In Maasailand, children from the age of seven are responsible for their family’s herd of livestock. The responsibilities are based on the children’s age — for example, those between seven and 10 years old take care of goats and sheep while children between 10 and 15 take care of small herds of cows. From 15 years old, they are considered grown-ups and must take care of large numbers of cattle, going great distances to feed them and get water to drink.
For the Maasai, livestock is their livelihood, meaning these children have a huge responsibility on their little shoulders from an early age. This makes them grow up quickly but I think having fun is an important part of childhood. Thus, I felt an Angama Fun Day would be a great way to give back to the community and invest in its future.
The day kicked off at 11h00 am with a football match with the winners taking home books and pencils to enjoy long after the day ended. While there were a few other races and competitions (including a sack race, a favourite in any culture), our Fun Days are about learning at the same time. Robert, one of Angama's guides, gave the children a lesson on how to protect our environment by not littering and the importance of respecting the animals that they often see around such as zebra and giraffe. We had art and beading classes with our Mamas from the Beading Studio and we brought in a mobile swimming pool to teach the children how to swim.
But there was also some fun just for fun’s sake — a bouncing castle, a trampoline and a giant slide were real show-stoppers. A clown had all the children in fits of laughter while a troupe of acrobats amazed us all as they bent, flew and flipped beyond what we thought was possible. Then, to add a little bit of magic, we had a magician perform. To end the day, the Angama kitchen team lovingly provided a delicious lunch for all the children who went home with full bellies and big smiles.
The very first Fun Day happened three years ago and seeing the children so happy never gets old. It started with just 40 children, grew to 100 last year and this year grew to over 200 children from all over the Mara, eager for a day dedicated to fun. We look forward to bringing more joy to children across the Mara for many years to come.
Filed under: Inside Angama
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