Lena Koh via Crowdrise
September 08, 2012
BENEFITING: Maasai Wilderness Conservation
"We met one child who was very ill so we decided to carry him to the health centre..." (Leshan, a community health worker)
For the past 3 months, I have seen first hand, the impact of poverty on the health of a vulnerable African community. It inspires me to try to do something to help and I hope I am able to inspire you to join me in this fight against poverty.
The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) is a non-profit, community level organization whose mission is to protect the ecosystems of East Africa, namely Kenya’s Chyulu Hills, through conservation, health, and education programs that directly benefit the local Maasai communities. The MWCT Health Program focuses on providing frontline medical care in health facilities, conducting medical outreaches to remote areas, and developing innovative ways to advocate for changes in the community to improve the lives of the Maasai people. MWCT has made great strides in the health sector, employing the only doctor that serves the entire community (population estimated over 15,000 people) and mobilizing health services through outreaches to meet the needs of those that live far from health facilities.
As a community-based organization, we rely on community health workers, whose tireless efforts make our mission a reality. Community health workers are members of the local community who volunteer their time to save lives and improve the livelihood in their own community. Every day, they deliver social support to patients in their homes, refer people who are ill to clinics, provide health education, and collect important health data for government reports.
This community spans approximately 1150 square kms. In addition to the geographical vastness of the land, each of our 100 community health workers is responsible for overseeing up to 40 households. With no means of transport (there is no public transport and hiring a motorcycle is prohibitively expensive), this means that he/she has to walk a great distance to get to each household. Despite the huge distances to travel, and not being paid, the community health workers continue to work tirelessly, and this inspired me to do something to not only acknowledge their hard work but also increase their capacity to perform their duties.
I am turning 30 this June and in lieu of gifts, I would be grateful for your help to raise enough money to purchase 30 bicycles for the community health workers. Each bicycle will cost $150, and includes a maintenance tool kit. In addition to purchasing the bikes, we will also be developing a program to teach safe riding and maintenance skills.
If you are considering making a donation, I thank you for your generosity. Whether you donate money to buy one bicycle or join forces with others, your donation will enable CHWs to increase access to healthcare for their families and community. These bicycles will effectively mobilize CHWs, who are the backbone of health care delivery, and ultimately make a profound impact on the health of their community.