Recent guest Owen who stayed at Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp with his family in July visited our Local Primary school Ololomei and was touched by what he saw and what is still needed to help provide the children with a high quality educational facility.

 

He decided he wanted to do something himself to help the students in Kenya. His next step was to start raising funds through a bake sale and together with some friends from his high school he made it happen!

He reached out to the managers at Elephant Pepper Camp for photos and information about Ololomei School and used it to put together an information board about the school. His family and friends all help and on the day the bake sale was a huge success. Owen raised over $1000 dollars for the school!!!

 

Last year we managed to build a semi-permanent classroom for Ololomei School through generous donations from Elephant Pepper Camp guests. This year, with the help of remarkable people like Owen, we are working towards provision of a kitchen and dining area for the students.

A huge thank you from Elephant Pepper Camp, teachers and students of Ololomei Primary school and the Masai community to Owen, family and friends for making this happen!

Asante Sana ( Kiswahili) and Ashay ohleng (Masai)

 

Little Embiti Primary is located in Siana within Embiti village and lies about an hour and half from Elewana Sand River Mara. Land & Life’s relationship with the school started in the year 2016 when its population was a little under 100 students. The children are enrolled from early childhood level to grade 4 because the school lacks the infrastructural capacity to accommodate children beyond that level. Currently, it has 2 permanent and 1 semi-permanent classrooms.

We have been able to provide the school with numerous books & stationery and other in-kind donations as received from our generous donors and guests who stay at Sand River during their safari. We also hold termly conservation education sessions with the top students (grade 3 and 4) who make up the Wildlife Warrior club at the school. Last year, we were able to construct the first ever permanent toilet block, which was greatly appreciated by the school. This is a great start, but we know that a lot more remains to be done at Embiti.

Meetings with the school faculty and community representatives to determine the school’s top priority needs gave insight about their water challenge and which initiated our Water Project at the school. This entails providing the school with a new water tank, installation of a rainwater harvesting system and a pipe connection to the nearby community borehole.

We were slightly short of funds to complete this project until the Scopa family and friends (Mike, Caitlin, Shannon, Emma and Emily) visited and spent time with the Embiti children. They enjoyed their visit and on their return home they got in touch and made a donation to allow us to complete the water project.

Their generosity and support, which is so timely, doesn’t end at that. They are committed to providing funds for the construction of a new classroom at the school. Their daughter Emma and her best friend Emily are currently raising funds for the construction of a new classroom, which will enable the children to continue with their studies beyond grade 4.

An education is an opportunity to escape poverty, not only for themselves but for their families and villages. An education can be life-changing for these children and their families but only if they can continue to attend school – Emma & Emily

Read about their amazing experience at Embiti on their crowdfunding page:  A school for every kid and help support their goal by sharing their story and/or donating.

Kidogo Kidogo, hujaza kibaba! – “Little by Little, fills the cup – goes a long way”.

Graeme and Candy

Land & Life sat down with some of our supporters, Graeme and Candy Smith, who are the General Managers at Elewana’s Tortilis Camp in Amboseli. They have taken on a personal responsibility – not simply supporting Land & Life as part of Elewana’s corporate role, but a personal sponsorship of one of the students at the local primary school Kosencha Lemaiyan.
Kosencha has had a rough ride, and now hopefully with the help of Graeme and Candy and the support of the Head teacher at the school, she will be able to complete her education and then go on to give back to this remote community, supporting her own family in her own way.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
We are both originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, and we have travelled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, Middle East, Far East, Australia and USA, spending the last 7 years managing various safari lodges throughout Tanzania. We arrived in May 2017 in Amboseli from Ruaha NP in Southern Tanzania.as new General Managers of EewanaTortilis Camp , Amboseli, Kenya. Both of us are very passionate about wildlife and conservation and and are excited to take over such an amazing lodge in such a fantastic location
Since you arrived in Amboseli, what have you felt has been the biggest challenge facing the local community?
The biggest challenges to the Maasai community since we arrived has undoubtedly been the drought, which had lasted for approximately 3 years until the rains arrived this year. A a lot of their culture revolves around their livestock so the poor condition or death of the cattle has proven hugely stressful and extremely damaging for the community. People have been forced to make very hard choices about how and where to spend what little resource they have, and often this has heart-wrenching results. We have come to understand the financial challenges of supporting, feeding and educating their families, not to mention maintaining their culture and heritage in an increasingly modern world, and feel great empathy for these welcoming people.

How did you become personally involved with Land and Life and what form does your support take?

Kosencha in school uniform

Land & Life has been working at Esiteti Primary School for some time, and have done a lot of work in both building classrooms and such like and channelling donations there for visitors. We happened to be visiting the school on behalf of Land & Life, taking desks that had been donated and meeting the children. We were just about to introduce ourselves to the Head Teacher when we heard the staff discussing a 13 year old girl – they had just stopped the parents from marrying her off and were discussing what to do next.
We had already decided we wanted to get involved with Land & Life, particularly with the work they are doing at Esiteti Primary School. Immediately we volunteered to sponsor this girl to help give her a chance of a good education.
Candy has a history of child development and we were both interested in helping where we could. We then learned her name, Kosencha, pronounced Kosenga. This is very similar to Candy’s mother’s name. Candy’s mother sadly died when Candy was 7 years old and she was called Senga, which is a traditional Scottish name. Knowing this we thought well, this was definitely MEANT to happen!!
So what do you know about Kosencha’s history and what are your future plans for her support?

Kosencha Lemaiyan is now fifteen but when we met her she was just 14 years old. She had been living with her uncle, as her mother was not capable of supporting her and her father has sadly had alcohol problems. Her uncle had recently

Kosencha with Candy

been having financial problems, and so he wanted to marry her off. She did not want to get married and she managed to run away. After failing to garner support from a Rescue Centre in Loitoktok, the HeadTeacher of Esiteti Ms. Phides took her in and she has been in her care ever since.

 
Kosencha has just turned 15 year and she is currently in class 3, so she has another eighteen months or so before she starts secondary school. In her free time, she likes to play football and is a quick runner! She does generally well in most subjects, but her favorite is Science, which is promising!
 
We plan to pay for her education right through until she finishes secondary school, so about another five or six years of support. We try to get to the school as much as possible and take a very keen interest in her and her education. Land & Life monitor her grades and her progress and keep us in the loop with any additional needs she has.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that Land & Life does?
The local community really need a helping hand. The people are bright, capable and intelligent but they face hardship every day and struggle to support themselves and their families. Often it is things like education which are seen as optional extras, and it is schools fees, or school support, which is the first to go. Land & Life plays a crucial role in uplifting the communities, turning their schools into places of good quality learning and giving opportunities to children who otherwise would struggle.
This is essential for conservation as well, since it is only through the commitment of the people of Kenya that the wildlife of Kenya stands a chance. By working with Land & Life the students a=are helped to understand the importance of conservation and wildlife, and see for themselves how conservation has direct benefits for themselves and their families.

Graeme and Candy delivering donations to Esiteti Primary

 Do you have a message to share for visitors to East Africa and for other Land & Life supporters?
 It is so very worth it! We are making a tiny difference with our support of Kosencha but we see the real impact of Land & Life and other such organisations’ work on the ground every day. Whoever you choose to support, make sure they are working directly – make sure they are honest and transparent – make sure they are doing their research with the community and will ensure your donation has the most impact possible.   We have  found Land & Life does all these things and are happy to support them. We see many visitors come through Amboseli who want to make a difference, to conserve wildlife, protect beautiful Kenya and life up the local communities. In our experience, Land & Life can help this to happen!

Land & Life Foundation was happy to help host the 10th Anniversary Celebrations for the Plaster House Arusha on Saturday March 17th. The event was held at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, who generously provided the venue and all the food and much of the drinks for the evening. Wine was also provided by Red & White.

 

The event was a huge success, attracting over 100 guests who arrived at 6pm and stayed until late. Many sponsors supported the evening with generous donations, allowing a silent auction to be held. Guests were able to bid on wonderful weekends away in destinations across Tanzania and even as far as Uganda and Zanzibar. Other items on offer, thanks to supporters and donors, included hampers of wine, Lebanese food, pieces of art and beautiful household products.

 

An exciting live auction was also held, with guests bidding furiously on a wonderful package including a flights and accommodation for a family of four into the Serengeti. After some tense moments and great excitement, the holiday was bought for an incredible $7000!

The evening raised over $30,000 for the Plaster House. This is a phenomenal achievement and will allow the team to renovate their existing vehicles, making them not only road worthy but safe and sturdy for their young poorly passengers.

Land & Life is delighted to have been able to assist once again and we look forward to much mroe support for PLaster House in the years to come.

 

 

You may recall that the end of 2017 saw a great effort from staff at Elewana, Cheli & Peacock and Sopa Head Offices, where contributions were brought in for our Wildlife Warrior Schools as part of the global Giving Tuesday campaign. We can now report that finally after a few weeks of logistics and planning, the donations have been delivered to the schools.

 

 

 

 

 

In Kenya, Land & Life delivered boxes of toys and books and bags of food to Kachiuru Primary School in Isiolo County, while in Tanzania several boxes of foodstuffs, bags of clothes and an additional generous contribution of cleaning products and hygiene supplies from Robico Chemicals we taken to Ganako Primary School in Karatu. Staff from Land & Life, The Manor and Elsa’s Kopje were delighted to visit the school and chat to the staff and students, hand over the goods and enjoy some time together.

 

 

Discussions are already underway as to the expenditure of the remaining Giving Tuesday funds, which in Kachiuru will be used in the construction of a boys toilet block, while in Tanzania the funds will go into the pot to support Ganako’s kitchen construction, for which fund-raising is still underway.

 

To find out more or to contribute to either of these schools, please do click here  

We are delighted to announce collaboration with and support from renowned fine art and wildlife photographer Klaus Tiedge.  

In a demonstration of his commitment to conservation of the wildlife and culture of East Africa, Klaus has pledged to donate 50% of the sales of his latest book “Pride of Africa” to the Land & Life Foundation.

Klaus is a talented and experienced professional photographer, and his images have a unique and magical quality to them. To read more about Klaus and to purchase this lovely book and give your support to Land & Life, please see his website here.

Thank you again for your support, Klaus – and to everyone else, enjoy the remarkable images in this wonderful book, perfect for a Christmas gift for that special someone!

On 28th November Land & Life took part in #GivingTuesday, a global giving movement built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities around the world. We were supported in this initiative by our sponsors the Elewana Collection, Cheli & Peacock Safaris and Sky Safaris.

Across their offices in Kenya and Tanzania, staff brought in donations of books and food for our Wildlife Warrior Primary Schools as part of a company wide charity drive.

Staff also participated in a WEAR GREEN day, making individual donations to the Land & Life Foundation and its Wildlife Warrior Program. Great fun was had as employees came in and dropped off donations while comparing green outfits.

The drive was an enormous success, with a vast amount of food and books for primary schools collected. In the New Year, the food and books will be delivered to the Wildlife Warrior schools in Kenya and Tanzania, so watch this space for updates.

 

Funds donated will go into the pots for Kachiuru School in Kenya and Ganako School in Tanzania. We will engage with the school committees and staff and make a decision on how to disburse the funds. As above, keep an eye on us to find out where and how the money is spent and what benefits the schools will receive.

And remember, it’s never too late to join in and give, so if you’d like to follow suit and contribute to Land & Life’s great work, please click here to find out how you can make a contribution.

An enjoyable evening was had by all at Arusha Coffee Lodge in Tanzania, where Land & Life and Elewana Collection hosted a celebration of UNWTO World Sustainable Tourism Day. Approximately 80 representatives from the top tier of Tanzania’s travel and tourism industry came together to celebrate the achievements in community and conservation and the strides taken in sustainable tourism in Tanzania. Live music, canapes and drinks welcomed the guests to Arusha Coffee Lodge as they mingled.

Guests included the Vice Chairman of the Board of Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Henry Kimambo and the CEO Sirili Akko, the Chairman of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) Julian Edmunds, and the team from Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) Damian Bell and Julius Lesanoi.

Government representatives included Mr Michael Ndaisaba Tourism Officer from Arusha City Council and Ms Flora Mwambo from Arusha Regional Commissioner’s office.

The private sector was well represented, with attendees from almost all the large scale and many smaller local tour operators and hospitality companies, food and beverage suppliers, and more.

The guests enjoyed watching the Official Message from the President of the UNWTO Mr Taleb Rifai, who spoke of the need to work together to harness the power of sustainable tourism to contribute to global development. Guests also watched a short film from the International Year of Tourism 2017 team’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect. campaign and heard some words from Elewana Collection’s Hannah Wood on the importance of a sustainable approach to tourism and the activities of the private sector in conservation and community.

A light-hearted “Do-ers and Dreamers” competition was held, for companies and organisations to highlight their sustainability achievements to date and to encourage conversation and sharing of innovative ideas. Prizes were donated by Shanga by Elewana and the Honeyguide Foundation and the judging panel consisted of Damian Bell and Julius Lesanoi (RTTZ), and Tira Schubert (London-based East African and conservation specialist journalist).

First prize for sustainable tourism practice in action was won by Laurens Sans of Nyayo Discovery for their impressive range of community and conservation activities, including donating 10% of all profits to projects supporting local Maasai tribes. The prize for most innovative future suggestion was awarded to Niall Anderson of &Beyond for suggesting banning the use of fins in marine parks as so much damage is done to coral and marine life directly from fin use.

The evening was a great success, generating much discussion of the role of the individual stakeholder in sustainable tourism and the importance of the sector in contribution to regional development. Land & Life and the Elewana Collection are happy to have hosted the event and plans will be made for a follow up event next year.