From a simple email to Angama Mara, Joel Kapante Ole Reiya, a local Maasai, has become an ambassador for students, conservationists, and pastoralists alike throughout the local community.
Joel, an author and conservationist, reached out to introduce his newly published book, Lekuta and the Goats & Other Stories, and asked how the Angama Foundation could help distribute his books at local schools.
From the Siria plateau adjacent to Angama Mara, Joel is one of few in his cohort to have studied at a university level, graduating from Kenyatta University in 2016. After university, he had a strong desire to give back to his community, using his education to encourage others to improve literacy and knowledge about environmental conservation, starting at a primary school level.
He has long understood the challenges that the Maasai Mara National Reserve faces, including overgrazing of cattle, charcoal burning, and loss of habitat for the wildlife, and wanted to help change the local mindset about these issues.
Joel seeks a way to empower local youth during their formative years, giving them the tools they need to do so through the messages in his books, which are aimed at showing how the Maasai people can live alongside wildlife in these changing times.
As his passion is palpable, the Angama Foundation not only supported him by putting his book into local schools but sent him on a book tour so the author himself could educate and inspire students.
He finished his book tour of the five schools immediately surrounding the lodge in December 2019 and has plans to visit up to 40 more schools around the Mara in the near future. Joel also continues to write and hopes to have another book published this year.