FRIENDS' GLOBAL ADVOCATES
Our global advocates experience the joy of helping people reach their greatest potential by exploring the power of servant leadership, management and problem solving using their learnt proven techniques for engaging communities in the United States and in Sub-Saharan Africa. The passion that drives our global advocates, drives the world since they love helping people to the best of their ability because they know the value of opportunity. From empowering women & girls, sustainable agriculture, water, food programs, medicine, or coordinating seasonal events.
In the past, water was a big problem and for many generations we persevered through bad situations during periods when we lacked clean drinking water. For years, Joel the elder of Inchurra Maasai Village dreamed of getting a well for his village, he applied for a water project through the local government and he was advised that he needed to create a Community Based Organization first for his community which he did and resubmitted his application for water which stayed pending for a span of 2 years without any feedback from the officials.
Luckily, our plea was answered when Friends of Woni Kenya International accepted to do a water project for our village. In 2011, we fortunate to have a geologist come from California and sited two great locations for drilling a well and in early 2012 all the necessities had been done and the well was sunk in March the same year. In addition to that the organization has been continually supportive with our pre-school which has about sixty children from within the village and the neighboring villages, with learning facilities and supplying food for the young children at the preschool which goes a long way in keeping them motivated to come each day to school as some of to walk about 4 miles
“That’s a great thing, we are very appreciative for the projects that the organization has done in this community. We have been able improve as a community in many ways and our children are able to concentrate on getting an education unlike in the past where the challenges forced many to drop at a very young age. The women and young girls are definitely the most relieved from what they used to have to go through in finding water miles away for their families,” he says.
For centuries we have believed that we are the keepers and protectors of the cattle and the status of our wealth is based almost entirely on the number of cattle and goats owned. Our diet, traditionally has been almost solely meat (commonly eating goat and often some cow’s blood) and diary. Our cows are generally used to produce diary, and tap them for blood (without harming them) to mix with curdled milk. And we have always taken to cardio and physical strength and endurance that would qualify as on the Kenya Athletics team any day of the week.
The need for education and the impact it has had for those who have had an opportunity to pursue it through college level is so strong, I have watched families bankrupt themselves, every so often sell all their cattle to put their children through school. We truly appreciate the support that Friends of Woni has shown through the food program, school uniforms, study facilities & sports equipment have helped raise standards of education and that has encouraged many young children to be driven to come to school daily as a result we have seen many graduate and join elementary school unlike years back we had very few if at all any complete this level of studying.
Many of these students who graduate from higher schooling levels have returned to their home areas to provide leadership and much needed skills and services. There are teachers, nurses, engineers, professional conservationists, guides, and accountants and this has changed a lot of lives amongst the youth of this ecosystem to aspire that they can have a more sustainable future once they attain it and have different dreams for their lives.
The health for individuals around here has improved a whole lot. The women have gotten some income supplement from it and we have been able to manage the pre-school better through ways we would never have deemed possible without the well – through the income generated we have been able to open a bank account and recently have installed a solar power system and an expert set it up in the classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms for lighting and charging electronics. Our children now don’t suffer from waterborne disease as they did in the past and we have realized improved hygienic conditions which has reduced the burden of many parents. Women now have enough time to focus on their domestic chores and bead making craft since they don’t have to bear the burden of water collection, walking about 4 miles to the nearest source to fetch water and carry with their containers with their backs.
With the water project built here, members are able to secure their basic needs comfortably in varied ways. The households have become self-sufficient and I have seen a reduction in conflict, famine and inadequate means to treat sick ones. Now more than ever, young girls are having more freedom to pursue an education, and women to earn extra income reducing hard pressed scenarios they had to put up with in the past, even better, they are having a first chance to step into leadership roles to manage community affairs and to produce assorted crafts which they sell to visitors and use the income to support themselves and families as a result a sense of security is experienced.
Joel is not done with investing in the future yet for the village. He’s in the process of preparing a proposal for a solar pump system, to pump water to a receiving tank at the Inchurra Pre-school which is about a mile away. Since at the moment they are still having to hand carry water with containers from the point of source to the preschool and that’s been quite burdensome. His logic is that the classrooms, kitchen, and sanitation conditions will be much better if they have that in place and generally the studying environment will be more conducive for all.