JGH cms system

LYNS POSE PICTURES


We are welcoming all who feel attached and have been supportive of the Maasai mission to send in their pictures donning their Maasai warrior products in wherever place in the world they are. This will be a support page where we encourage and promote the philosophy of the Maasai people, Living in your natural state. LYNS.

This is a show of appreciation to all those who have given us a shoulder to lean on and remain to stand together with us in our struggles.

Please submit pictures to info@maasaiwarrior.com
with the following information: Name, Where, Expression, your natural state: XYZ and declaration that content can be used for further promotion of MW. All content to be edited by MW internally and then loaded on the website.

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The Beginning
Imagine a world where children as young as 7 years old are ripped from homes, confined to wandering the streets,
exposed to the changing will of the elements, nourished by hunger or the throw away scraps of overfed others.
Imagine a world where a child has to become an adult because the people around them, the ones meant to fulfil this
role, are unwilling or unable.
Imagine a world where a child makes a decision to walk away from family, home, choosing instead to face fear and uncertainty in the hope that there is something better.
Imagine a world where children who are forced into a marriage with the streets are looked down upon, scorned, abused even, by the same society that failed them?
Imagine no more, because we are living in this world.
But it does not have to be this way…
“It takes a village to raise a child”
– African proverb
In Short Odlum (“House of Grass”) is a global village in a rural part of western Kenya. In response to the groaning of an ailing
world we are looking to create a place of peace, healing, sharing, and connection in Yala. We want to take the village to the world and bring the world to our village. It is also the intention to show that meaningful contributions to change do not only have to happen in the major cities of the world.
It is only through a single sense of humanity that we will be able to make dent in those things that face us as the human family.

What is Odlum?

1. Odlum Cultural Skills Institute – the “House of Grass”, a centre of
learning, growth, and change for all across
Africa and our universe, especially children.
2. Backpackers – a place for travellers and visitors, young and old,
from anywhere on this shared Earth, to stay. A home away from home
where you can become part of our village.
3. Kitchen – serving healthy, organic food to locals, truckers, and
tourists. Come and eat the traditional foods of the region.
4. Gallery – the first of its kind in western Kenya, a rural gallery that
hopes to promote the universal language of the arts (painting, music,
dance, literature, etc.) and an appreciation for them.
Background
Miyere Miyandazi saw and felt the warmth and acceptance that is children from the streets to give while walking in Zambia in 2004. This was part of a journey that took him from Nairobi to Cape Town, South Africa – The Ultimate Walk for Humanity. In Cape Town Miyere was part of the Hope for the Children initiative and later in Durban his energies supported the annual Street Children’s Festival on 11 November. Since then, he has shared his experience and enthusiasm in helping set up the Nairobi Street Children’s Festival. His earliest introduction to the life of children on the street was in his youth when his family welcomed Jamo into their home.

These experiences were at odds with the social narrative about kids on the streets.
An idea conceived.
When Miyere decided to return to Kenya in 2011, it seemed as if it was the end of his journey. Walking had been his world, but now he found himself settle, unsettled, in Western Kenya. And then the realisation that walking takes on many forms.

A vision born.
Street children are a cause for concern the world over. And yet, are they not a mirror of the society that ridicules and scorns them?
When society calls its own children “dirty”, is it not that society that is dirty? When society labels its children
“disgusting”, is it not expressing disgust at itself?

When society turns away, pretends not to notice, is it not looking
away from the shame of knowing that what it does not want to see is a thing of its own creation?
Instead of society pointing fingers at these children, society should be asking why does a child choose the unfamiliar over home, early adulthood over parents and family, difficulty over relative comfort?
So what are the solutions?
If we look at the child living on the street and we look at our values in the family we
will see that the reason why they are living on the streets is because we have
abandoned these values. Across the world we see the breakdown of family,
everywhere there is divorce. If the number is 1-in-10 then ten percent of the world’s
families are broken. Imagine the power that 10 percent of the human population
has?

- Miyere
The Vision
Respect, love, true health, spirituality, partnership and kinship.
To:
- Bring diverse people together in the spirit of connection.
-  Bridge the local and global.
-  Create a healing space.
-  Break down borders.
-  Provide a platform for street children to learn and grow.
-  To work with the local community so that they buy into and own this
project and its benefits.
-  Make Odlum a home for people of the world that believe in the idea of a
human family.
-  Working with the local community so that they also understand the vision
and come to see that they have a role to play in it.
When we unsettle the walls that separate we will begin to see that there is far more that
unites us than divides.
 

The Odlum Village
In the native societies people look , physical and spiritual, their
connection to their kin and community, things not materially measured, as being the key
factors to the wealth of a person.
Odlum is located in Yala between Kisumu, Kenya in the West, and Kampala, Uganda in the East. It is a source of road
transportation and tourism, the movement of goods and people to landlocked areas across the region. Odlum is at
the same time both local and global, a fact that is a great potential resource in our favour.
There are four walls to this house, each one feeding and being fed by the next. This is our sustainability, our future.
An idea turned vision is now being realised – needs to be nurtured, like a child, by the many hands that make up the
village.
Our belief is that every person has something to offer in this world. Now we are making a call to those willing hearts
and hands to join us by bringing their creative abilities.
We welcome any opportunity to engage, partner, and share in the hope of growing a human conversation where we
are all teachers and students.
“It takes a GLOBAL village to raise a child…”
In order to raise a child, one needs to nurture a village. Living in the “global village”, we need to look beyond space
and place to find solutions to shared challenges.
Odlum hopes to partner with the global village to realise its aims. Together, in partnership, anything is possible.
1. Kitchen
2. Gallery
3. Backpackers
These pillars are meant to support the Cultural Skills Development Institution
which aims at breaking down walls and bringing different people together by using street
children as the agents of this mission. We know the power that children have. They
humble us and bring us together.

KITCHEN
The Odlum kitchen focuses mainly on traditional vegetable dishes. These vegetables are naturally available and
grown throughout the village. Whilst we aim to introduce these tastes to our travelling guests, we are also aim to
demonstrate a vision that says traditional dishes, with their undisputed nutritional value, can hold their own on any
plate at any table! As such, we hope to encourage more villagers to utilize their nutritious land to grow more
vegetables to sustain themselves and to have the surplus marketed to drier parts of the country. In doing this they
will be sustaining themselves and deriving an income out of what is currently considered ‘a table bore’ – traditional
foods that are considered undesirable or “backwards”.
Whilst most vegetables are mainly from
kitchen gardens, the Odlum kitchen enjoys a
partnership with a local young farmer,
Albert, who also oversees a series of
local greenhouses of tomatoes, melons,
wild berries, etc. The natural abundance
of fruit such as banana, mango, avocado,
guava, pawpaw and other wild berries
adds to a cocktail of sweet and healthy
offerings at Odlum!
One aim of the Odlum Kitchen is to
challenge the community to diversify
and return to the growing of indigenous
crops that are suited to both the climate
and a healthy diet. At present, many
people are dependent on maize and
beans that do not always grow well in
this climate. They also pay a heavy cost
of failed or inadequate harvests and the
purchasing of expensive seeds.

GALLERY
The arts do not enjoy the kind of government and private sector support in this rural part of Kenya as they do in
many other nations. The Odlum Gallery hopes to make a contribution to changing this.
The Odlum Gallery is set right in the cultural mists of a rural community. The gallery aims to bridge the social,
economic and political gap by bringing together all worlds in an environment where the old coexists with the new,
where tradition and so-called modernity stand staring one another in the eye. It is a gallery that is set to concentrate
on bringing down the walls and barriers that divide the human race, a space to share and learn with both the settled
and nomadic (travellers) communities.
Our hope is for artists from around Kenya, even the world, to come and share their creative talents by having
exhibitions, artist retreats, and a host of other activities. Art is one parachute that could save us all; the expression of
the human creative potential that is universal to every culture and society in the world. All activities at the gallery
will also go toward supporting the Cultural Skills Institute.
Artist Pshasha Seakamela visited Odlum Gallery in
November 2012 where he displayed his work and
conducted workshops which was the first most
people here has such an experience.

BACKPACKERS
Backpackers, as a global phenomenon, are a home for travellers from diverse backgrounds, a meeting point for
nomads and those looking to expand their horizons and understandings of the world. In some ways they are a
metaphor for the tradition of hospitality that was/is a part of every culture’s way of greeting strangers – A stranger
at the door is family, an honoured guest, directed there by the universe and so is deserving of the very best a home
has to offer.
Odlum is partnering with a backpackers hostel in the community of Jina village. It is under the support and
sponsorship of a youthful, retired anthropologist Fred Nyayiekka. We thought of having a place where travellers
would feel rejuvenated and comfortable by living within the community. This is another way we hope to contribute
to breaking down barriers between people.
The backpackers is situated inside the village and therefore
offers an ideal opportunity to interact with the villagers and
enjoy weekly village trails with a native soul, Miyere ole
Miyandazi who is able to shares stories of his Ultimate Walk
for Humanity – walking from Nairobi to Cape Town South
Africa in 2004 as well as through many African countries. At
any-point, you will be most welcome to join Fred as he goes
on his daily village activities such as milking cattle or assisting
the elder- villagers with their chores.
The focus of the backpackers is around creating a base from
which visitors can explore the surrounding areas. The ever
flowing Yala River runs at the foot of the backpackers home
and there is ample opportunity for nature lovers to gaze at the
rapid waterfalls or spot the abundant bird life that twitters all
around. Visitors are able to walk freely and share with the people of Yala. This is Odlum’s contribution to responsible
tourism.
Currently we have double dormitory accommodation as well as single rooms for couples. Eventually, we hope to
partner with those families in the village who are willing to have an earthbag room in every home where visitors will
have the chance not be tourists but part of a family for a time.
Phillip from Germany making a pilgrimage to
Mohoho with its endless views over the area.
Cultural Skills Institute
Once abandoned ruins, Odlum house was a structure of thick mossy grey brick roamed by all earthly or from
elsewhere beings and creatures needing that sort of refuge, a sanctuary…hush-hushed legends has it that even most
villagers would not pass this abandoned ruins at night for fear of strong spirits that frequented and dwelled in
there… spider cobs dangling their meals(a culinary fashion understood only by them), cats’ paradise with stray dogs
guarding the frontage like miniature immovable lion statues of Egyptian palaces…the ever lively perennial equatorial
green growth, whose thin twiggy veins hugged the entire structure robbing it of sunlight completely- and as though
at victory from an eternal sleep, the green growth finally branches fully out into the sun ,sporting petite and almost
unnoticeable strong scented yellow flowers here and there…an abundant structure!
To some, this would be a site not worth running into…
Left: The earthbag dormitory being built. The result of a
partnership with Chris Kasangaki of Down to Earth
Uganda - http://www.down2earthuganda.com/
Right: BoYoung, Yeon, and Sohee from South Korea who visited us
in 2013. A tour through the earthbag building project.
Odlum (meaning House of Grass), is an attempt to go back to our roots materially, economically and socially. The
Institute’s vision is to admit eight students, from eight countries that recognize the rights of the street children. By
putting these children at the centre of our focus we hope to support the restoration of their dignity, as well as ours,
and to begin making a contribution to the healing of society.
Sustainable Building and Construction will become one of the faculties of a curriculum aimed at giving these children
practical skills that can be used to create a life for themselves, so that they may never again know neglect,
dependency or desperation.
The one year residency at Odlum will also include learning in other skills such as Carpentry and Woodwork,
Sustainable Agriculture, Electrical, Welding, Barbershop/Salon, Food Preparation, Tourism and others. These are
practical skills that can be of use in any life, skills that can be used by these children to create a life for themselves as
well as to have knowledge that can be shared with others.
ge, to become
skilled, inspired, and motivated, to become part of an international network. We also
hope that they will carry their message with them back to their home countries as
motivating examples Imagine street children being selected to represent their countries
and to travel to another country to have this experience? Imagine how these children can
be ambassadors for the plight of a minority while also sending a strong message to the
majority? So Odlum brings this child to the stage and they become the uniting force.
The Walter Hatzl Foundation and Odlum honoured the
elders during a function dedicated to them in December
2012 – let us not forget where we come from!
magine this rural community of Yala being the community responsible for hosting such
an initiative? That it is street children that are the agents of brining all sorts of different
people and ideas to their small village. The impact on the social and economic
infrastructure here will be big. What is more important is that it will be supported and
“If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If
you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you
want a hundred years of prosperity, grow people.”
– Chinese proverb
Where We Are Now
The physical structures:
1. Earthbag structure – The dormitory for the first students is incomplete, but is being added to when the
necessary finances or materials are available.
2. Toilet – Nearly complete.
3. Kitchen – Is operational and mostly complete, however there is always a need for additional cooking
equipment (large pots, cutlery, bowls, plates, etc.)
4. Reception/offices – The existing offices are in one of the main buildings. Our hope is to build a separate
building which can also serve as a resource centre for both the community and visitors.
5. Gallery – Nearly completed.
6. Backpackers – An existing home in the village. The long term goal is to have an earthbag house within the
compounds of interested families in the community so that visitors will be “adopted” during their time with
us and so get a deeper experience of Yala by becoming part of the community.
Proposed Curriculum:
1. Communication – With kids coming from different backgrounds and locations the first, most important,
focus area will be to find a common language and understanding.
2. Art – A focus on unlocking the creativity of each individual by allowing them to express themselves in their
own unique and creative voice.
3. Carpentry, metal work, plumbing, electrical, building – Practical skills which the kids will be able to use to
build their lives in the future.
4. Farming & food preparation – Production of food from tiling the soil to dishing up a plate. A much
overlooked and poorly regarded part of life. We want to show the kids the importance of the whole life cycle
– healthy earth means healthy food results in a healthy mind and body.
5. Salon & barbershop training – Another practical skill that can be used to make a living.
*We are also flexible with the curriculum to accommodate visitors who are willing to share different skills.
This institute bases its curriculum on native values and native here means
every unique individual who really knows their journey who has identified their
own uniqueness and purpose and is committed to sharing this one-of-a-kind gift
with the world.
Our Current Needs:

 Odlum’s aim is to become self-sufficient in the long run, but for now there is a lot that we are unable to do
for ourselves. Our hope is that those who feel a connection to what we are doing will assist us financially. If
not, a person can show their support by helping us materially or in other ways.
Material:
1.  Building materials – cement, plumbing, electricity (conventional, solar, or wind), paint, tools, etc.
2.  A stage for the gallery.
3.  Projector for the gallery where we can show documentaries and movies to the community and have
discussion on how things happening in other parts of the world are relevant to our lives.
4.  A computer with virus software and some sort of Internet connection device.
5.  Electric hair clippers for barbershop training.

Skills & Knowledge:
Odlum is based on a belief in partnership and sharing. The more people with skills and expertise who are willing to
come and share them with us, the more we can do. This is part of our being able to sustain our present while also
being able to share this knowledge with others in the future.
1. Building – earthbag, brick & mortar, plumbing, electrical, welding and metal work, solar and wind power,
carpentry, etc.
2.  Permaculture & farming;
3.  Food & cooking – teach different styles of cooking, baking, etc.
4. Hospitality – help us learn some skills that will improve
5. Financial training – help give us some basic tools to better understand money, how it works and better ways
of using it.
6. Nutrition and Medicinal (natural) remedies.
People:
7. Interns – Looking for something to do for 6 months or more? Do you want to learn while also being a part of
a structured program where you can leave you mark as well?
8. Volunteers – Commit some time to becoming a part of the set up and running of our vision.
9. Travellers – Do you want to experience a different community while also sharing the worlds you come from?
10. Guests – Are you travelling through the region and want to come and support us in some way? Have a meal
in the kitchen or sleep a few nights in the backpackers and let us benefit from your stay.
11. Artists (painting/drawing, music, dance, poetry, etc.) – Who want to come and teach or do workshops for
the community so as to open their eyes to other ways of doing and maybe plant a seed that will become
someone’s future. Perhaps you want to do a performance or exhibit your work? The Odlum Gallery is very
different because of its rural location meaning a different kind of audience will interact with your work.
12. Partners – People who want to come and share what we have to give while also sharing what they know.
This could be anything: photography, yoga, sewing and clothes making, cultural awareness (the land,
language, and culture you come from, how you see the world, the foods you eat, etc. – share you and your
heritage’s humanity), whatever!
13. Supporters – Odlum’s aim is to become wholly self-sufficient in the future, but for now we rely on the
generosity of others to be able to do those things we cannot do for ourselves, the growing of the dream.
14. Networking – Perhaps your skills lie in extensive networks or talents in the online world. Help share our
story or put us in contact with those who may be able to add value to what we are doing.
We believe very strongly in more healthy and responsible forms of exchange.
The community of Yala is rural and we want to avoid influences that will upset
what is already here. Instead, our aim is to bring different peoples together by
creating a platform where they can share the best that each of their unique
lives and worlds have to offer.
The vision is to let Odlum be a healing space where we go back to our values. In my
own journey I have been helped a lot. Imagine the people, the families, the
communities, that have supported me from Nairobi to Cape Town, through 9 different
countries over 10 years? My eyes become watery when I think of these people. Many of
them were those I would never have thought in my wildest imagination could open
their hearts
That was the gift of this journey to me. It has challenged me to question my own
assumptions. There have been people with no material resources but their resources
have been their souls. They opened up and shared. Some gave food that you know that
to be that kind of a space where we say thank you to what life has offered to us. It is
about people being open and true
Some may be able to materially support projects in the community, others might offer
their physical strength, while others may do it by bringing their spirit, their voice, their
unique energy. It is about a true form of exchange that does not have a price tag. On
one side the community here will be able to meet different people from cultures and
countries they may never visit some will never go to the world but the world can come
to them
When the trend is to leave such places for the urban areas, this community may come
to value their home. On the other side the visitors will find a home in a community that
opens its arms to them. The exchange will happen around language, tradition,
knowledge, ideas and ways of looking, things that open minds and hearts by creating
connection.
Contact Us:
By message via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/odlum.odlum?fref=ts
Miyere by Phone: 0025 471 439 5642

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