My name is Doreen Stokes. For the past 30 years I have operated Future Generations Reforestation. We have planted trees all over the Pacific Northwest, and now in Kenya and Tanzania as well. When you plant trees in the US it is all about the money. In Third World countries trees are worth so much more. They supply food, fodder, fuels, medicines, art, habitat, watershed,and shade for schools and meeting places. They are truly a life force.
You may ask yourself what does tree planting have to do with a water project? This is my story.
I became absolutely hooked on Africa after my first visit to Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda in 1984. The wildlife, cultures and landscapes are beyond compare. However, it was immediately apparent that Tanzania and Kenya needed tree planting to replace the deforestatio that has taken place. I wanted to be part of the solution.
In 1999, I established a Community Based Tourist Funded Reforestaton Project in conjunction with World Discovery Safaris, at a small village in Kenya at a women's co-op. For a small fee, safari participants interact with the local people, supply and plant trees, enjoy a meal together and get to "give back" to the country they have come to visit by planting trees in Africa. It proved to be a total win-win project.
In 2010 I initiated a tree planting project at a small Maasai school for boys and girls in Loswira, Tanzania, with the help of World Discovery Safaris. Two tourists groups have planted over 50 trees and they continue to survive. But this has not been easy since there is NO WATER at the school. The nearest water source is 2 miles away in a holding tank that collects water from Mt. Meru, the sister mountain to Kilimanjaro. Currently this water is slowly carried down to the school on the backs of donkeys in small jugs, slow, arduous and inadequate. Not nearly enough for the children, let alone the trees. So, tree planting has come to a halt. WATER has become the challange, the goal, and a necessity.
My goal is to raise $18,000 that will be used to put in a solar pump and a gravity feed water line down to the school. It will serve not only the school of 400 children but the entire Maasai community of 3,000 people in and around Loswira. The whole community will be involved in digging the trench, placing the line and building a site to distribute the water on the school grounds. Their partipation gives them ownership of the project and better ensures its continued success.
The money will buy supplies, tools, pumps, concrete, spigots, a dispersement site, travel expenses, delivery costs, and an engineer with the expertise to place the line.
If we reach our goal, any extra money will go to the Loswira school for benches, school supplies, blackboards, snacks, teachers and other needs.
In case we do not receive enough money for the entire project, any money donated will go to Pratik Patel, owner and operator of Safari Legacy to purchase whatever supplies possible for the project. Along with donating the land, Mr. Patel has also been responsible for building the school. He lives in Arusha. I have worked with Mr. Patel on Safaris and tree planting projects. His compasion, dedication and generosity are an insriration.
Can you imagine living your life without good clean water? I live near a town of 1,200 people and the thought of each and everyone having to walk 2 to 5 miles to get a jug of water is mind boggling. Your contribution to this project will be a life force for over 3,000 people, positively impacting their daily lives by giving them the gift of clean water.
I am just one small individual trying to make a difference. I have the contacts in Tanzania, the drive, the passion and the tenacity to make this project a reality.
My target date for the project is between June and August , 2013. This will depend on logistics and when the supplies can be purchased.
Won't you please help me raise this small amount of money and bring good, clean water to the Maasai School and community. If you cannot donate, you can still contribute just by telling your friends and family about this indiegogo site and project and by using the Indiegogo share tools.
Once we can get water to the school, we can continue our goal of planting 4000 trees on the school grounds.
Asante Sana from the Maasai Loswira School and community.