Ol Malo

Our Vision

The aim of the Ol Malo Trust is to contribute to the preservation of the Samburu people in terms of qualities and health in such a way that the Samburus are independent, strong and empowered to live their lives in the way that they strongly desire and choose.

This means helping the Samburu to maintain their traditional values - including honesty, kindness, hospitality and respect, along with their nomadic behaviour and traditional skills - while assisting them with health and educational issues in a way that will avoid their dependency upon the Trust.

The Trust acknowledges the law of unintended consequences and does not intend to introduce programmes that will interfere with the Samburu people’s traditional culture. It is dedicated to the survival of the wildlife that has lived among the people for thousands of years.

The Trust has developed a commercial business (Ol Malo Designs) which employs the Samburu people to create products that are sold: the profits are then channelled into a charity (The Ol Malo Trust). This creates employment

Ol Malo Trust will:

  • assist with the development of the Samburu people’s personal and professional education, with a view to increased employment opportunities, conservation of the environment and sustainable health and hygiene practices.
  • provide a safety net during severe environmental conditions
  • provide an income stream for Ol Malo Designs, its employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and communities
  • promote sustainable and healthy communities
  • capture significant cultural values and heritage
  • incorporate natural materials wherever possible and practicable.

The Trust aims to improve the living standards of the Samburu, but we will only do so at the invitation of the people and with their full involvement.

Ol Malo Trust will:

  • maintain quality and standards
  • do everything in keeping with the guidelines laid down for each project
  • work within the boundaries of the Samburu culture and their traditions, and not deviate for its own benefit or ease
  • put the Samburu culture first, and maintain and encourage the Samburu traditional way of life.

Ol Malo Designs Ltd. endeavours to:

  • ensure that Ol Malo Designs engages in Fair Trade with its employees, subcontractors and suppliers
  • avoid the manufacture of products that exploit the available workforce
  • generate a profit that is channelled into the charity for distribution by the Trustees to worthy projects
  • provide beads and food ahead of cash where this is more useful and beneficial to the community
  • avoid the creation of dependencies upon Ol Malo.

It is our intention to keep the infrastructure of the Trust as simple as possible. We will not end up with a large management team: the projects will be managed by the Samburu people themselves, in the long term. There will be no unnecessary payment of large salaries to external people or organisations.

In this age of global warming the droughts will continue to get worse. We want to educate the people on how to protect their environment and the wildlife within it. At the heart of our concerns lies health: if the Samburu have a healthy environment they, too, will be healthy. One priority is the eradication of the painful eye-disease, trachoma. Northern Kenya is a harsh enough environment to live in without the additional handicap of blindness and pain.

We want to provide a stronger link between people, wildlife and the environment.

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