On the 7th of August, we facilitated our third community food drive for the original eighty families based in and around the Mara Rianda area of the Masai Mara. Heading out of Governors’ Camp that morning, we were greeted by the most beautiful dawn and a huge male lion lying on a mound of grass.
Photo credit Alisa Karstad
We have ensured that all of our supplies are purchased from local businesses in order that we increase our support within the community.
Support and buy local! Photo credit Alisa Karstad
The camp had lent us two Land Rover pickups to carry the parcels and once loaded up in Aitong town we set off. The event was kicked off by Bishop David and his words of thanks. I was then invited to speak and after doing so was told that the ladies wished to give me a token of their appreciation for all the support they have received. It was a touching moment to receive a handmade beaded piece of jewellery from each of the mamas.
The ladies then formed a very orderly queue and came forwards one at a time to receive their allotted supplies. Each family received 3.5kg of beans, 24kg of maize flour, 5kg of sugar, 3 litres of cooking oil, 100g of tea leaves, a bar of soap, a reusable face mask and a cabbage.
It was a great event and we wish once again to thank our dear friends at the Mara Rianda Charitable Trust along with all of the other individual donors who so kindly have made these events a reality for three whole months now.
We will facilitate one more food drive for these families in September with the remaining funds donated by guests. We wish to say a big thank you to Rhimani and our in-house photographer William Fortescue who collaborated this month to raise funds for our last food drive. If you wish to make a donation to help us increase our reach you can do so through our secure online payment link.
On the 12th of August the Loldia House team facilitated a second community food drive. This time supported 100% by The Stone Foundation, via The Wilderness Trust.
Loldia House team ready to go! Photo credit Alisa Karstad
Forty of the most vulnerable families living in the Kasarani village were identified by Sam; one of the Loldia Primary School teachers who is a respected figure within the community. A representative from each family arrived at the Loldia farm gate at 8am where our team had already placed all of the food parcels.
After confirming their name on our register, each person came forward, received a reusable face mask and received one of the food parcels. Each parcel contained: 4.5Kg of dried kidney beans, 24kg of maize flour, 3kg of sugar, 2 litres of cooking oil, one packet of tea leaves, one bar of laundry soap, a reusable face mask, two cabbages, 1.5kg of tomatoes and 2kg of onions.
The families were very grateful for this help and it was an honour for us to be able to facilitate the drive. Sam, the school teacher has since emailed us his thanks. “Hi Alisa, On behalf of the Kasarani community I wish to recognise your good job towards this community. It’s not easy and not everyone can do that kind of act. It was good. May God bless all your endeavours, not only now but also forever. God bless the Stone Foundation By Wilderness Trust and Governors’ Camp Collection Loldia House. Ahsanteni sana. Yours Sincerely, Sam.” We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to The Stone Foundation donors for providing these much needed funds.
On the 20th of August our Mara team awoke at dawn to drive the one hour to Aitong town which is situated to the north east of the Governors’ camps. We were able to use our supply lorry to carry food parcels for 120 families. Once loaded up in the truck we drove about 45 minutes to Mara Rianda and met the ladies who were ready to receive their parcels.
Photo credit Will Fortescue
Bishop David from the local church was once again on hand to say a prayer of thanks with the families and check their names against the list of agreed upon families. It took a great group effort from our brilliant team to unload so many supplies and each was placed in a large socially distanced circle. Each family received; 4kg of dried beans, 24kg of maize flour, 100g of tea leaves, a bar of soap, 3 litres of cooking oil, 5kg of sugar, a cabbage and a reusable ‘kitenge’ fabric face mask.
These particular families were being supported for the first time since we have begun our food support initiatives and they were delighted for the help which came directly from The Stone Foundation. The morning was a great success and the ladies wished for us to pass on their sincere thanks to the donors. We will continue to facilitate this work for these families for at least one more month, hopefully two.
On the 28th of August we facilitated the first of our Laikipia food drives. We travelled the five and a half hours by road from Nairobi to Governors’ Mugie House the day before in order that we could meet the team from the Mugie Conservancy early on the morning of the 28th to begin loading up the cars.
Mugie House Managers Andrea and Manuela greet Tala outside Mugie Conservancy Headquarters – Photo credit Alisa Karstad
The Mugie team provided invaluable assistance to us as they were able to purchase the food parcels on our behalf and work with their community contacts in order to identify 60 of the most needy families in the surrounding areas.
Photo credit Alisa Karstad
We visited three different areas, each bordering a different side of the conservancy. We first provided food parcels to Pokot and Turkana tribes people in the west. We then headed to a Samburu area to the south and finally to another Samburu area to the north. Each family received 5kg of rice, 5kg of sugar, 5kg of beans, a bar of soap, a reusable face mask, 200g of salt, 500ml of cooking oil, 100g of tea leaves, 1kg of tomatoes, 1kg of onions and a cabbage.
The cabbages proved to be very popular with Tala, the orphaned reticulated giraffe who wanders freely throughout the Mugie headquarters. It seemed the only way to keep her from tucking into them was to call a mechanic to splash a bucket of water over her!
These 60 families were entirely supported by The Stone Foundation, via the Wilderness Trust. It was an honour to help these families as it was very apparent that almost of all the communities we have helped to date, these people were very much in need of the help. They were so thankful for this help and it was an amazing insight into the lives of these indigenous people.
What struck us the most was how these were people who had been identified as being the most in need, and yet as we were leaving we watched them open up their supplies and share them with other families who had not been on the list of people to receive support. A true act of kindness.
That afternoon the storm clouds grew dark and heavy and we were treated to possibly the most vibrant double rainbow I’ve ever seen that stretched right over the Mugie Dam. A great omen indeed since rain is considered to be a blessing in these arid parts of Africa.
On the 28th of August our team in Rwanda marked their 19th week of food support to the single mothers of the sewing project. In total 90 ladies are supported, each receiving a parcel containing 5kg of maize flour, 2kg of beans and a bar of soap twice per month.
This support has been generously provided by Margot Raggett and we are also very grateful to Libby Hess who has also very generously donated twice now to the program. We would also like to thank our friends at Amala Destinations in Singapore and many other individuals who have sent in donations to support the work being done by the single mothers.
The main expenses that they require help with are rent and materials. If you would like to support either the Sabyinyo food drive or the sewing project itself you can do so through our secure online payment link.
By Alisa Karstad, Community & Conservation Manager for Governors’ Camp Collection.