As Philanthropy Specialist for Giltedge Africa, Robyn Stalson was delighted to arrange visits to several local communities in both Kenya and Tanzania which coincided with her East Africa FAM trip in November.

These visits allowed Robyn to explore additional programs for our Travel with a Purpose initiative. Her goal was to expand our voluntourism opportunities for our clients travelling to East Africa.

Here is an overview of the communities she visited:

Masai Mara Conservation Program

“After a delightful site visit to Sanctuary Retreat’s Olonana Camp, we met Sarah Liaram. Sarah is part of the Maasai community and works as the Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy Co-Ordinator. She provided our group with a wonderful and passionate overview of the many outstanding projects that she is facilitating.

“Sarah collaborates in the planning of the Maasai community’s development and enterprise priorities, including building and managing their natural resources through programs such as tree planting and reforestation. During our visit we planted three trees in Giltedge’s name; each had some medicinal property, for instance, a natural mosquito repellent!

“Other micro-enterprise initiatives include traditional beadwork, building classrooms, improving infrastructure in schools in the region, sponsoring students who otherwise could not attend school, and introducing local Maasai children to their natural heritage with field trips into the Masai Mara National Reserve. Sarah also shared her passion for supporting women in the community who are traditionally marginalised.”

Ilboru Primary School

“Shakira Nasser, Philanthropy Co-Ordinator, was my guide during my community visits in Tanzania. Our first stop was the Ilboru Primary School in Arusha. This school supports a special needs program that educates hearing impaired children, as well as those with mental and physical disabilities. Before the school was constructed these children were often left with limited access to formal education.

“It was a joyful experience interacting with the kids and having them teach me some basic sign language. I was also amazed at the wonderful crafts that the intellectually challenged children were able to produce. Both their intense focus and the high quality of their products were extremely impressive.

“Another highlight was being shown the collection of e-readers that had been donated by prior visitors to the school. There’s no doubt as to the huge emotional and financial impact that future volunteers can make by interacting and engaging with the students at Ilboru.”

Swala Community Conservation Program

“We also visited the Swala Community Conservation Program near Tarangire National Park. This community program is deeply involved with reforestation through honeybee foraging species.

“The beekeeping initiative in Mwika, Mwikanzee and other local communities helps to generate income for the village as well as providing families with a traditional foodstuff that has great nutritional value. The project also helps to conserve the surrounding forests, as a healthy environment is needed to produce honey.

“It was very interesting to see the hives popped up in the trees instead of on the ground. Apparently, this is a way to protect them from ground insects and scavengers! And I was fortunate enough to get a sample of the raw honey straight from the hive to help heal my very my sore throat. Raw honey is a great panacea for colds and flu.”

All these diverse programs offer great Travel with a Purpose experiences in Kenya and Tanzania. A wonderful opportunity to “Do good while have a good time doing it!”

Drop us an email to find out more about these and other inspiring voluntourism projects.