About us


MaaViva:  The Institute for Interconnectedness, envisions a world where all people can live empowered, autonomously, and in harmony with each other and the natural world, where all thrive with healthy animals, diverse eco-systems, clean water and air, and unspoiled beauty in an interconnected world.  MaaViva was founded in 1999, under the original name of A Week on the Farm, which provided farm-based education in rural Southeastern Wisconsin.  MaaViva has now broadened its scope to work both locally and internationally to provide education on how to create sustainable living situations through multi-dimensional, interconnected solutions including building, agriculture, and ecology to realize our vision of a beautiful and harmonious world.  MaaViva also provides some emergency stop-gap support where people, animals and eco-systems are suffering immediate threats to their very existence

Partners in the field

MAURICE RABIER Charles Quentin


I was born in October,1985 in Ebolowa, Cameroon.

I come from a family of 10 children, of which I am the third born.

Holder of a Master's degree in Business Law, University of Yaounde II, 2008. 

Ten years professional experience, acquired in turn from the Confucius Foundation, the Special Fund for Equipment and inter-municipal intervention (FEICOM), to the Association of Cameroon's forest communes (ACFCAM) and to the Technical Center of the Communal Forest (www.foretcommunale-cameroun.org), where I currently hold the position of Project Monitoring and Evaluation Manager local development and decentralized cooperation, as part of a multi-donor program, called the Support Program for the Sustainable Management of Cameroon's Communal Forests (PAF2C).

I am married to Carine Laure RABIER and have to children (Ylona Marquise 4, and Hylda Justine RABIER 2)

I am passionate about research, new information and communication technologies, business, travel, music, sport, cinema, environmental protection, wildlife preservation, ecotourism and agriculture. That's why I launched an integrated agro-pastoral rural development project in May 2018 with the help of my friends and family.

Concerned about the well being of the disadvantaged populations of my locality (orphans, widows, unemployed, illiterate, etc.), I am actively looking for sustainable solutions to implement certain agro pastoral activities. I am hoping for a better tomorrow for the underprivileged sections of my society, hence my active search for penne solutions for agro pastoral projects.

John Christopher Mavevi

I want to tell my story so that I can inspire a new generation of orphans.
I was born July 3, 1982 in a small town called Akonolinga in the center of Cameroon.  I am Batanga from Kribi.  My father was a carpenter and my mother a farmer.  I lost both of them when I was young.  My father died when I was five.  When this happened my uncle kicked my mother out on the street and then sold me like a slave to a bartender.  That man abused me sexually.  I grew up on the street.

When I was young I had one orange tree that produced food. I walked 7 kilometers from the village to sell oranges at the market to pay for my school.  Day after day I took care of it.  The tree died when a jealous man cut it down.  It was like I lost  part of my soûl.  I told myself "This is not the end of life. You have to plant again.  You have to do it for the world.  Mâke this world better and work hard for it."
That is my inspiration..

I began writing poems on the  street, with pencils.  I wrote on the ground.  One day I fell in love. I began my poem and the girl told me to mix my voice with music.  This led me to later become a hiphop artist.
When I was twelve, I was beginning to write poems to my father to be burned.  In African Bantu culture, you write a letter to someone who has died and then burn it to connect with them.  I learned how to write in church.

I learned to make bricks in Akolinga, where I grew up, to pay for my schooling.

My mother died when I was 18 when a tree fell on her left foot.
My inspiration with sustainability is from my mother. She taught me to take care of nature .
I have a vision that the world is a big garden with animals and man living in the same place in a peaceful, holistic place.

Alfred Kipelian

Alfred Kipelian is the son of Noontwqni Sang’are and Moses Ole Kipelian who has studied extensively, and understands animal behavior.  Alfred grew up in Markupa village, known for having abundant wildlife.  Alfred loves and is proud of his Maasai culture.  He took care of his father’s domestic animals (which ones??—cows, sheep, goats?) from an early age, until he joined Morijo primary school.  He did very well in his studies and Moses supported him through high school and then to Nairobi elite school in 2013.


After School

Alfred became aware of the wildlife slaughter in the Loita forest as well as forest destruction for human cultivation.  He accompanied several organizations in Naimina Enkiyio forest who were interested in collecting elephant data.  Many elephant carcasses were found.  All of the illegal elephant poaching impressed upon Alfred the need to take action.  Many community youth attended several meetings discussing logging and animal torture.  


At that time, elephant poaching and forest destruction never seemed to stop because of deforestation and lack of wildlife guards in Loita.  Alfred communicated with community members living near forest boundaries and friends across the ocean to support him.  At long last he initiated a young scouting team with seven scouts.  Alfred is well known for his love, passion, and dedication to elephants.  



Alfred started the Mara Loita Community Rangers in 2015.  It is registered NRD/DSS/18412 as a community-based organization (CBO).  The team has seven scouts from the community who volunteer to work.

MLCR is a nonprofit organization that is protecting the Loita forest which covers 33,000 hectares, wild animals, and also hosts people studying about wildlife with experts like Moses.  The organization has great impact, ensuring that animals and people can survive better together in Loita.


Poaching Crisis

Since 2009 poaching has been a major activity in Loita.  The MLCR is making forward steps to take action through the county government.  The team raised alarm with several individuals known for forest destruction.  They promised to stop their logging in the forest.  The team is keeping an eye on them to make sure they honor their promise.  The MLCR are in the forest for only 5 days a week to allow the rangers to perform other household duties.  


The Mara Loita Community Rangers have no permanent pay.  They depend on donations and well-wishers to support their cause.

Emanuell Olepatta
Metui Sabore

Metui Sabore

Facilitator of Maaviva

1.Family Name:Sabore. 2.First Name:Metui 3.Date and Place of Birth: 9/8/1980 Endulen 4:Contact address:p.o.box 4 Endulen, Ngorongoro, Arusha Region, 0765822584.5.Civil Status and Number of Dependants: Married 5 dependants, 6.Education,1989 to 1995 I obtained a certificate of primary education (1-7), From 1989 to 1993, I stayed in the Parish under the Leadership of a Catholic Priest, Later I made the step of Educating myself on the College of Tropical Centre Institute for Tourism for 4 years, I was Employed as a Working guide for Hope Adventure Company for 3 years( 2000 to 2004) ,Later I came Back Home to start a sheep project from 2004 to 2010. In 2014 to date I was elected as Endulen Village Chairperson.  Language ability:  I am good in Kimaasai, Kiswahili and English.  My Hobbies are Eco-Tourism Business and Livestock Keeping.

I remember when I was 9 years old we met 3 elephants on the way to school.  We were two boys, my friend and I. My friend, Lemalali Siyanga (who is already passed away), we were supposed to stay on the path until the elephant left the way.  We finally reached the school at 1:00 afternoon. The Catholic priest father Ole Machesal decided to save us and take us to his house to stay there because it was near to the school. Then after completing my school 1995, I went back home to ask our parents if they could pay money for our futther education but they couldn't because they have no cows to sell to get money. But I didn't get tired.  I walked on foot to NCAA HQ to see if the community development department could help me but they didn't.  In 1998 I graduated my circumcision as a Maasai Young Warrior dancing and singing together for the protection of my people and livestock.  I fought with a lion as protection responsibility. I participated in a fight with lion 4 times and we succeeded to kill one.  The elders of the community decided to give us a gift of one cow to each of us as a reward. But I sold my cow to join the Tropical Centre Institute of Tourism. After that soon i got employed as working guide for 4 years.  Then I bought 50 sheep to begin my project. When I got 800 sheep I sold 500 and built 2 houses for my family.

Donatus Gadiye

Donatus grew up in Karatu, just outside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Donatus has worked with several conservation organizations in Tanzania, including protection of Northern Highland Forest Reserve within Ngorongoro and monitoring the protection of black rhinos on the Ngorongoro crater floor.

Donatus is head of elephant research for Ngorogoro Conservation Center and Chair of the School Board for Kilimatembo Secondary School in Karutu (Elephant Hill School). He was a co-author of the assessment for UNESCO World Heritage Site-status for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Don has a master’s degree in wildlife biology and works as Director of Tourism for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. His thesis paper focused on the ethno-biology of the Hadzabe people, Tanzania’s hunter-gatherers. The Hadzabe still live off the land with their traditional subsistence practices. 

 While flipping canoes with Wilderness Inquiry on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, Don made his famous comment, "I am a terrestrial." Tanzanians don’t go swimming much as many dangerous creatures live in the water there.

MaaViva is working with Donatus to find and determine new and successful ways to mitigate Human Elephant Contact as well as empowering local communities through wildlife education and youth empowerment

Philip Mayan

I am Philip 25 years old hailing from Laikipia/Isiolo Northern Kenya. It is a semi-arid region which experiences low rainfall, long droughts and famine but breathing much life with wealth of wildlife and beautiful scenery.  Due to the climatic conditions, my Maasai community depends entirely on nomadic pastoralism as a way of livelihood although there are few members of the community who do farming.  In the recent areas, there has been a situation of other communities joining us here and that is slowly transforming us through a wave and urge of more diversification of economic activities as a way of earning a living.

 Last year after seeing all challenges facing our people, I decided to find a solution. There has been a sharp rise in poverty levels, diseases, environmental challenges and wildlife destruction.  All these, I realized, were interconnected and one could not entirely address one without making a step into piecing up the others.  Food insecurity, poverty all lead to environmental destruction.

​Here were my objectives:
1.Achieving food security through permaculture and more effective ways of farming
2.Reducing poverty levels through agro-business, micro-finance through appreciation of various other ways of economic diversification.
3.Creating awareness about wildlife conservation and the need to protect our pride and heritage.
4.Teaching and involving all communities in efforts to combat climate change through massive, sustainable tree planting and proper environmental caring and protection.

International Coalition of Rhino Protection (ICORP)


The International Coalition of Rhino Protection (ICORP) operates a well-trained and equipped Counter-Poaching Unit at a designated wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.  Through innovative wildlife protection strategies, industry best practices and strategic planning with sanctuary management, ICORP seeks to protect and ensure the survival of the sanctuary’s critical wildlife population.  Directly supporting its wildlife protection mission, ICORP seeks to raise the public’s awareness of the challenges facing Africa’s wildlife through innovative, effective and relevant public engagement outreach programs and initiatives.

ICORP intends to stand between Africa’s wildlife and those who seek to do them harm.  We will be the storyteller for the wildlife who have no voice by raising awareness of the challenges faced by the beautiful natural resources of Africa.


Simple Hope


Simple Hope, founded in 2010, is a Christian non-profit organization, working ecumenically with all faiths to provide hope to compromised communities in rural Tanzania, East Africa. The direct mission of Simple Hope is to save and empower lives through faith, nutritious food, clean water, education, and other identified long term sustainable projects.

In conjunction, Simple Hope has a sister limited non-profit company, Simple Hope Tanzania, registered in Tanzania. This organization, directed by Patrick Paul, a Tanzanian who has dedicated his life to serving his people, oversees all implemented projects under the daily direction of Karen Puhl and Pamela Schwalbach, co-founders of Simple Hope (USA).

Krishna Gurung

Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco-Foundation (KRMEF)


Krishna Gurung has over 20 years of experience working with impoverished communities and is a leader in sustainable development projects in Nepal. After working as a physiotherapist in two hospitals in Kathmandu, he sought to focus his efforts on bringing not only health, but core wellness to the poorest communities; doing so by incorporating an anthroposophic and environmentally friendly perspective.

The Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation (KRMEF) was founded by himself and his wife, Leela. His expertise in the fields of sustainable community development, natural building, and biodynamic agriculture has been the basis for the projects at the foundation. It has helped him to successfully bring economic growth, land revitalization and public health and wellness to needy local populations.

He has been honored with six National Awards for Service, Innovation, Peace, and Achievement. His previous work establishment was nominated in BBC World Challenge 2008 finalist, as well as earned him nomination for the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Scientific award in 2011 as a semifinalist. Though his continued efforts to help humanity and spread the message of KRMEF, he has served as a guest speaker at many national and international academic institutions, including the University of Virginia USA.

Venice R. Williams

Alice’s Garden


Alice’s Garden provides models of regenerative farming, community cultural development, and economic agricultural enterprises for the global landscape. We recognize the cultivating, preparing, and preserving of food, and food traditions, as cultural arts to be reclaimed and celebrated fully in urban agriculture.

Alice’s Garden was named in honor after Alice Meade-Taylor, a former Executive Director of Milwaukee County Extension whose vision for building neighborhoods and nurturing people included gardening programs for children, youth and their families. She brought experiences and knowledge from study and training in programs such as those operated by USAID and the World Health Organization in Liberia, the Liberian Institute of Public Administration, and the University of Chicago Child and Family Institute at Northwestern University. Upon returning to Milwaukee, she was involved with community projects that improved the lives of women and their families and supported people of color and their communities, including the Fighting Back Project in Milwaukee County and the African Diaspora Project at North Division High School.

Alice Meade-Taylor's career was dedicated to education, first in the area of youth issues, then in drug and alcohol abuse programs, and later in teaching people about cultural diversity and multiculturalism

Plastic-Free Mke

How do you reduce your use of or reliance on plastic? Pass on your ideas, tips, successes and failures in your attempt to reduce your use of plastics. Share with us conversations you've had with friends, coworkers, bosses, store managers, media, or local legislators. Let's move this issue forward!


Nate LaHue

Nate LaHue is a veterinarian with interests in wildlife conservation and one health (connecting wildlife, livestock, human health and the environment in order to achieve lasting improvement in health and conservation). He received is D.V.M. from Cornell University in 2013 and a Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine (epidemiology) from UC Davis in 2015. He currently works in public health for the Wisconsin DHS, focusing on contaminant consumption from sport fish and previously worked as a wildlife veterinarian and researcher in Botswana and as both a small and large animal veterinarian.

Zuri D. Burns

Freelance Writer/Photographer and Ecologist

MaaViva extends thanks for photographs to:  Zuri Burns; Donatus Gadiye for the cover photo; Rohan Guyot-Sutherland for Eco-CASA photos; and all Partners for photos of their work.

The MaaViva Board

Dana Burns (USA)
Founder/Executive Director
Alicia Burns (USA/FI) Singer, Cultural Facilitator
Lori Barian (USA)
Waldorf Education Coordinator/Administrator
Anne Shergill (NZ/USA) Lawyer

©2019 Maaviva.org

Contact Us!

Email : info@maaviva.org

262 495 4247

N9565 Tamarack Rd.

Eagle, WI 53119

Website by DMdesigns

  • facebook-square