The Milgis Trust's core area is located in northern Kenya within the drainage of the Matthews Range, Ndoto Mountains and Kirisia Hills, but spreading further north towards Oldonyo Mara, Mount Nyiru and Mount Kulal. The Trust's aim is to cover approximately 8,000 sq kms and supports a diverse range of flora and fauna and the pastoral livelihoods of several different nomadic tribes including the Samburu, Turkana and Rendille.
As a result of growing insecurity leading to the poaching of wildlife and over-extraction of declining natural resources, the Milgis Trust was established in 2004.
Its mission is:
To sustain the wildlife, habitat and the pastoral peoplesí way of life in northern Kenya.
The Trust has the following objectives:
- To provide security and communications to the area for the protection of wildlife;
- To address the destruction of natural resources;
- To increase local awareness of resource conservation among affiliated pastoral communities;
- To support and enhance access to education for the pastoral communities in this remote region;
- To facilitate access for pastoral communities to specialised healthcare by hosting medical clinics;
- To motivate Quality rather than Quantity of livestock through better veterinary backup;
- To improve the water situation by harvesting flood waters; enhancing water catchment areas; whilst providing clean drinking water to schools, medical centres and villages;
- To strengthen the partnership between the Trust and the pastoral communities in the region so that future generations can continue to conserve this area;
Helen Douglas-Dufresne runs the Trust on ground level. She is a colourful Kenyan and renowned conservationist who has walked the length and breadth of this part of northern Kenya for over two and a half decades. Along with her partner Pete Ilsley and their loyal Samburu crew they have taken hundreds of walking camel safaris through this remote and untouched land, learning and experiencing all it has to offer.
Mama Helen as she is known by the Samburu has been welcomed with outstretched arms and is trusted more than any other in the region having worked hard to create a wonderful rapport and understanding with the communities, elders and warriors.
Their continued presence on the ground sustains this trusting relationship and encourages and promotes the successful implementation of projects as well as the Milgis Trust's ongoing field operations.