Jamii Moja is a 501 (C)(3) Non Profit based in Portland, Oregon. We are a volunteer-run organization and depend on the talents of the many gifted individuals who serve on our board.
Current Board Members
Dr. Hilary Costello
Jamii Moja also benefits from close partnerships with key individuals in Maji Moto, Kenya.
Partnerships in Maji Moto, Kenya
Maasai Chief Salaton Ole Ntutu
Born and raised in the heart of the African savanna, Salaton Ole Ntutu is a warrior, community chief, shaman, and visionary leader 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 developed the survival skills he was taught as a young boy, with a knowledge and attunement with nature that has become virtually forgotten in the modern western world.
Today, Salaton is recognized for his courage and wisdom in his village of Maji Moto, where he was chosen as the cultural chief and new elder. He is a key partner and advisor for international nonprofit organizations that support the Narok region. He has been the community leader and advisor for the construction of safe learning environments and scholarships for children who would not otherwise have had access to school. He also champions projects for a self sustaining community through self sustaining employment, water projects, education, and collaborating with international 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. and Europe, he actively fundraises 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.
Hellen Nkuraiya, Principal and Head Teacher of Enkiteng Lepa School
Hellen Nkuraiya’s life’s work is being an advocate for young girls and education in Kenya.
She was born into a traditional Maasai family and was married off for cows twice by her father, starting at age nine. Hellen ran away and later received sponsorship for her higher education.
In the face of family and community resistance, she has spoken publicly about her life and is a tireless advocate for girl’s education and giving girls access to school. She has traveled extensively and has taken her message to countless schools, churches, and civic organizations abroad.
“I have promised myself not to stop fighting for girls until my community stops exchanging girls for cows.”
Hellen has taught school for 13 years, helping many young girls along the way. In 2008, in partnership with the Polish government and The Asante Africa Foundation, she founded and now serves as the Director of Enkiteng Lepa School in Maji Moto Kenya. In partnership with Jamii Moja, the school has grown to 97 students.
Hellen has been instrumental in building supportive villages for widows in both Maji Moto and the village in which she now resides, Tepesua, Kenya.
In 2009, Hellen was chosen and sponsored to attend the prestigious Women’s Leadership for the World (WLW) program at Santa Clara University.