For nearly 30 years, The Maasai Education, Research and Conservation Institute (MERC) has been working in Kenya and the U.S. for the cultural survival of the Maasai Community. MERC works closely with grassroots Maasai organizations throughout Maasailand, all levels of Kenyan government, and national and international civil society organizations to create partnerships for the economic, political, and cultural empowerment of the Maasai people. MERC has offices in Narok and a research center on the edge of the Maasai Mara; for over a decade we have worked closely with Prescott College to support Maasai efforts to regain homeland and for tourism reform through research. MERC is well positioned to play a critical role as the future of Maasailand is charted by many converging forces, and is dedicated in particular to ensuring the participation of Maasai people in decisions impacting their lives.
The Maasai Education, Research and Conservation Institute (MERC-USA) is a U.S.-based organization dedicated to supporting the Maasai community of East Africa in its efforts to survive and thrive. MERC-USA also engages in broader international efforts for environmental conservation and indigenous peoples’ cultural preservation.
Our vision is a Maasai community that occupies its homeland in Kenya as a distinct society that is economically secure and politically empowered to determine its own future. We forsee the realization of sustainable environmental and social policies throughout Maasailand that ensure the long-term viability of the ecosystem and the Maasai culture. These policies include: