22 Jul We’re Back from the Mara!
The tiny ten-seat plane we boarded in Nairobi to fly us to our Unstoppable communities in the Maasai Mara was packed with people, luggage and anticipation for the journey ahead. We (the Unstoppable team) were honored to be bringing several donors with us so they could witness first-hand the transformation that is occurring because of their generosity. The plane soared over the Great Rift Valley and into the Maasai Mara bringing cows, Acacia trees and herds of zebra into view as we took in the natural beauty below. This was just the beginning of what would be a truly transformative experience.
Here are just a few of our favorite highlights:
We just love Mama Jane! Mama Jane invited us into the beautiful home she built through a community investment system called a Merry-Go-Round. Mama Jane leads a women’s empowerment group that she helped grow to 6,000 members! She has played a key role in galvanizing her community of Emori Joi toward sustainability—serving as a role model, mentor and leader.
Our donors experienced the “water walk”, the arduous task, typically reserved for girls and mamas, of traveling to the river to collect water. A jerrycan, like the yellow one Dr. de Mello (far right) is carrying, is used to collect the water and can weigh as much as about 50 lbs when full. When Mama Jane was building her home she needed water to make cement, so she would wake up at 3 am and take 37 trips back and forth to the river each day to retrieve the water necessary for construction.
We were blown away by the dedicated, impressive learners of Kisaruni High School. Because of a high school education, these girls now have dreams beyond basic survival. They know they’re the future of Kenya and will become nurses, doctors, scientists and tourism professionals. This would not be possible without the support of our amazing donors who helped fund this extraordinary high school.
Several of our donors who work as healthcare professionals – Dr. Edison de Mello, Dr. Stephanie Mann and Heather Pixton, Pharm.D – gave seminars to the first class of nursing students at WE College, as well as worked with the staff at nearby Baraka Hospital. They discussed a range of subject matter, from Foetal Monitoring and Delivery to Psychosocial Approaches to Gastrointestinal Illness and the Philosophy of Integrated Medicine to Epidemiology, and more!
Donors joined Laila community members in a ground-breaking ceremony for the very first Unstoppable Community Leadership Center! This would not have been possible without the generosity and commitment of our Chairman of the Board, David Meltzer, his family, and everyone who has donated and fundraised for his 5o For 5o campaign.
With our two groups of rockstar donors, we visited a total of 6 communities in various stages of our 5-Pillar Development Model. In each community, we were met with warm welcomes and ear-to-ear smiles. It was so encouraging to visit communities like Chepkebit, the most recent Unstoppable community to come off the waiting list, and know that these children and their families now have a much brighter future ahead. Witnessing the transformations that are occurring firsthand and connecting with members of each community reinstated just how much this work matters, that the model is working, and just how valuable each and every contribution made is for the future of this entire region.