Alison is one of our travel2change community members from the UK. She answered some questions about her project “Texting Water to Enkito” in Kenya. She is the founder of AVIF, an innovative online charity assisting with sustainable development via online & onsite volunteering in rural Kenya, and looking for the support of the travel2change community.
“My name is Alison, I live in the UK and, since 2006, I have run a global volunteering charity that assists with sustainable development, mainly in rural Kenya but in other areas of the world too. In 2010 I met with a young maasai, Jackson, who told me about his village and I also met several people who had visited the place in Amboseli.”
What’s the project idea about?
“In Enkito, Amboseli, SW Kenya, the ground is always parched. When the rains finally do arrive the ground soaks up as much as it can and then surface water washes away most of the remaining fertile topsoil, leaving only rock and sand. But it’s been like this for hundreds of years. The maasai have learnt to cope – but not to the extent that global warming has now reduced even the glacial cover on Kilimanjaro. Since 2000, the plateau’s three remaining ice fields have shrunk by 26 percent. Scientists found that both the Northern and Southern ice fields atop Kilimanjaro have thinned dramatically in recent years, while the smaller Furtwangler Glacier shrank as much as 50 percent between 2000 and 2009. These glaciers feed the only rivers and marshes in the area, and rivers are running dry.”
Enkito have become hosts to our volunteers who visit to learn about life in symbiosis with nature.
“The maasai are an incredible tribe who work and live alongside nature, though they’re also learning about modern technologies too like mobile phones. See an article here for further details.”
“We are hoping to sink a well in the community to aid the women, who currently have to walk up to 8km for water from the river. A well similar to the one recently put into another of our hosts in NW Kenya, children’s home. The well is owned and maintained by the community, who are an essential part of the building and management team.”
How do you think can travel2change help you with this project?
“I believe Travel2Change can help source volunteers who will virally enhance the work of the school. Each volunteer travelling to the area gains as much, if not more, than they can offer, during the experience. The area is truly magical.”
How can you ensure sustainability for this project?
“AVIF is well established and can ensure adequate governance and training will be given on the management of the well, using local specialists in the hydrogeological survey and digging process.”
“I would highly recommend this experience to anyone, any age!” says Alison.
Thank you very much for giving us such great insight into your project, Alison! Good luck with the project and we hope that our travel2change community can help!
Do you want to support this project? Go to http://www.travel2change.org/idea.php?id=39, sign up as a member and vote for “Texting Water to Enkito”!