Mama Simba

Ewaso Lions: Saving Lions In Northern Kenya

Photo courtesty of Ewaso Lions

Photo courtesty of Ewaso Lions

The African lion population has declined by 43% in the last 20 years and lions now occupy only 8% of their historical range in Africa. The estimated number of lions across Africa is as few as 20,000, with numbers now less than 2000 in Kenya. Please join us in supporting Ewaso Lions , an important organization working with communities to save lions in Kenya. We are excited to announce that an amazing donor has generously pledged a matching challenge grant of $4500, please donate today to help us reach this goal and give Ewaso Lions the support they desperately need to save these special and endangered animals.

This Challenge Grant will fund Ewaso Lions including:

$80 a month for one teacher’s salary

$150 a month for the Mama Simba Coordinators

$150 a month for the Warriors salaries

$405 a month for an Ewaso Lions vehicle

$3000 for Lion’s Kid Camp for 25 kids for 5 days

At current rates of decline, the species could become extinct here within the next two decades. This reduction in lion numbers is primarily due to habitat loss and conflict with humans, typically when lions kill people’s livestock. Lions and other large carnivores are wide-ranging species and designated protected areas are often not large enough to ensure their long-term survival. Therefore, it is crucial that conservation of these species, as well as their prey, is addressed throughout the landscape, which not only incorporates protected areas but also the surrounding areas where local people live

Ewaso Lions is dedicated to conserving lions and other large carnivores by promoting co-existence between people and wildlife. We work hand-in-hand with local communities to provide education, training and improved conservation practices that help people and wildlife. We use sound science to help guide the long-term conservation of lions across community conservancies and protected areas in northern Kenya.
— Ewaso Lions
Herding children playing the conservation game, crawling blindfolded and masked through the burning bush © Danni Parks / Ewaso Lions

Herding children playing the conservation game, crawling blindfolded and masked through the burning bush © Danni Parks / Ewaso Lions

Ewaso Lions promotes the co-existence of people and wildlife by working directly with local communities to provide education and conservation. Their programs include the Lion Kids Camp, Warrior Watch, and Mama Simba. This past year they expanded to three new conservancies, and 10 lion cubs were born within the Ewaso Lion Conservation Landscape (map below).

The Lion Kids Camp was created to inspire a whole new generation of wildlife conservationists. Since 2015, 10 camps have run with the next generation featuring a combination of wildlife education, safaris and conservation-themed games and activities.

The Warrior Watch plays a vital role in monitoring wildlife and stopping conflict between humans and lions. In 2018 there were 699 patrols, 4,684 km of foot patrols covered, 1472 direct sightings of wildlife, 32 times lions were saved from the imminent threat of death, 64 times warriors responded to human-lion conflict. Jeneria and the other warriors were featured on a recent episode of Wildlife Warriors, which can be watched in it’s entirety here.

The Mama Simba is comprised of a group of 19 women, led by the Mama Simba Coordinators Munteli & Mparasaroi. Together with other women in their communities these women are true powerhouses and they spread the conservation message, report on lion sightings and conflict incidents. This past year, the Mama Simba visited the Maasai Mara to learn new ideas for conservation in the Samburu.

Key to our empowerment strategy is giving women exposure to new places and experiences, so they can infuse fresh ideas into the way they want to do conservation. The Mama Simba ladies’ visit to the Maasai Mara signals to us a sea-change in how they think about their landscape. While they gasped with wonder at topis, wildebeest and rhinos - animals they had never seen before - they lamented the extensive
fencing across the Mara and its implications for livestock and wildlife. Having seen their first pride of lions in the Mara - a whopping 22 strong pride - they returned more determined than ever to speak for the lions of Samburu. And speak they did. Even before they got home, the women who had long been voiceless, called conservancy managers to tell them what they had seen, and to set up meetings where they could talk about conservation. With their eyes wide open, and their voices louder than ever, the possibilities for the Mama Simba ladies are endless.
— Ewaso Lions
Mama Simba Kenya
Mama Simba Kenya
We saw more animals than we could count in the Mara. There is a lot of food for lions there, as opposed to Samburu where we have very little prey. But wildlife is facing major challenges in the future because of land sub-division and fencing. I would hate to see this happen to our land. Wildlife corridors will soon be lost and this will be very unfortunate.
— Munteli Lalparasaroi, Mama Simba
Map of Ewaso Lions conservation landscape, courtesy of Ewaso Lions

Map of Ewaso Lions conservation landscape, courtesy of Ewaso Lions

WorldWomenWork Inspires: The Mama Simba and the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

 We seem to be lost in this world today. There is even more of a need to somehow connect to things that are real that lift our spirts. Munteli and the Mama Simba do just that. She invited me to spend the first 3 nights in her new "house" funded by WWW after it was blessed by the elders. She is conducting safaris for local women among all her other endeavors.

Singer Rankin and Mama Simba

Two ladies from Wamba 45 km away called Munteli , above right, and said they had heard “there was a lady with beads from a village who drives” meaning a real Samburu Woman from a village. They didn’t believe this so hired a lorry to bring them to meet her ...

Retetti is the first community owned elephant sanctuary in Africa. In the two years since its inception it has rescued 38 orphaned baby elephants and one rhino. The oldest Shaba, three and a half years old, lost her Mother to poachers and now she is the matriarch of this herd.

Elephants at Retetti

What a wonderful WorldWomenWork Adventure Trip was had by all of us last winter. One of the highlights was spending 2 nights at Sarara, a magnificent camp set in wild beautiful country at the foot of the Matthews Range. We visited the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and felt the magic of the elephant babies. We gave a donation of $9,000 to this fabulous sanctuary.

WorldWomenWork Adventure Trip to Kenya

I thank all of you who make the work of WWW possible. I hope you feel inspired too!

2017 Highlights: The Orphan Project with Save the Elephants and more

2017 has been an amazing year for WorldWomenWork.

These are just a few of the highlights:
We have completed our $400,000 commitment to "The Orphan Project" with Save The Elephants. An orphan sanctuary for Grevy's Zebra has been built at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Northern Kenya and a workshop for the Grevy's Zebra Nkirreten (sanitary pad) Project has been built. A beautiful safari bus has been acquired and outfitted for conservation expeditions for Ewaso Lions. And two great WorldWomenWork adventure trips, Walking with Elephants in Myanmar and Walking in Zambia and Botswana have changed lives!

2017 with WorldWomenWork thanks to your efforts.

The brutality of humanity is often too much to bare, but there are still true inspirations happening all around us.

Munteli and her new companion Nanyori sit in her Suzuki below. The Mama Simba are powerful women who by learning to read and write are taking on the world for their lions!
You, our donors, are a powerful force because you make it all happen.


With Thanks and Gratitude, Singer

Ewaso Lions

Ewaso Lions September 2017 Project Update

Over the last 25 years the African lion population has fallen by half, there are only 25,000 left today.

I want to share with you a few very inspiring episodes in the lives of the Mama Simba whom WWW supports with great enthusiasm.

WWW is proud to be a partner in the Ewaso Lions Bush Bus. It will be used for their Lion Kids Camp program and to engage more kids across Kenya in conservation. It will also expose community members to wildlife safaris.

Ewaso Lions in Kenya

The mama Simba, Mothers of Lions, have become a true force for conservation. These are our lions and we must protect them. They go from village to village educating and empowering other women to be forces themselves!

Mama Simba of the Ewaso Lions in Kenya

Munteli, one of the two coordinators, has gotten her drivers license. Imagine the confidence it takes to do this. She has said, "So many of the ladies have seen she can drive that they now feel that the impossible is now the possible and they can do anything."

The Governor of Samburu was campaigning due to upcoming elections near by and Mparasaroi, the other coordinator, was speaking and told him how important conservation is to them and how a Samburu lady can drive, which he didn't believe and asked to meet Munteli and then asked her to drive him around which she did. Every single person came to shake her hand.

Mama Simba

Last February when I had gone to help with a village plastic bag clean up it was decided to start a recycling program. An area was designated and now the bins have been acquired and put in place. This is such an achievement.

These are Naramat's cubs, the result of only the third time in 10 years that a lioness has successfully breed with in the community landscape and the first time cubs have been born in the conservation area. This shows just how important the Mama Simba are in helping to educate people on the importance of protecting their lions! Again the Mama Simba are an inspiration.

None of these projects would be possible without your support!

lion cubs

The BBC recently shared a wonderful article on these amazing women:

The Mama Simba Are Inspiring The World

Mama Simba

Powerful Women Providing Opportunities
The Mama Simba Are Inspiring The World

Mama Simba
Mama Simba

As the sole sponsor of this program run by the Ewaso Lions in Kenya, We are so proud that the Mama Simba are able to do truly amazing things with our funding. Since 2013, this organization has engaged women all over northern Kenya in educational programs, environmental campaigns, and lion conservation. This year, the Mama Simba expanded their educational program from class instruction one day a week to four days a week. The ladies even built their own school equipped with blackboards, pens and all the books they need.

In 2017, in addition to training women to create beaded crafts, the Mama Simba are planning to start a new recycling program that will teach the women how to make new products out of recyclable materials. The project is based on an initiative started by the Zingira in western Kenya. You can read about our Mama Simba coordinator's experience at a product development workshop with the Zingira in this blog post. We will also give funding to send a prospective teacher to college, purchase a new safari vehicle and to send another teacher to driving school. 

If all of these efforts go as planned, the Mama Simba have proposed to organize an official training center, where women from around the region can come to learn from the Mama Simba.

It is not just WorldWomenWork who gushes over these women, the BBC just published an article in August that highlights the Mama Simba program. Read it here.

Mama Simba

New Cubs and the Mama Simba

Mama Simba in Kenya

Nothing can stop the Mama Simba

Reading, writing and the conservation of lions in Kenya 

Baby Lion Cubs

We are so inspired by the Mama Simba's hard work and dedication. This year, the "Mothers of Lions" have added 9 new members to their group, bringing their numbers from 10 to 19. In exchange for weekly educational classes, the Mama Simba have been a watch group for lion sightings and conflict issues. The group's support of conservational issues has allowed for a safe environment for the local lion population as well as the opportunity for increased income for the women participating.

Outreach programs like the Mama Simba and the Warriors founded by the Ewaso Lions, have had a positive impact on the lion population around the Samburu National Reserve. In December 2015 alone, the teams have stopped retaliatory lion killings 26 times. The goal is to transform human conflict with Lions into coexistence. This is done through the Ewaso Warriors & Mama Simba programs that promote prevention of conflict through tracking and reporting lion behavior.

It isn't just the adults that get to have all the fun. The group has held two Lion Kids Camps with a total of 122 Kenyan children learning and practicing conservation. The next generation of lion keepers are being made, and it is beautiful.

Now for the adorable news, new cubs have been found in the study area. They are the most amazing creatures. Jeneria, who found the cubs, had this reaction, "Because of the excitement, I almost threw my camera. I was shaking all over and it took me so long to take the first photo".

Thank you for continuing to inspire us with your love for conservation and support of women around the world.

Mama Simba

We love this story! Within a week of the Lion Kids Camp, we heard that Zawadi, one of the young herding children who attended the camp, spoke to some warriors in her village and said "Do not go after the lions and hurt them. If you do, you will have to answer to me." The warrior spoke back and said "who are you to tell me what to do Zawadi? to which she replied, “I am the one who will teach you about lions."

Zawadi (pictured right in the photo) is the daughter of Mparasaroi (on the left), the leader of our Mama Simba programme. "We can see that Zawadi is becoming just like her mother - a real lion spokesperson!" From The Ewaso Lions Facebook Page