Project #22159

Maasai Olympics: Ending Lion Killings In Kenya

by Big Life Foundation USA


Iconic predators of Africa are disappearing before our eyes. Wild African lions have declined by 75% in 20 years. Predators are critical to healthy eco-systems in East Africa. In Maasai culture, it is custom for males to kill lions as a rite of passage into manhood. Maasai leaders asked for assistance from Big Life to eliminate lion hunting from their culture. In response, the Maasai Olympics and conservation education initiative were created to provide a transformative alternative.
total goal
monthly donors
year active


In Maasai culture, it is custom for males to kill lions as a rite of passage into manhood. There are now too many people and too few lions for this to continue. In response, the Maasai Olympics were created and held in 2012 and 2014. These events were highly successful and garnered global interest. Funding is required to ensure this one of a kind event is held again in 2016 and the positive momentum for change continues.


Instead of lion killing to compete for recognition, express bravery, attract girlfriends, and to identify leaders, a history-changing alternative has been created: an organized Maasai sports competition based upon traditional warrior skills. In recognition that Maasai girls are also potential conservation advocates, two competitions for girls are included. By showing the transformative power of conservation, education and cultural change through sport an example is being set for other cultures.

Long-Term Impact

Sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a community-based collaborative approach: conservation supports the people and people support conservation. The Maasai Olympics are a great example of this approach. They help to facilitate a cultural shift among the 800,000 Maasai in Kenya to be guardians for lions. An example is also set for other cultures in Africa and globally, by showing that cultural change for conservation is possible through a holistic and replicable model.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


The Maasai Olympics
Maasai Olympics Replace Lion Killings In Kenya
Maasai Warriors Scrap Lion Hunt for Olympics
Big Life Foundation - Predator Protection Program

Organization Information

Big Life Foundation USA

Location: Wood Village, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.biglife.org
Project Leader:
Big Life Foundation USA
Executive Director
Wood Village, OR United States
$7,015 raised of $10,000 goal
116 donations
$2,985 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.