Written by Alyssa Vandenberg
Pamela Sendee, founder of Humans of Change, had the opportunity to experience a warrior training while volunteering in Kenya. Many volunteers enjoy participating in this activity, which includes learning both how to use different traditional Kenyan weapons as well as the cultural and historical significance behind each item.
During the warrior training, Maasai warriors teach volunteers how to use a club and a bow-and-arrow, both of which symbolize the passage into adulthood for young boys. As children, boys are given small clubs, and when they grow older they receive larger clubs, representative of their growth. When they reach the level of “manhood,” they are given a bow-and-arrow to kill their first animal, such as a warthog. The boys in the village undergo this passage into manhood together, and their village celebrates their growth. After learning about the history behind these weapons, the Maasai warriors then allow the volunteers to practice with the weapons using a long distance target. This warrior training is just one way that volunteers can learn about and experience Kenyan culture.