting the governing boards of local schools.
Assistant Programs Manager
Kipila Simon comes from Naisoya village in Narok County. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in BSc Statistics from Egerton University-Kenya. He has previously worked at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics where he assisted in data collection and data analysis of the Kenya Household Integrated and Budgetary survey and joined Maa Trust last year as an intern in the beadwork department. Currently he assists Marias the the Trust’s programs manager to oversee the ongoing water projects. A large part of his work involves ensuring that these projects have the highest impact in the communities by enabling them to meet their greatest needs. This is to ensure that people have access to clean and safe water for household use. He is also in charge of the sustainable spending program that include availing rain water harvesting tanks, M-Kopa solar panels, and gas canisters for cooking for the women in Maa social enterprises.
Communication and Social Enterprise Coordinator
Simaloi is an Agronomic Engineer from EARTH University. She hails from Kajiado County. She has a strong commitment to women’s economic empowerment, sustainable agriculture technique and environmental conservation and mitigation processes. She is the founder of “Save Our World” an environmental conservation group in a rural community in Kajiado, Kenya, that participates in planting trees as well as community clean-up. She interned with The Maa Trust in 2017 and got employed in 2018. Her role is to oversee the development of other social enterprises for women which includes Maa Honey and youth social enterprises as well as manages social media communications for the Trust.
Simon joined the Trust in 2016, he has many years of experience in mechanic, welding. He also helps as a driver and is always helpful in most maintenance activities in the Trust and Maa Honey.
Sam as everyone calls him, joined The Trust June 2018 as a the driver, He has 12 years of experience. He comes from Ngila a few kilometres from the HQ. He previously worked at African Expedition. He enjoys and love his work as much as working in the Trust. He is very social to all workers and love lending a hand whenever he is asked for help.
Maa Beadwork Coordinator
Rose was initially a member of our Oltiamelatei beading group but once we realised her skill, dedication and passion she was quickly promoted to be Maa Beadwork Coordinator. Rose is a trained pre-school teacher and her love of teaching and supporting others is obvious through her work with our beadwork groups. Once funding has been secured for capacity building within our beading groups, Rose will be a great asset in numeracy and literacy training for beading members. Rose oversees half of our beading groups and satellite workshops, in addition to the workshop at HQ.
Maa Beadwork Coordinator
Simaloi is a trained safari guide, having graduated from Koiyaki Guiding School as well as KWS’s training institute in Naivasha. She is passionate about conservation and we are delighted to have her on board as she is well versed at explaining the critical link between wildlife and beadwork to our Maa Beadwork members. Simaloi oversees the other half of our beading groups and satellite workshops, in addition to overseeing our shop at HQ.
Maa Beadwork Assistant
Elizabeth is a young lady from Ngila, which is very close to our HQ. When we formed new beading groups in this area, we identified her as an ideal candidate for us to train up to support Maa Beadwork. Elizabeth helps prepare beadwork materials before they go to the field, helps finish products once they are back from the field, and assists with packaging. Elizabeth has excelled in these areas and she now also oversees the Motorogi, Olare Orok and Ilbaan beading groups via our mobile outreach unit.
Maa Beadwork Satellite Assistants
Ntiwal, Nawai, King’asunye and Noolkishuru are our four satellite managers. They oversee the Talek, Olesere Ng’amuriak and Olkuroto areas respectively. Instead of all groups being brought into our central HQ by vehicles, the satellite centres run by these ladies allow us to distribute and collect work more efficiently. Ladies walk to their closest satellite centre to receive work, be trained in different beading skills, ask any questions, and return their finished work. This process is a lot more efficient than our previous system and we hope it will enable us to increase our productivity, which in turn will increase the amount of work that ladies are able to undertake. The satellites are also key for distributing items through our sustainable spending scheme. If ladies spend their income on gas cylinders, for example, refills for these can be arranged through the satellite centres.
Maa Beadwork Leather Workers
Godfrey was our first leather worker and he has since been joined by Philip and Vincent. They each have their specialized skills which together result in a well run machine. Godfrey specializes in producing templates for items and cutting leather; Vincent is a pro on the sewing machine as well as finishing of the final products ; and Philip has been brought on board to develop our bag range. He also comes with skills in finishing and cuttings.
Cook and Cleaner
Soit is our cook and cleaner. He previously worked at a local camp but was pleased to take on his new role at the Trust. As well as keeping all staff well fed and watered, Soit looks after any of our guests staying at HQ. When we are all working hard, we really appreciate his mandazi and chai!