“My visit to Kenya and Tanzania was a fascinating and humbling experience”. In June of 2018, Ian Wyatt and several others traveled with Global Partners for Development to Kenya and Tanzania. The group visited water and education projects in Kenya, made possible through our Vineyards to Villages program, and a Maasai village in Tanzania where Global Partners has done work for many years.
Though Ian had traveled to Africa before, this was his first time to Kenya and his first time seeing both countries through the lens of Global Partners’ development work. Like many travelers, Ian valued the escape from the Western lifestyle and the opportunity to experience rural Africa and it’s wildlife. More uniquely however, Ian visited communities and saw first hand the poverty that persists in these areas and the support Global Partners is providing so that these communities may secure access to water, hygiene, and education. On his time in the Kissii Province of Kenya Ian writes:
We visited a number of schools where the facilities are very basic. Classrooms mostly have dirt floors, windows are often absent and desks simple planks of wood. Water supplies are rare… By contrast, teachers and pupils are dedicated, positive and very welcoming to us as visitors. There is huge pride and dignity. GPFD is contributing significantly to help these schools succeed. I believe education is the key driver to allow a country to develop and for its people to help themselves.
Ian was struck by the kindness, dedication and respect shown by the people living and working in the communities he visited. On his time in Arusha, Tanzania he writes:
Our final full day saw us in the Arusha area and we started by joining a meeting of a Maasai chief, GPFD and the local council. It was to discuss poor progress and difficulties with a water pipeline project where GPFD were to then support the Maasai in extending the pipe network to the settlement area. Observing the meeting also gave a fine example of dignity and politeness. Our politicians could learn a lot!
We at Global Partners are thankful for the interest and support our travelers bring to community-driven development and for the solidarity they show our partners who are working tirelessly to build individualized, sustainable solutions to the most pressing problems facing their communities. In summary, Ian shared the following:
In the areas of Africa where GPFD is supporting local communities to help themselves, the conditions of daily life are so difficult with the basic needs of water and hygiene so lacking that any visitor can’t help but be shocked. Despite these conditions the local people are happy, welcoming and show huge dignity. It is fantastic the way GPFD works with these people to help them help themselves. I strongly support all efforts to encourage education as the way out of this poverty and saw at first hand GPFD making a real difference.
We’re humbled by Ian’s reflections on his trip, and are thrilled that he valued the experience traveling with Global Partners for Development. To learn more about our travel opportunities, please visit: https://gpfd.org/travel/