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6th Annual Aitong Medical Camp

This week Land & Life held our 6th Annual Free Aitong Medical Camp at Aitong Health Clinic in the Mara near to Elephant Pepper Camp. This year we are delighted to announce that we have reached a new record – the clinic saw and treated approximately 1200 people over the three days!

The team of volunteer doctors from Oasis Health Care were extremely enthusiastic and very efficient, working well with the Aitong Clinic Staff and nurses provided by the Narok District Hospital. They performed diabetes testing – HIV testing – cervical cancer screening – general medical check ups – dental check ups and treatments – family planning sessions – orthopaedic treatments – and more.

The cervical cancer screening in particular was an interesting issue. While it was welcomed by some women, for others it held a stigma, due largely to lack of awareness and understanding. We hope to work on this in the future, sensitising the community to the importance of such screening and reach even more women going forward.

Thanks to our partnership with NHIF, this year doctors were able to refer patients on for further treatment, ensuring that the camp has a wider impact than simply a one off day of treatment.

We are extremely grateful for the help and support of our partners Kicheche Camps and Saruni Lodges, Safarilink and Oasis HealthCare, and of course as ever the logistics and support from Elewana Collection’s Elephant Pepper Camp. Well done everyone and on behalf of the community, thank you for your generosity and support.

If you would like to make a seasonal, Christmas-inspired donation towards this excellent initiative please do click here and donate, specifying Aitong as your preferred project.

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Over $20,000 for Plaster House!

Over $20,000 for Plaster House!On Friday 24th March Land & Life Foundation co-hosted a Fundraising Gala at Arusha Coffee Lodge. With beer generously provided by Tanzania Breweries Limited and wine kindly provided by Upper Zonal Trading, there were plenty of drinks for everyone, and the lodge provided a fine spread of snacks for all guests. Prizes for the silent auction were donated from a wide range of generous sponsors including Coastal Aviation, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, Elewana Collection, Sopa Lodges, Salt Restaurant Dar es Salaam, Nomad Tanzania, Amani Forest Camp, and many more.

The event was a huge success and we raised over $20,000! This amount is being donated directly and in full to the Plaster House Arusha, a rehabilitation home for children recovering from life changing orthopaedic, plastic or neuro surgery. Plaster House will be using the funds raised at this event to purchase a Toyota Hiace van, and this will be used to transport  the sick children and their carers to and from the hospital for surgery and appointments.  Everyone is thrilled, and the staff and patients and Paster House would like to thank everyone who attended the event and contributed to the successful evening.

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Tales from the Mara

Winning Poster - Ololomei

Last week I visited our supported projects at the Masai Mara.  My first stop was Ololomei Primary School near Elephant Pepper Camp (EPC) where I met the children and teachers and donated some textbooks to the school. Together with one of EPC’s guides Boniface, we held a Wildlife Warrior Poster competition based on this term’s theme “Living with Elephants”.   The posters were quite impressive but there can only be one winner, so we chose group number 5 who had produced a great picture which showed all elements of the complex living with wildlife challenges faced by the community – the elephants, the manyattas, the maize being eaten by elephant, the cattle under threat from predators, the tourists on a  game drive, the dams where the water is held and which attract elephant – a  great poster!  The winning group will go on a game drive on Tuesday 28th March and will thereafter have tea and biscuits at EPC – watch this space for photos and maybe some interviews with the children.


Aitong Health CentreI also had an opportunity to visit our supported health facility at Aitong Town. Thanks to the mounting support of donors the health centre has a recently completed maternity wing, with spacious facilities and new equipment. However it is lacking in power at present and therefore is not in use, which I found very disappointing. We would like to help with this situation and over the next month or two we hope to send an electrician to see how we can rectify this problem.  We also plan to scale up our annual medical camp scheduled for November, which provides free medical and dental care to the community. This year we hope to partner with like-minded organisations to expand our impact, and  we are looking at the possibility of introducing the National Health Insurance Fund to the community as well as bringing in a wide range of medical specialists. We will keep you updated as we go along.


My last stop was at little Embiti Primary School just outside the gates of the Maasai Mara Reserve and supported by Sand River Mara. The school has 115 students from nursery up to Class 4, and the top two classes impressed me by their memorising the Wildlife Warrior pledge!

Watch the video:

Here we have provided funding for the school’s first and only toilet block, which is about to be finished. I am delighted about this as it will make a real and immediate impact on all students and staff at the school who currently have no toilet facilities at all.

I brought printed colouring sheets for the youngest children with pictures of the wildlife of the Mara, and large sheets of poster paper for the older Wildlife Warriors, and set the Warriors a poster competition on the topic of “Our Favourite Wildlife”. The winners will be taken on a game drive in the Game Reserve and be treated to a picnic lunch by SRM guides and managers.

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Coming up this week – Fundraising Gala at ACL

In support of Plaster House, a home in Arusha that enables children from all over Tanzania to recover from corrective and orthopaedic surgery, Arusha Coffee Lodge will host a Gala Cocktail Evening this Friday 24th March from 7.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Land & Life is co-hosting the event, at which a  silent auction and raffle will be held. The money raised will purchase a new van for the Plaster House. Currently the children and their mothers are transported to and from town and hospital in the back of a pick up, which is far from either safe or comfortable, particularly given the disabilities suffered by many of these infants and children. The purchase of a Hiace minivan will make a huge difference, allowing the Plaster House staff to carry the children safely and comfortably, out of the dust and rain.

Donations for prizes have been generous from many businesses in Arusha, including of course the Elewana Collection , who have generously offered 2 nights for 2 at  the luxurious Kilindi in Zanzibar, and 2 nights for 2 at the exclusive Manor Ngorongoro, as well as a dinner for two at the Arusha Coffee Lodge.

Photographs from the event will be forthcoming!

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What do we do that gives our children something to smile about?

Smiling children at Plaster House

Our work at Land & Life Foundation always aims to give help to the people and places that need it most. Arusha Plaster House is one of the best examples where we’ve made a real, positive change for the children of our local communities.

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Working with Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Lodge, we’ve been supporting this home for children who need surgery since 2008 and we’ve seen it grow from a small set up in a guest house to a thriving centre providing surgery, therapy and education.

What exactly is Arusha Plaster House?

  • It’s a medical centre that provides pre and post surgery care for up to 100 children at a time
  • It performs corrective surgery and has specialist orthopedic, plastic and neurosurgeons to help children live the lives they want to
  • It provides therapeutic services for the kids when they’re staying there, to make sure they’re ready to get back to their community after surgery
  • It even has a classroom so having an operation doesn’t mean missing out on vital education

The real success of the Plaster House is that it turns what can often be a negative or traumatic experience for children into something where they receive expert treatment in a clean environment, surrounded by professional medical and care staff. The children leave Plaster House as stronger people, both physically and mentally.

Our efforts in supporting the centre in partnership with Arusha Coffee Lodge helping put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children. Remember, by encouraging people to stay at Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Lodge and support Plaster House, you are also contributing to those smiles.

As always it’s a team effort to be proud of, every day, and thanks for all your support in helping make the difference.

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Help your communities this World AIDS Day

World aids day

World AIDS dayOn this World AIDS Day people around the globe are coming together to join the fight against HIV, showing their support for people living with HIV, and commemorating those who they have lost.

At Land & Life Foundation, we’re very proud of the work we do to support people with HIV and their communities. We often think of Kenya as a natural paradise but it has the joint 4th largest AIDS epidemic in the world, a million and a half people are living with HIV and over a million children have been orphaned because of AIDS.

So Land & Life Foundation initiatives such as the Aitong Medical camp are vital to the future health of our people. At this year’s camp, 240 people volunteered to be tested for HIV and learnt how to avoid getting and spreading HIV. It’s not only the people who got tested who will benefit – what they’ve learnt will be passed on and help keep the community safer.

Spread the word today and help keep everyone healthy and safe.

We look forward to seeing even more people at the 2017 Aitong Medical camp – more information to follow soon!

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885 lives changed for the better at Aitong Medical Camp

We’ve just finished holding our 5th Aitong Medical Camp and we are pleased to report it was our biggest success yet. It’s fantastic to see the impact that these camps have on the local community and I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved.

The camp, which ran from November 1st – 3rd was only possible by working in partnership with Elewana Collection’s Elephant Pepper Camp, Kicheche Community trust, and Safarilink Aviation and brought vital medical services, support and supplies to the people around Aitong.

There was a lot of hard work to get the camp running and even more meant we could help hundreds of people each day. The community has no regular access to medical services, so the camp is literally a lifeline for many of them.

This years’ medical camp focussed on:

  • Gynecology and obstetrics (childbirth and midwifery)
  • Adult health
  • Paediatrics
  • Dentistry

We had six dedicated specialists (2 Gynecologists, 1 General Practitioner, 1 Pediatrician and 2 Dentists) who were kind enough to offer their services for free. Through their efforts, they managed to treat an unbelievable total of 885 patients in only three days!

Not only is this a fantastic result but also a tremendous increase from the previous medical camp. That’s nearly a thousand people who are in much better health, who have received the care and attention they need and can start to live better lives.

But that’s not all. Together with our partner, Kicheche Community Trust, we also donated medical supplies worth USD 685, so even more people got access to both the expertise and the medicine they needed.

Once again, I’d just like to say a very sincere and heartfelt thank you to the medics for giving up their time to be part of the medical camp, to everyone at Elephant Pepper & Kicheche Camps for hosting them during the medical camp and to everyone else who made the event such a vital success. The positive impact on the community will be felt in so many ways and we can’t wait to see what we can do next year!

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Meet Eunice

Today we would like to share with you some heartwarming news.

31 year old Eunice Kapeen is a devoted mother of six and dedicated community health volunteer. Without the Aitong Medical Camp, Eunice wouldn’t have been able to get back to health and continue these vital roles.

For two months, Eunice was suffering from recurrent tonsillitis, causing her great pain and making it impossible for her to care for her family and community.

Without treatment, the bacteria that causes tonsillitis can spread through the body, affecting the kidneys, immune system and lead to further complex and dangerous complications.

Luckily, Eunice was able to get help at the Aitong Medical camp. “The doctor who treated me was very good and professional.” she says with a smile. “She explained to me clearly what I needed to do to prevent future infections and prescribed some medicine which I was given for free to be taken for five days.

“She asked me to go for review after a week but it was too costly for me to come back to the health facility. But I am very grateful because without their help I would not be well enough to take care of my family and community. I would like to commend the organisers for this free service to my community. ”

Eunice is part of the Olosogon community in Aitong. Like so many of her friends, family and neighbours trying to thrive in the area, Eunice faces health, social and economic challenges every day.

Her community are semi-nomadic farmers who rely on cattle to live, bringing the added challenge of wildlife attacks on their livestock .

Land and Life Foundation has worked with the Olosogon people to show the benefits of working with rather than against nature. They have become partners in our conservation work and as one small way of giving back, we hold these free medical camps annually. In the last 4 years, the camps have treated over 1,200 people, bringing life – and community-changing results.

Because of her successful treatment, Eunice has offered to go back to her community and try to encourage all those who need help to visit the medical camps. The demand today for medical attention, supplies and professionals is growing.

Please support our work and make sure we continue to help save and improve the lives of people like Eunice.

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5th Aitong Medical Camp

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Right now, there are thousands of people in some of the remotest areas of Kenya who are in desperate need of medical care and attention that they simply cannot get access to.

From newborn babies and children to pregnant women and seniors, rural communities in the Maasai Mara are at real risk of sickness, disease and even death because of the lack of basic medicine.

But you can help. The Aitong Medical Camp, supported by the Land & Life Foundation, the Kicheche Community Trust and Safarilink Aviation provides essential medical supplies and highly trained medical personnel where they’re needed most. Without these free camps, sick, injured and vulnerable people couldn’t afford to  receive this level of professional care and access to medicine they so desperately need.

Over the last 5 years, the annual camps have helped over a thousand people, saving lives and providing healthier futures. But there’s so much more we need to do.

The camps can only run because of vital donations from people like you. Your donation will help pay for the medical supplies, camp licences and community mobilisation. Without your kind gift, we simply couldn’t run the camps and we urgently need to raise $3,000 by November to make sure this year’s camp will go ahead.

As little as:

  • $10 will buy two boxes of examination gloves
  • $30 will buy 100 vials of injections
  • $50 will buy one set of Obs/Gynae medical kit
  • $100 will cover the application fee for the medical camp licence
  • $150 will buy 100 bottles of cough medication
  • $200 will buy enough syringes and needles to be used during the Medical Camp and stock the Aitong Health Centre

Donate now and help make this year’s camp reach as many people as possible.

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Bringing smiles to children’s faces in Arusha!

Bringing smiles to children

Land & Life Foundation, through Arusha Coffee Lodge, supports Plaster House – a home in Arusha that enables children from all over Tanzania to recover after they’ve had corrective orthopaedic, plastic or neurosurgery for a disability.

We provide the home with supplies, such as bedding, and contributed to the construction of the beautifully designed building.

We recently gave a donation of 200 bedsheets, 100 pillowcases and 100 towels graciously donated by Sopa Lodges and Elewana Collection.

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Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children upon receiving these gifts was priceless.

The home now has an ongoing programme with up to 100 children cared for at any one time. Medical staff supervise the children’s care, whilst housemothers look after them on a daily basis.

105eYou too can help us promote Plaster House by encouraging guests to visit while they are at Arusha Coffee Lodge.

If you wish to know more about Plaster House, please write to us at info@landandlife.foundation.