HERE’S THE DEAL
My name’s Stefan. I live in Calgary Alberta and have worked as a freelance shooter and editor since finishing college last April. I’ve taken off to volunteer in Kenya. It’s an opportunity for me to get realigned with life’s priorities and immerse myself in a culture that surrounds me with people who give back much more than I could ever provide them. Who are these people? Kids! My motives are entirely selfish.
Many schools in Kenya lack teachers, basic infrastructure, and funding. The primary school I’m volunteering at has no working electricity or plumbing. I’m assisting with daily Math, English, Science, and Phys Ed; providing one-to-one attention to the kids and covering classes each day. I also spend nights tutoring late at the Ewangan night school, which was created by volunteers to allow Maasai cattle herders the opportunity for education they wouldn’t otherwise receive and am at an orphanage in Mombasa’s Likoni district during April.
The donations I raise go into the Olmaroroi daycare and school fund. With an unpaid teacher and at least 20 little Maasai kids, many of whom are orphans and rescues, any assistance is graciously accepted:
The daycare needs a kitchen, as meals are currently cooked outside using dirty water over a fire pit. With the rainy season approaching, an indoor kitchen is a priority. The daycare needs a water tank and gutters to collect rainfall so that there is clean and safe water to cook with and drink. We need to build some beds for a nursery room for some younger children. One of the kids is blind, others have disabilities and health problems such as trachoma. To separate the kids from dangerous plants and animals and from wandering off into wilderness, a fence is needed to surround the daycare. The toilet pits need to be upgraded and finished so that they actually function and do not flood over when rain streams down the hill. Windows in the building are without glass. Finally, we need to stock the daycare with food like maize, rice, corn, beans, flour, salt, and cooking oil to not only feed the kids but to serve as a store within the remotely located community, thus providing income back into the daycare for future food stock. These are all very realistic and sustainable improvements to the daycare/preschool.
In addition, my desire is to provide a young blind girl attending the opportunity to receive eye surgery at a clinic in Nairobi. There are no such institutes out here in the remote land and she has to be transported to receive any kind of treatment. I’ve taken her to an eye clinic to be examined, and the opportunity exists to potentially save one of her eyes with surgery. But there are complications. It turns out she is HIV positive, contracted from her mother. In the Maasai culture it’s common for men to have several wives. The girl’s father died a number of years ago. Now I know why. Here we witness the tragic reality of the lack of HIV/Aids awareness in Africa. Leaving behind 2 widows and several children, I see an incredibly urgent need for every member of the family to be tested and receive the ART therapy HIV positive Kenyans can be provided. If healthy enough, the girl can have the surgery to potentially restore part of her vision. But education and implementation of the available resources are of paramount concern. Doctors don’t speak Maasai and the family needs to know the difference between a cough and an HIV caused immune disorder that can lead to AIDS. Transportation from their remote hut, proper nutrition, and education can save this family and restore the girl’s sight while there is time.
The Olmararoi primary school itself lacks basic supplies and equipment in addition to the larger projects and improvements needed, but the immediate needs are: Basic school supplies like pens, sharpeners, chalk, erasers, pencils, books, rulers and protractor kits, solar powered calculators, and food. I’d like to be able to have the ability to work on science experiments and projects such as creating a model of the solar system, but there’s nothing to work with.
Donations are graciously accepted securely via PayPal by clicking the button below. To raise money and awareness for the daycare and school, this May I’m climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. This’ll occur after the goal has been met and 100% of the funds have been implemented directly into the daycare and school. Keep track of the progress on my Blog page.
Donors who generously give $35+ will receive (please choose):
Maasai keychain -OR- Maasai earrings
Donors who generously give $50+ will receive:
Maasai bracelet Handmade gift from a student
Donors who generously give $100+ will receive:
Large Maasai decoration Maasai keychain A photo of the Olmaroroi students and a photo of the daycare/preschool children personally signed by the kids A sample of the colourful traditional Jewelry made locally by Maasai women. By donating and receiving this free gift, you’ll be helping supplying their income. Please indicate which you’d like when donating.
To fundraise the money I’m challenging myself to climb Kilimanjaro. All donors will be thanked from the roof of Africa with a banner the exceptionally grateful children will help me create! I can only get to the top with your motivation.
I truly appreciate anything that can be given. My goal is to fascilitate sustainable contributions that’ll benefit the community after my time in Africa is finished, while raising awareness of education in Kenya and the basic human right to be educated. In the process, my wish is that people be inspired to alter their own perceptions of different ways of living and practice unconditional love and compassion stemming from a deep sense of empathy.
Please be sure to follow the progress by means of the photos, videos, and links to social media on my Blog, which (depending on internet access) will be updated as regulary as possible from my iPhone.
* My personal challenge to YOU is: Each day, try to feel the love in your dealings with other individuals, unconditionally, and free of prejudice. Educate yourself while realizing that real love is more than a feeling, it is proactive. Show the people you love and the people you’ve never met why and how genuine compassion never fails. Share your experiences with #KenyaFeeltheLove *
Thank you so much. Asante! Ashe oleng!