Examples of Organizations we Support
Uso Africa Safaris allocates a portion of its profits to a number of community-based organizations that address some of Kenya’s greatest challenges.
In addition, we integrate these organizations into our itineraries in which clients have an opportunity to not only interact with the people, but to empower them through purchasing their handmade goods and/or tourist services.
Jacaranda Children’s Home, Nakuru
Jacaranda Children’s Home provides a nurturing and empowering environment to 25 girls with no living parent and come from throughout Kenya. The home also maintains a large garden to provide produce for the youth and also to sell produce to the nearby Lake Nakuru Lodge which then generates income to maintain the children’s home. Previous contributions from Uso Africa Safaris have helped stock the library at the children’s home with books and school supplies for the girls, and helped pay for school fees for some of their residents.
Losho Village, Masai Mara region
Losho is a community of Masai families with a pastoral livelihood focused largely on subsistence. The hard-working families raise livestock and host tourists as their primary means of income to help pay for food, school fees for their children and other necessities. In partnership with Uso Africa Safaris, leaders from Losho Village teach clients about their culture through traditional games and dances, and while talking during hillside hikes that provide clients with a fantastic view of the Losho region.
Unity Village & Umoja Village, Samburu region
Women in many regions of Kenya have struggled due to cultural norms that empower men and limit the rights of women. As those sentiments began to change during the past few decades, groups such as the Unity Village and Umoja Village help raise awareness about women’s rights and also provide refuge for women who choose to leave circumstances in which their rights are threatened. Support from Uso Africa Safaris and the purchase of beaded work by our clients have enabled these women’s groups with such projects as constructing a latrine and erecting a fence to protect their villages from wildlife.
Example Lodges and Vendors
In many parts of Kenya, tourism is one of the few viable economic development options, but income and prosperity only flow into these communities if tourism companies make it happen through their employment and purchasing decisions.
At Uso Africa Safaris, we select our lodges and vendors to help maximize the potential for economic benefits to the communities in which we visit. Prior to utilizing any lodge for our clients, we meet with lodge managers to discuss their employment of local people, use of local sellers and vendors, and support of organizations, schools and clinics that exist in their communities. Below are some examples of the lodges and vendors that Uso Africa Safari utilizes.
Lake Nakuru Lodge, Nakuru
One of few safari lodges in Kenya that is independently owned, Lake Nakuru Lodge (situated in Lake Nakuru National Park) is active in a number of community initiatives around the Nakuru region. Its marketing manager, Mr. Joseph Muya, works tirelessly to create and maintain partnerships between the lodge and the surrounding community. Among its efforts, the lodge purchases produce from the garden at the Jacaranda Children’s Home which then provides revenue to the home. In addition, the lodge allocates a portion of time of its on-staff nurse to a nearby clinic, and was also instrumental in setting up the Baruku Camp to provide victims of post-election violence in 2007 a safe place to resettle.
Kichwa Tembo, Masai Mara region
The Kichwa Tembo lodge near Masai Mara National Reserve works closely with a number of community organizations to provide important services and to help generate income. In addition, its parent company, andBeyond, is guided by a strong statement of social and environmental sustainability throughout its operations in sub-Saharan Africa. The leadership at Kichwa Tembo has helped provide opportunities for individuals in nearby communities to learn how to produce commodities such as honey and chickens that the lodge can then purchase from them directly rather than vendors and markets located further away. It also provides medical supplies and free medical visits by its on-staff health professionals to the local communities, and supports a local school.
Mara West camp, Masai Mara region
Mara West is an example of how tourism can be a catalyst for change in a community. Located on the western border of Masai Mara National Reserve, Mara West works in partnership with Africa Mission Services to fund operations at a local medical clinic, sponsors dozens of young people for their primary and secondary education and subsidizes lodging fees for volunteers in the region.
George & Cindy Gakii, shopkeepers, Archers Post, Samburu region
George and Gakii operate a shop (“duka” in Swahili) in the Samburu frontier town of Archer’s Post, just a few miles from the main entry gate to Samburu National Reserve. During the Samburu portion of safaris with Uso Africa Safaris, we purchase many of our provisions as from George and Cindy’s shop because of their hard work ethic and their support of local youth. When school resumes and youth must have required school supplies, George donates his time to travel three hours roundtrip to acquire those supplies.