Mitchell Preston, Fundraising Coordinator/Secretary
Shambhala Camp: Animal House
$2,000 awarded to the Oltumo Maasai Project Charity
For our 20th Anniversary, we went big and launched the Greater Good Contribution Contest! Every year we see incredible, fun and thoughtful contributions you make on the farm for your fellow Shambhalovelies. YOU continue to make the Shambhala experience what it is and here is how we thank you. Thanks for all your heartfelt submissions and all your inspiring stories about your contributions!
The third place is awarded to Mitchell Preston and his Camp, Animal House, for making strides in the global community to spread their Shambhalove into the far reaches of the world. Their camp shines light on global issues and have chosen the Oltumo Maasai Project in Kenya, a charity group that focuses on sustainable agriculture and eco-revitalization, to receive our $2,000 CAD donation.
Shambhala 2017 was Mitchell Preston’s 9th year attending. His camp, Animal House, grew from four people to a camp of 30 people with lots of peace, love, unity and respect in their hearts for the greater good. This camp recognizes how extremely blessed they are, but realize that millions of people in the world struggle with poverty, food instability, cultural upheaval and social inequality and so they started their mission to fight greed and encourage education on these global issues.
“Shambhala has had a continuing affect in shaping who we are as global citizens, and we believe others would benefit in sharing the joy of Shambhala. It is the place we and many others gather to have unreal amounts of fun, but also to look inside and see who we really are as human beings”
Through his adventures at Shambhala Music Festival, Mitchell met Steve Wiig, the founder of Oltumo Maasai Project in Kenya, a charity group that focuses on sustainable agriculture and eco-revitalization.
“Olutmo means the place of gathering and I know it is a source of happiness and hope for so many. The ultimate goal of the project is to leave the site in the hands of the Maasai, with their interests and needs shaping the future of heir self sustaining community, rather than throwing money at them without knowledge”
Mitchell decided to volunteer at the site in Kenya in February 2017 where he worked with the nomadic, local Maasai community who lacked basic knowledge of construction and agriculture. Upon his return, he has joined the Oltumo Maasai Project’s Board of Directors in Canada (based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). The organization now owns five acres in the heart of the Mara, the home of the Maasai tribe. This property, once barren and eroded now acts as a source of life for Mara residents.
The project’s sole mission is to provide education and sustainable land usage through permaculture in a way that preserves the Maasai culture.
- Provide access to clean drinking water
- Teach sustainable gardening practices to combat food instability, malnourishment and proverty
- Empower the Maasai people to revitalize their eco-system and improve their quality of life
- Help the Maasai people to adapt and thrive in their changing environment
- Solar powered bore well
- Ferrocement in rain water tanks (which provide a reliable source of clean water to the surrounding area, and are the source of life at Oltumo)
- Composting toilets
- Bee keeping
- Tree nurseries
- Planting community gardens (with a focus on permaculture and providing food security) (Garden has grown to over 40 small garden beds)
The Oltumo Maasai Project has been made possible by volunteers and donations. They aim to continue fundraising effort in order to purchase more land that would enable them to rebuild the soil, expand their gardens and food production potential, and begin new projects to meet needs of the Maasai people.
“Thank you so very much from the Oltumo project! Much like Shambhala, Oltumo means a place to gather, and is a source of great happiness for many people! We work with the Maasai tribe in Kenya, Africa helping them with the many challenges they face daily. Thanks to this generous donation we will be able to make progress on two wonderful projects! The local woman’s group has been looking forward to getting a productive bee keeping program established on site. While a tree nursery loaded with beneficial trees for humans and the environment will also be completed due to your support.
Ashe oleng! Thank you very much!” – Mitchell Preston
Have a story about how you’ve made a positive impact on Shambhala and the world beyond? Keep an eye out for the Greater Good Contribution Contest next year!