Have you ever wanted to be a part of an international project?
 
Would you like to help grow local economies by investing in vocational education, job training and employment opportunities? Then you may be interested in the following concept which comes to us from our friends in Kenya, the Maasai Education and Research Coalition (MERC) with which we have partnered on four major water projects aiding over 50k people and of course our popular Interact Ambassadors C4A program.
 
This proposal outlines an economic community development project on the Maasai Mara, a wild animal preserve in Southwest Kenya. It is a proposal to create the Maasai Automotive Education Center (MAEC) at the Dopoi Center near Talek, Kenya. 
 
This comes at the request of the Mara Guides Association (MGA), an organization of about 300 safari guides on the Maasai Mara. The overall goal is to improve community economic development by creating better automotive maintenance resources along with increased employment. The motivation for this project comes from unanimous comments from Maasai safari guides about unfair and inflated repair prices for poor repairs on their Toyota Land Cruisers at existing small shops in the area which have resulted in safari guides paying up to 50% of their income for repairs.
 
The MAEC goal is to improve the community economy by educating new auto mechanics and opening one or more new repair shops. This will reduce the vehicle maintenance costs by providing high quality and fair-priced repairs. 
 
We are currently sending 5 potential mechanics to an automotive trade school where they will receive a certification in August 2024.  We are also in the process of constructing the auto shop which is not a part of the Rotary grant.  It will need an array of necessary tools and equipment for which we are going to prepare a proposal to Rotary.  Any Global Grant requires Rotary partners in the Host country as well as an International Partner. We have Rotarians exploring club partners in Kenya and now are in need a local USA club to become the International Partner for this economic development project. 
 
The total proposal amount is about $50,000.
 
For more information and to explore being the International Partner club, please contact Mark Henderson at mark.henderson@asu.edu or (480) 363-6453; or District 5495 International Service Chair, Craig Wilson, cw10@cox.net.
 
 
 
    
 
Figure 1 You can see a typical safari vehicle in action as well as poor repair conditions in the field when a vehicle breaks down.