Kiltamany Community School
Empopongi Primary School: A Lesson in Giving
Free Dental Clinic at Siana Springs

Heritage hotels are committed to support its host communities in areas where there properties are located. In Samburu, Kiltamany school project was initiated to provide comfortable shelter for the children of the local Samburu community to study. The intentions are to have fully fledged primary school. So far, we have been able to put up all necessary classrooms comprising of one pre-school classroom and eight primary school classrooms.

Currently we are working on an Administration building where the teacher’s offices and bookstore will be housed. Other development such as the teachers houses, library, school kitchen, dinning room, library mid boarding facilities are being planned for and will follow.

Our guests have been very supportive of this project and their financial and other contributions have gone along way in helping us accomplish what we have achieved so far. We welcome our guests to join us in this venture to help brighten the future of the Samburu children. If you will like to contribute to this project in any way, please get in touch with the Heritage Hotels or Samburu Intrepids to be furnished with more information.

A visit to the school can be organized for any guest who may be interested in paying a visit. Direct contributions can also be accepted and paid to the cashiers and official receipt issued for all payments made. Guests are encouraged to leave their e-mail addresses with us so that they are kept updated on the development of the projects they helped fund.

A register of all guests who help fund various school projects is also maintained at the reception.

Kiltamany village is 9km from samburu Intrepids .The villagers are samburu tribe’s people. The villagers and samburu Intrepids developed a relationship from the time the camp was established in 1990.

The relationship was however intermittent because the Samburu people are nomadic-pastoralists, thus they would move around following the rain pattern. They only came back to kiltamany during the rainy season when there is water in the kiltamany lugga(seasonal river)

In 1996 Samburu Intrepids started taking guests to the village to experience the samburu way of life, one question that every guest asked was whether samburu children go to school, Therefore, the camp asked the villagers to settle in kiltamany area so that it would start a school for their children to attend, the villagers did not mind that as long as Samburu Intrepids would provide water for the village, here the project began.
Samburu Intrepids dug a well for the village; owing to this the village did not move for two dry seasons except for the cattle that would be driven away by young men in search of pasture every dry season.

The next step was to start a nursery school where every family was required to provide at least one child to attend. The nursery school was under an acacia thorn tree and the children wrote their assignments on the ground.

After many guests visited the school and the thorn tree classroom, donations were collected and the first block of four classrooms was constructed.

Upon completion of the first block more funds were received from previous visitors and within a year another block of four classrooms was erected.

Now that there are eight classrooms in total there was need for more teachers to teach them all, here samburu Intrepids approached the government education office in the area to provide teachers and this was successful.

The newly enrolled children still used the thorn tree nursery eight years later hence there came another donation to build a classroom for the little ones giving a total of nine classrooms.

Most recently two more blocks have come up through Intrepids again and they will be used as office, store, library and kitchen.

Drilling a well, building a school and sourcing for teachers were not enough the children needed a lunch feeding-program so as to attend the afternoon lessons.

The camp also sends a nurse to the school on regular basis to attend their medical needs.

For further medical attention the camp provides transport to the nearest hospital 70miles away.

Samburu Intrepids now plans to build a clinic for the community in a similar way as the other structures.

Anyone planning to visit samburu Intrepids is encouraged to bring items and supplies to donate to the school but those willing to make monetary donations can do so to support this needy school.

Our sincere gratitude goes to all families and individuals who have contributed to the success of kiltamany primary school.

In the vicinity of Siana Springs tented camp in the Maasai Mara are seven Maasai villages. One day in 1996, under the shade of a large acacia tree, Chief Olomosiroi ole Masaoi gathered some 16 Maasai children and found a volunteer teacher to start what would become Empopongi Primary School. For three years, without water, teaching materials or classroom walls, the teacher taught the children as best as he could. And soon, many more members of the Maasai community understood how important education could be for their children.

Three years later, the community elders started a 'harambee' - or fundraiser - to build a school with walls, a roof, two teachers, and some proper teaching tools. A board of governors was founded and, in 2000, the Kenyan government approved the community's application for a formal primary school. The harambee raised enough money to build two classrooms from the local community alone.

But so much more was needed for Empopongi, which now had 130 students. The children only had ¼ cup of corn each day to eat - and some days, that was all they ate. Few children had the required uniforms to attend school because their families could not afford them. There was no source of clean water for the children, who often got ill from drinking dirty water, and no formal medical care. Two classrooms were not enough for all the classes - covering kindergarten to 8th grade - and there were insufficient teachers. The children were in danger from wild animals because the school was not protected by a fence. There were few textbooks, pens or other materials - although none of these problems had stopped more children enrolling at the school.

Siana Springs and its employees saw these problems as a challenge to help the local community. They joined forces with the Maywood Rotary Kenya Project, a charity group based in the United States, to help accelerate the development of Empopongi. With donations from Maywood and Siana's guests, each pupil now receives a balanced lunch of beans, rice and corn every day. Siana's employees purchase the food and deliver it to the school each month. More donations have provided two uniforms for each of the 268 pupils.

Since 2003, the engineer at Siana Springs has designed and supervised the construction of a classroom for each of the school's grades. He is currently working on plans for a school kitchen, a teacher's room, and a fully-stocked library. Donations from camp guests have also paid for the construction of desks, dictionaries and textbooks. A portion of the cost of each tourist's night safari helps to pay for urgent medical care for the children.

Recently, Kenya experienced its worst drought in over a decade and even the polluted stream near the school dried up. So Siana Springs shared its water source and used donations to provide clean water - not only for the school, but for the seven surrounding villages.

Each year, volunteers from overseas have taken vacations to work at Empopongi Primary School. While enjoying the modern accommodation and wildlife safaris offered at Siana Springs, they do volunteer work at the school each morning. Last year, volunteers built a mile-long fence around the school to protect the pupils from wild animals. Other volunteers taught English as a second language or helped give each child a full medical examination.

Heritage Hotels would like to thank all the donors and volunteers who have made such a big difference in the lives of these 268 Maasai children. We invite you to join us in continuing this much needed assistance to this wonderful school. To learn more about this school, please visit: For further information about the project, please contact our partners at Maywood Rotary Kenya Project on:

Dr. Damazo has been a friend of Kenya for over 20 years, returning to Kenya annually to conduct dental surgery at a variety of safari camps in the country. As a gift to the Maasai people, he will be building a modern dental facility near the Siana Springs camp in the Masai Mara. Construction is beginning in November of 2007, and should be completed within the year. Follow the construction of this facility and the Safari Dentist program online at: