James ole Kamete is an elder Maasai living in the Kitirua area at the border of Tanzania in southern Kenya. Over 15 years Kamete has been instrumental in promoting education for children ages 4-18 in several villages of 1200 Maasai people. Kamete founded Esiteti Primary School with five children writing the alphabet in the dirt under an Acacia tree. Today, Esiteti School has 400 students with students from nursery to 7th grade. Kamete’s goal is to instill the need for education among the youngest and oldest of the Maasai people and encourage the boy and girl students to continue their education through high school and college.
Teri Gabrielsen, Founder and Exec. Dir. of Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK)
While on safari in 1997, Teri was inspired by the Maasai people and James Ole Kamete’s interest in educating the girls and boys. Teri founded ASK in 2007, a non-profit organization benefiting the children of the Esiteti and Mbaringoi communities through educational programs, such as a scholarship program and an Alternative Rite of Passage ceremony which allowed girls to postpone early marriage and continue with an education. Previous to working in Kenya, Teri taught elementary school, pursued a career in Advertising and became Advertising Sales Executive for Los Angeles Magazine (ABC) and Cosmopolitan Magazine (Hearst Corp).