Abebech Gobena Yehetsanat Kebekabena Limat Mahber Orphanage, Ethiopia.
Abebech Gobena Yehetsanat Kebekabena Limat Mahber Orphanage takes a holistic and direct approach to fulfilling the needs of vulnerable and orphaned children, not only giving them care as orphans but then supporting them through their formative years, in loco parentis, to equip them with skills, knowledge, awareness and assertiveness so to provide them with a foundation for life within modern society.
AMREF Flying Doctors
Started in 1956 by three doctors, AMREF is an absolutely essential service for East African residents, communities and visitors to the region. Started initially as an outreach medical service into remote areas where there was little to no medical facilities, AMREF today has become one of the most well known and widely respected mobile health facilities.
Amref provide medial emergency rescue operations and also assistance to mission hospitals and providing surgical support. They are in contact by a radio network which helps with co-ordination of both ground and air operations as well as providing training for disease control and also focusing on HIV/AIDS as well as family planning and Malaria education and prevention.
Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya is an essential visit for those interested in conservation of wildlife: She has dedicated “A lifetime dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa’s Wilderness and its denizens, particularly endangered species such as elephants and black rhino.” She is involved in many conservation projects across Kenya.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honour the memory of her husband, a famous naturalist, the founder warden of Tsavo East National Park.
Due to poaching and loss of habitat, rhino and elephant populations are under extreme threat and the DSWT works with communities and wildlife areas in order to rescue and rehabilitate orphans, paying much needed medical attention as well as physical and psychological needs of these small and precious animals at their most vulnerable time. The orphanage has raised over 150 infant elephants which it then moves to Tsavo and re-integrates into wild herds establishing families again.
Sand Dams are a low wall built, using basic materials, across seasonal river beds where water has channelled through rocky substrata, a familiar dryland scenario where water briefly flows and hitherto has been lost. The rainy season brings a flash-flood of water that includes vast quantities of sand in suspension which settles behind the new Sand Dam wall.
Above picture by courtesy of Polly Braden
Once the deposited sand reaches the top of the dam wall the resulting “reservoir” can stretch several kilometres upstream, safely and sustainably trapping millions of litres of water in a sand “sponge” that is refilled every time it rains. Crucially, during the dry season the water is thus protected from evaporation and runoff so that year-round fresh water is available to the local communities for evermore by the simple expedient of digging a shallow well.
Excellent are the starting point. Following community consultation they provide the skills and training for the proposed Sand Dam as well as resource that is not available locally. The communities then input locally-sourced materials and labour to create what is, in effect, a professionally guided, self-help, sustainable investment in that most basic of commodities: water.
There are no hand-outs with this intensely practical solution, just long term benefit. The resulting Sand Dam, once “filled”, supports livestock and basic cropping as well as providing potable water. Following dam completion further input to the communities, including advice and help with sustainable agriculture, creation of seed banks, terracing technology and other appropriate methodology, is then made available through Excellent’s partner, ASDF – the Africa Sand Dam Foundation.
Read more about Excellent and their vital input to dryland sustainability here:
What is a Sand Dam?: www.excellentdevelopment.com/what-we-do/pioneering-sand-dams
Film about Sand Dams: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsUYYfwleyU
How Sand Dams work: www.excellentdevelopment.com/what-we-do/pioneering-sand-dams
Where Excellent operate: www.excellentdevelopment.com/where-we-work
Excellent Films: www.excellentdevelopment.com/films
Established in 1998, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary lies in Lake Victoria and is home to 48 orphaned chimpanzees. All these chimps have been rescued in Uganda from the pet or bush meat trade and now the island has created a safe and secure environment for them to grow and develop into their own family.
Visitors are most welcome to visit Ngamba either as a day visitor or to stay overnight and learn more about the chimps from the care givers themselves, or indeed, visitors can also get involved in the daily program and become keeper for the day. This involves cleaning out their night cages (they roam the forest at will during the day – only returning for a nice dry comfy bed), and preparing their supplementary feeds. They encourage visitors to become sponsors and guardians of the chimps
The Ngamba Charity also works with the government and wildlife authorities as well as facilitating development projects in forests alongside communities, such as in Hoima.
The Trust’s main activity is to make sure that the chimpanzee’s welfare and psychological welfare is first and foremost the most important aspect of their care as most of these individuals cannot be returned to the wild. The Trust provides training on ecotourism and in community projects and they carry out forest conservation and re-establishment of environments that wild chimpanzees used to traverse through before agricultural projects where established.
The Loldia School Fund was set up as a registered charity in order to support and improve educational facilities and sponsorship for both pupils and teachers.
From the young to the much older, Loldia has a nursery, primary and secondary school and also the fund runs educational programs and remedial classes for adults who have either never received any education or had to take a break in their youth.
The Fund has provided over 5,000 text books, 250 desks and other equipment as well as funded scholarships for pupils who wish to continue their education. Teachers and assistants have been sponsored and houses have been built to accommodate them
From its start on a mud floored wooden church, the nursery school has blossomed and in the past few years funds where raised to fund the building of three classrooms complete with the right sized furniture. They have their own play area and even have an annual sports day.
All these improvements to the schools and education not only have a direct and meaningful impression on the pupils, but it also raises morale in the teachers and communities as a whole.