Wild dogs at the origin of our association !
A safari in Kenya in 2008. Previous readings reporting on wild dogs going gradually extinct. And … on the road … a pack of wild dogs!! Quick … my camera! A few shots, then a conversation with a guide in the lodge where we are staying that evening. He says he wishes to have the photos. We exchange e-mails and this is how ongoing correspondence started and has been maintained over the past four years.
The guide happens to be Maasaï. He tells me about his culture and there and then I get “hooked” as we say. I start reading everything on the subject, I contact people experts on the Maasaï, various NGOs … Everyday, I am more fascinated.
In the meantime, I inform my friends and colleagues of my discoveries.
The fate of this noble pastoral people, confined from now on to reservations, the 2009 drought that destroyed cattle and goat herds, impoverished families getting poorer and poorer who leave to join the crowded shanty towns in Nairobi or elsewhere while multinational companies seize the richest land for intensive farming, drying up and polluting the water groundwater… all this moves me right to the heart.
And on the day when Lekatoo (the Maasaï guide) writes that his wife walks 6 miles every day to fetch water from the trickling stream where wild animals have bathed during the night, that it is this muddy and soiled water that is used for washing and cooking … then a plan starts forming in our heads.
Besides, the fate of the young girls who are excised at puberty, then married off in the following weeks to a man who is often twice their age, does not leave us unaffected either. We agree with Lekatoo not to tackle excision head-on but to work via education.
We are ready. We know where we want to act and what we want to do.
After a gestation of 4 years, Maasaï Horizon was born on 12th January 2012.