While living in New York City, I witnessed the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers. The fear, death, and hatred caused by this tragedy was met with a massive outpour of love and support from all across the United States. This event inspired me to participate in community volunteer activities, which would ultimately lead me to establish Water is Life Kenya (WILK).
I traveled to Kenya in 2005, where I saw the widespread effects of poverty on education. I began sponsoring the education of a Kenyan girl upon my return to the United States, and returned to Kenya one year later to volunteer with the girl’s sponsorship program.
It was during this time that I experienced drought firsthand in Southern Kenya. I had heard a proverb from my Maasai friends, “water is life.” It was not until I was confronted by water shortage that I fully understood their meaning. Water is what makes grass grow, what nourishes livestock, and what sustains life. Without water there is no hope, no life.
My desire to help others encouraged me to begin searching for ways to alleviate the chronic need felt by my friends. In 2007, Water is Life Kenya was formed. Since the completion of our first project in 2008, WILK has helped over 20,000 people in Southern Kenya.
I look forward to seeing WILK grow as an organization dedicated to long-term change among communities in Southern Kenya. Please join us by donating today. Our work has changed many lives, and I hope that it will change yours as well.
Recently, I was invited to share my story at the 2017 TEDx Women Conference in Wilmington, Delaware. Click here to hear it!