A few words...
This trip to Kenya was arranged by the Brighton Jones financial advisory firm, based in Seattle. Brighton Jones places a strong emphasis on philanthropy, compassion, and living life to the fullest, as expressed in their motto “Live a Richer Life.” The company has been listed among the top 50 U.S. financial advisory firms by Forbes Magazine and is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work in Seattle. Our connections with members of their staff made it easy to see why.
In 2017, Brighton Jones, in association with the U.S. based nonprofit Lift Up Africa, undertook to raise funds to build a guest house in Kajiado, Kenya for volunteers to stay while providing medical and educational services for physically disabled Maasai children at the AIC Childcare Centre, and the HELGA Girls Rescue Centre. The Rescue Center provides a safe haven where Maasai girls can escape forced early marriage, genital mutilation, and unwanted pregnancy. Brighton Jones invited its clients to join with staff members on a trip to officially open the newly completed guest house.
Several days visiting these NGO programs, as well as the Ruben Centre, an organization run by the Christian Brothers which operates a school and medical clinic within the Mukuru slum of Nairobi, was both heart-wrenching and inspiring. In the slum, it's common for entire families to live in one-room corrugated iron shacks, measuring only 12 x12 feet. Very few have electricity, and up to twenty families might share a communal water tap and toilet latrine. We saw how much can be done with so little by caring and loving people, and how appreciative they are for any help received. Coming from our privileged culture, it's hard to look at the warm smiles, and experience the love and positive attitude shown by the children at school and then see them return to the primitive living conditions in the slum each day.
Following this experience we spent a week on safari in the Maasai Mara region. No superlatives adequately describe the variety of wildlife and spectacular African scenery we saw. The Maasai Mara covers about 600 square miles and brought sightings of different animals on every game drive. One night our sleep was interrupted by the violent sounds of a lion killing a buffalo, accompanied by the raucous yelping of hungry hyenas, very near our tent. This gave an authentic feeling of wildness and the canvas wall tent suddenly seemed very flimsy!
I hope you enjoy these images from Kenya.
Learn about the good work being done for physically disabled Maasai children at http://www.aick.org/, and the education and services provided for residents of the Mukuru slum by the Ruben Centre at http://rubencentre.org/
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