Susan Olofson, Travel Consultant
Susan Olofson has traveled to many countries across Central and South America, North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. Although she loved each of the cultures and groups of people she met along the way, her heart was truly captured by Kenya and Tanzania during her first visit in January, 2007. This first trip was with Asante Africa Foundation, for which she subsequently served as vice president of the Board of Directors for three years. Her experiences with Asante Africa provided an opportunity to live and work alongside the people of Kenya and Tanzania during yearly visits, learning about the local culture, challenges and the vision of the future held by local leaders. She developed a special relationship with friends in the Maasai community of Maji Moto, returning frequently for personal retreat and enjoyment of the culture and natural surroundings.
In 2008, Susan and Maasai Chief Salaton Ole Ntutu came up with a plan to bridge cultural divides, sharing the spirit and nature of Kenya and Maasai culture to reignite the connection all people have to their ancestors and the earth. Salaton had already established a local tour business, providing camping and safari experiences for visitors. Together they pursued a vision to lead tours to the area that include staying in the authentic Maasai village where Salaton lives, experiencing the ceremonies, daily life and stories of the Maasai people, and also exploring the amazing game reserves while staying in luxury tented camps that are known to make a positive contribution to the environment and community programs, as well as providing respectful employment of local people.
Susan left her corporate job as a consultant and coach to executives in a major US health care company to pursue this dream of contributing to the peace and health of the world through cultural exchanges among people of the world.
Salaton Ole Ntutu, Kenyan Business Partner & Community Leader
Born and raised in the heart of the African Savanna, Salaton Ole Ntutu is a renowned warrior, community chief, and shaman of the nomadic Maasai tribe in Kenya.
As has been practiced by the Maasai for centuries, Salaton left his family at age 14 to begin his “warriorship” where he survived in the wild African bush for more than 7 years. Living amongst the wild animals with nothing but his blanket and spear, Salaton learned to develop the survival skills he was taught as a young boy. Survival in the bush requires a knowledge and attunement with nature that has become virtually forgotten in the modern western world.
Salaton was also chosen as a child to receive the spiritual knowledge of his mother, a renowned medicine woman, midwife and shamanic healer. He is blessed with many spiritual and energetic gifts, which allow him to have strong connection to other people and nature for communication and healing. Recognized by his fellow warriors as a gifted shaman and leader, he was often asked to travel with others to protect them. He has faced wild animals in defense, at times forced to kill lions, leopards and buffalo with just knives and spears.
Today, Salaton is recognized for his courage and wisdom in his village of Maji Moto, where he was granted eldership and is now Cultural Chief and key partner for international nonprofit organizations that support the Narok region. He has been the community leader and advisor to Asante Africa Foundation on the construction of safe learning environments and scholarships for children who would not otherwise have had access to school. He is also currently championing projects for a self sustaining community with the Jamii Moja organization, and collaborating with international philanthropy organizations. He also provides a home in the village of Maji Moto for girls rescued from circumcision and early marriage, widows, and women with AIDS.
Salaton’s passion in life is to preserve his culture and environment. During his visits to the U.S., he is actively fundraising for projects and initiatives, including water resource projects, the purchase of land to provide space for Maasai lifestyle to continue and to protect holy and healing plants and trees, building a self sustaining economy through tourism, and continued support of educational programs through Asante Africa Foundation.
Learn more about his Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp and land preservation efforts.
Our Kenyan partner Salaton Ole Ntutu was featured in local news recently, talking about the effort to stop female circumcision and early marriage. Hear what he has to say and meet some of the people from the village we visit.
Asante Africa Foundation
Asante Africa Foundation, Inc. is an East African Children's Education Fund. We are a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to providing quality education to children in East Africa. We form partnerships with African communities and work with passionate local program managers who are deeply committed to creating change in their African villages. We envision African communities and families in which children have the opportunity to receive QUALITY education to define their futures.
Generous contributions from Asante Africa Foundation donors bring these dreams to life.
Local villagers define their needs for achieving quality education, through infrastructures for all children attending school (such as construction of schools and sanitation facilities, serving a daily meal), providing teaching resources and educational materials, and funding scholarships / sponsorship for highly motivated and academically gifted children.
Maji Moto Community Support through Enkiteng Lepa Foundation
Salaton Ole Ntutu is a founding leader of the Enkiteng Lepa Foundation in his Maji Moto community. Through this organization and other endeavors, he supports education projects, food programs, health assistance, preservation of land culture, and other community need priorities.
A share of the donation included in each trip price will go to community projects in the Maji Moto community where our groups stay at the Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp, operated by Salaton.