Deep chants, joyous singing and the beat of rhythmic dancing filled the playground of Lempaute Primary School near Sasaab last month. Pupils, parents, teachers and community members alike joined together in celebration of a new classroom built by The Safari Collection Footprint foundation. Although already in use for a few months, June was the official opening ceremony, which, of course, called for a traditional Samburu blessing.

Samburu blessing ceremony for the new classroom

Samburu blessings are vibrant affairs and this one did not disappoint. Dressed in the colourful beads and swathes of fabric for which the Samburu are renowned, those gathered formed two groups which circled the classroom in opposite directions whilst casting milk onto the ground. The women sang in chorus and the men chanted blessings, filling the air with jubilant melodies. The groups then moved inside where the Samburu dedication culminated. Following the blessing, guests were treated to dancing and music from the students, written and performed for the day. Songs from the mothers of the children closed the ceremony.

The Safari Collection’s directors, Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley and Michael Hoogerwerf, as well as Footprint Director Mark Boyd, were all in attendance. Guest of honour was Sasaab head guide Daniel Kasoo who had taken the lead in fundraising for the classroom.

Children of Lempaute Primary School in their indigenous school uniform

In previous years, Lempaute Primary School has been supported by us with other new classrooms and what we believe is the world’s first full-time indigenous uniform. The school is also part of our Feeding Young Minds Programme which provides nutritious lunches to pupils across Kenya. We plan to construct a further two classrooms, new toilet blocks and teachers’ accommodation over the coming months. New textbooks, better desks and a water collection and storage facility will also be on the agenda.

Lempaute Primary School children performing at the classroom opening ceremony

Turning tech savvy at Lpus

Not far from Lempaute is another primary school which has recently benefitted from the generous donations of Sasaab guests. Lpus Leluai Primary School also lies in Westgate Community. Having told us about their wish to have a new computer, a large TV screen, a commercial printer and a photocopier to better support the educational needs of their students, our guest and his family wanted to help. As part of their visit, they presented their donation in person whilst staying at Sasaab. Accompanied by their guide Gabriel and spotter Kopiro, they met with George the headteacher and his team. Everyone at the school felt excited to use the new equipment to take their teaching to the next level.

New technology being delivered to Lpus Leluai School

Lasting partnership

Sasaab is located in the Samburu region of northern Kenya and we are lucky enough to enjoy a long-standing relationship with the local Samburu community. The lodge lies within Westgate Community Conservancy and continues to exist there with the blessing of local Samburu elders. The relationship is one of mutual benefit. Sasaab guests enjoy opportunities to gain authentic insights into traditional Samburu culture, whilst our Footprint supports a range of health, education and other development projects in the area. Our fabulous team of guides and employees almost all come from local villages.

If you’d like to make a difference to the lives of people living in the communities around our properties, check out our Menu of Giving for some inspiration. A little can go a long way in changing a life.