About Us

The Maarifa Foundation is an Australian-registered Charity

We are a committee of dedicated, qualified volunteers based in Australia and Kenya. We connect and support a small number of schools located near wildlife conservancies in Maasai community Kenya, with schools and classrooms in Australia. We provide support such as paying school fees and providing uniforms, shoes and solar lights, provide books and stationary and deliver fun and engaging Education for Conservation activities. We are currently fundraising to deliver the Mazingira Libraries Project and to provide our schools with a sustainable kitchen garden and energy efficient stoves. Our plan is to deliver our unique Education for Conservation Program throughout these two countries and to expand the level of support and services we provide.

Our grass roots conservation program is focused on three primary principles: Share; Experience; Action! We aim to inspire a future generation of conservation-minded citizens and sustainable communities.

We develop tailored learning and experience opportunities for schools and classrooms in Australia to meet their own local environmental objectives as well as ways of supporting their global classmates in Kenya to receive a proper education and participate in their own environmental enhancement activities. Our twinning program also allows students from different cultures to share stories about their local wildlife, habitats, environmental challenges, and their way of life.

We would love to have you join us, so if you think you can help we would love to hear from you!

Project Co-ordination Team

Kristy Thomson, Australia (QLD)

Ecologist with 23+ years experience. Kristy runs the Australian office of Gamewatchers Safaris and the Community Based Conservation Kenya Study Tour for students from Griffith University and The University Of Queensland.

Prof. Darryl Jones, Malaysia (KL)

Renowned behavioural ecologist and lecturer, now author, Darryl recently retired from Griffith University with more than 37 years experience leading the way in the industry. 

Alex Brady
Alex Brady, Australia (QLD)

Alex is an early career environmental consultant and ecologist. With an immense passion for wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental education, Alex went on the 2020 Kenya Study Tour with Griffith University and has been involved with Maarifa Foundation ever since

Elyssa McLeod, Australia (QLD)

Elyssa is an early career environmental scientist and ecologist. She has a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Wildlife Biology and Environmental Science. Whilst studying at Griffith University Elyssa participated in the 2020 Community-based Conservation Kenya study tour.

Daniel Mamai, Kenya (Kajiado)

Daniel has worked for Gamewatchers Safaris for more than 10 years. He is the Selenkay Conservancy Manager, Silver-level guide, and previously a teacher at Illoirero Primary School. He is a well respected elder in the Eselenkei Group Ranch community.

Ben Tongoyo, Kenya (Narok)

Ben is from the Kishermoruak Village, part of the Ol Kinyei Group Ranch in the Masai Mara and is well respected by his community. After college, he worked as a primary school teacher and is currently a Silver-level guide and Camp Manager at Porini Mara Camp.

Our Maasai Advisory Committee


Inclusion is a cornerstone of our philosophy and is integral to our success. Our work is always driven from within the community we are working with. We currently have two Community Advisory Committees:
The Loirero Committee, Chaired by Daniel Mamai for Illoirero Primary School
The Kishermoruak Committee, Chaired by Ben Munke Tongoyo for Kishermoruak Primary School

About our delivery partner

Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps has been working closely with the Maasai communities in Kenya for around 25 years, helping them to derive the benefits of conserving wildlife and habitat. The mission of the company is to use small scale tourism to protect wildlife habitat in partnership with local communities. The Maarifa Foundation and Gamewatchers Safaris will be working together on the ground in Kenya to deliver fun and engaging environmental education activities for students and to ensure children from vulnerable families can continue to access a proper education. The Porini Camps will also host the study, corporate and volunteering safari tours – check out some of our unique itinerary options. 

Read more about their approach to responsible eco-tourism.

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The Maarifa Foundation 2020 

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