TWO VISIONARY MAASAI LEADERS – one an adopted son and the other a cultural leader and government chief – founded the Ilkerin Loita Integral Development Programme (ILIDP) in 1968.
Father Jan Voshaar, a Dutch missionary, adopted and was adopted by the Maasai community in Loita. Kone ole Senteu, the chief, wielded tremendous political and spiritual influence among his people.
Both deeply spiritual and thoughtful in their own way, they managed to sidestep what could have been a clash of cultures and developed a deep interpersonal dynamic that yielded, among others, a common ground in their commitment to working towards a better life for the Loita Maasai.Kone’s hypnotic personality, charisma and firmness motivated the community.
Voshaar’s realization that “saving souls for Heaven” required improving the lot of bodies here on earth compelled him to broaden the scope of his mission.Their combined legacy and purpose enabled the programme’s concept to take seed and grow in Loita and have been the cornerstone and guiding principles in the formulation and adoption of the unique strategies and approaches the programme has used over the years
ILIDP started operations in 1972 as a CBO until 2004 when it was registered as a NGO. It is situated 130km south of Nairobi, in Loita Division, Narok County , Kenya.
It is a community marginalized in government provision of services and infrastructure, culturally conservative and has a slow uptake on formal education.
ILIDP’s direct target group and beneficiaries is an indigenous community of about 28,000 Loita Maasai semi-nomadic pastoralists, who make up one small section or sub tribe of the Maasai people spread over area of 17,000 km2
The Loita Maasai community straddles the common border with the Republic of Tanzania and is considered among the very conservative clans of the Maasai community. ILIDP has been in operation for the last 46 years.