Max Bailey, former Australian Football League Premiership player and current volunteer with FWP, and our very own strong Maasai-woman Project Manager, Jenipher Richard, will soon be braving their way through the wild terrain of Maasai-land to raise awareness of the need for education in Maasai communities, and to raise funds for Future Warriors Project and the Nashipay Maasai School in Makuyuni.

Max, who has called Kitenden, West Kilimanjaro his home since February this year, got the inspiration to plan a ‘Warrior Walk’ after being stranded on the way home from Arusha, the nearest large town.

“The transport I took back home to Kitenden couldn’t get through one of the dirt roads we were travelling on because it had rained so much the few days before. I had to walk about 5km carrying the supplies we had brought from town. I can’t say I was enjoying it, but as I passed some of the locals walking home from town or from a day on the farm, I realised this is reality for a lot of them. These local Maasai people, who have very little, do this kind of walking every day.

“I thought there was an opportunity for me to walk in their shoes a bit further, as a way of raising awareness for the culture and the importance of education in the Maasai communities. So, we decided to plan a 150km Warrior Walk. We will be walking from Arusha to Kitenden over 5 days, across the Maasai land, visiting local communities and schools along the way,” Max explained.

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 For Jenipher, walking long distances through wild terrain is nothing new.

“Maasai women can walk up to 50km each day just to get water. This is how I grew up, and is a normal part of life for Maasai women and girls. I know Max has played plenty of AFL, but he will have a hard time keeping up with me,” she joked.

The walk also symbolises the increasing migration of young Maasai people from remote Maasai villages to Arusha to find work.

“Many young Maasai people have grown up experiencing drought and food insecurity. With limited opportunities and education, they eventually make their way to Arusha to find work to support their families. But it’s very hard, many become homeless and experience great hardship in town”, said Jenipher.

Fortunately Max and Jenipher won’t be alone.  Maasai-owned and operated safari company Warrior Trails, which also supports Maasai education through the Nashipay Maasai School, will be helping out by donating a vehicle to travel behind them.

“When I first heard about Max and Jeni’s idea I thought – wow, these two are crazy! I decided to offer one of our vehicles to accompany them and ensure their safety. It’s for a great cause and as a Maasai-owned safari company we are always looking for ways to support our community”, said Clamian Kitesho, Warrior Trails CEO.

Max and Jenipher will be setting out on their Warrior Walk on June 6. You can support them by making donations through FWP, and by sharing the news of this Warrior Walk through social media.  

Donate now to Max and Jeni’s Warrior Walk through Maasai-land

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