Rekero is a seasonal luxury camp under canvas with nine tents and is located in a part of the Maasai Mara Conservation Area known as Ol Chorro Losoit, close to the confluence of the Talek and Mara rivers. This area represents an important animal corridor and, combined with the surrounding lands making up the Mara conservation area, provides an extended ecosystem that is vital to the preservation of the wildlife within Maasai Mara National Park itself. Rekero was founded by Ron and Pauline Beaton over 25 years ago, and is today run by their son, Gerard, his wife Rainee Beaton and longtime employee, Jackson Looseyia.
The Rekero Trust has funded over a quarter of the 100 graduates from Koiyaki Guiding School to train locals in the guiding profession, at a cost of $46,000 over the past four years. Most of these graduates are now in full-time employment at various lodges around Kenya. It has donated more than 75 pairs of binoculars to the school students to take with them into their new jobs.
At the trust headquarters there is a modern computer classroom for the local schools and communities that includes twelve laptops, some with wireless connection via a satellite. This is possibly the first primary school in Kenya with direct access to the Internet. To guarantee uninterrupted access to the Internet and to minimize dependence on fossil fuel powered generators, the trust has installed a new inverter system and is trying to raise funds to cover solar panels. The trust has also employed a full time computer teacher.
It offers a fully funded 10-day course to local schools and institutions, and has already paid for 12 groups to attend. In 2006-7, the trust built the ‘Bwana Phil’ building that provides accommodations for up to 18 students and two instructors, with shower and toilet facilities as well as a kitchen and a dining room.
The trust has funded two community scouts for the last four years to patrol the Rekero conservancy for poachers and other possible violations. It has also funded a carpenter for the last five years to make and maintain school desks and carry out other repairs.
The trust has, among other things, provided a new 50,000-liter water tank and guttering system to bring clean drinking water to Ngousani School; supplied 125 metal-framed heavy-duty desks with hard wood tops to the school; contributed $720 to repairing the school’s bore hole pump, as well as providing ongoing sponsorship of 16 pupils; given over $6,000 worth of schoolbooks, stationary, pens, pencils, and sports equipment to three other local schools; and erected a security fence around the Aitong School, as well as sponsored an additional teacher there.
The trust is involved in numerous other community projects, from litter collection to tree planting to the construction of a sanctuary for cheetah orphans in Nairobi. The Rekero directors helped found both the Olare Orok and Mara North conservancies.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“We place equal weight on, and therefore divide funds equally between, education and the environment, including wildlife, as they are inextricably linked. “