Social Responsibility


How a Maasai Tribe member began fighting climate change

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:54:00 BST

Valentin Olyang’lri grew up as a member of the Maasai tribe in East Africa. As he grew up Valentin, witnessed first-hand how climate change and government policy threaten the Maasai way of life. Tradational Maasai lifestyle promotes a harmonious relationship with the wildlife that surrounds them. However much of the land they once called home has been seized for private investment, and with extreme drought and natural resources becoming scarce, this way of life is under increasing pressure. Despite grassroots NGO’s attempts, the Maasai are still largely left without a voice in the changing political and environmental climate.

It’s no surprise to hear that Valentin wanted to give a voice to his community. Thanks to a donor-funded scholarship from the University he has been granted that opportunity. Having gained an undergraduate degree he realised that it was critical for him to undertake further studies and applied for an MSc in Environmental Governance through the University's Equity and Merit Scholarship Programme. The scheme supports exceptional students from some of the world’s poorest countries to gain master’s degrees in subjects not available in their home country and use it to benefit their communities.

Now Valentin has returned to his community with an MSc and he hopes to be a voice for Maasai people.

Valentin claims: "The year in Manchester has taught me to be the change I want to see in the world”.

His full story can be read on the giving blog.

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