Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas come early

Another amazing day .. not only did it stop raining in the UK and the sun shone brightly, but my daughter got confirmation of the arrival of her white Blackberry Bold   ... the bad news is that my son has to wait another week for the arrival of Assassins Creed 3 Brotherhood
...... ridiculous western materialistic crap aside .... the REAL point of this blog is the results our Norwegian volunteer, Mona, posted onto my Facebook wall earlier today ... news, with visuals, of little Sylvia. Sylvia was highlighted when Mona joined us in north western Kenya earlier this year, working alongside the Canadian-based Tumaini Centre, established by soon-to-be-proud-Mum Amanda Flanagan.
Sylvia is the orphaned grandchild of the cook for the school that Tumaini support and have been constantly developing for a number of years. Unfortunately, due to the typical pressures of workloads and poverty, Sylvia's grandmother was severely struggling to keep Sylvia literally "alive" due to undernourishment since losing her Mother at only a few months old. In April, 4.5 yr old Sylvia was barely the same size as her 1 yr old cousin ..... but then we found her and people got together and helped and spent time and only a little money to find a way to help this little girl.
And look how we did:
I just want to thank EVERYONE involved especially Mona (for her time spent in Kenya and back home in Norway), Rose (in Kenya), Amanda (in Canada and now Kenya), the friends and family donors from Canada and Norway, Maurice for liaison in the community and all the amazing school staff for their efforts in keeping Sylvia in baby class to help with socialisation. The story of the school is uplifting on its own but I'd especially like to thank Sylvia's tireless Grandma, Christine, for honestly doing her best to fend for her grandchildren after her own daughter died.
Now there's much more hope for Sylvia, pictured here with a walking frame made for her to aid her in walking for the first time, on her own, at almost 5 years old. In the words of a friend, Jacque: "everyone should be proud and here's hoping Sylvia continues to prosper and in later life gets to track down who was responsible for the woolly bonnet!" Wink ..bless her!!
Front cover of Vogue will be waiting, Sylvia x

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Maasai at TED (almost)

Petr, one of our Czech volunteers from the Summer has managed to upload hundreds of his photos to both Flickr and Facebook to pass on just how amazing the month was he spent at the village of Enkito, Amboseli National Park, alongside fellow volunteers, Shiv and Emma.
This is one of Petr's photos of Narakiramart looking at this actual photo! She's smiling now but was actually scared of the camera.

I also just heard from Ben Rigby of The Extraordinaries aka micro-volunteering at Sparked.Com who's been talking to the world via a stage at TED about how he's helping us get help to put in a well for the village to ease Narakiramart's chores (and the other women) of walking up to 8 KILOMETRES to fetch water.
This whole project started after a simple conversation with Maasai's modern man, Jackson, pictured below ( thanks to Emma for the photo).

I met Jackson while at the fabulous eco-camp; Stilts, in Diani Beach on the Indian Coast, this April. He and a few other village members moonlight as askari (warrior) nightwatchmen there as part of an exclusive friendly contract written years back with the owner. Although we have fabulous photos of Jackson turning up with a Cosmopolitan under his arm he is still extremely proud of his heritage, village and traditions, working in Diani simply to earn more for his community.
I'd literally just walked down off Mount Kenya that morning and had bags and bags of dirty wet clothes. I was stood washing my ridiculously large amount of clothing chatting to Jackson who dresses simply in the traditional shuka, flipflops made from old tyres and shorts! They do make up for it with jewellery though and Jackson does a roaring trade with the visitors, taking orders to make bespoke jewellery and texting these orders to the women in the community.

I felt fairly ridiculous washing my 4th pair of trousers in the sink while chatting with him but this was when he told me how far the women have to walk for water. They have donkeys to help and having our volunteers spend a month with Jackson and the community this summer, we  know there is a communal tap just outside that works every Tuesday !!!!!
So .. if you can help us help these fabulous people and their amazing children then please get in touch. They'd love to welcome you into their village for a visit under the watchful eye of Kilimanjaro, otherwise, simply click here to help us help them. Asante sana!