Welcome to the Change Heroes in Eor Ewuaso, Kenya,community report!
Eor Ewuaso, a rural community located in the Narok South District of the Rift Valley Province in Kenya has a small population of approximately 1,400 people. Due to a severe wind disaster in 2000, many classrooms of the Eor Ewuaso primary school were destroyed and fixing them is a huge undertaking for a community that lacks funding.
Education is important for the Eor Ewuaso community, but due to lack of resources, the illiteracy rate for boys stands at 20% and 40% for girls since girls are expected to take part in early marriages, which hinders them from attending school and successfully pursuing an education. In addition to education issues, Eor Ewuaso also suffers from lack of access to health care facilities and clean water resources. The community lacks funding on all parts so often times, one latrine is shared among 40 individuals and during drought season, many children are malnourished because there are no trained health practitioners nearby in the village.
#WCW (#WomanCrushWednesday), we’re coming for you. We’re pretty crafty and sly so you won’t see or hear us coming, but before you know it, you are going to be taken over by a sneak attack. The name of this social media vigilante? #PCW. That’s right, #PhilanthropistCrushWednesday. We know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way. But we at Change Heroes have been harbouring some love for these philanthropists and their do-gooding ways that we need to get off of our chests.
It started with a question, a rather simple question: Why don’t people pay me for what I love doing? Why do I get paid to do ‘stuff’ I really don’t like?
The simple response, and the most commonly used is: well that’s just life. But it isn’t. That is not life. I’m here to show you why.
It’s our generation: Generation Y. Google us and you will discover a plethora of articles, posts and research that bombard with negative information regarding our generation. Research tells us that Generation Y is a bunch of lazy, narcissistic, special, and entitled group of persons aged 18-30. But lets be real, this is not who we are; there is so much more underneath the surface that must be explored.
This is my journey down the road less traveled. And to understand my story, first you need to understand where I come from. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Boston, as it’s a city thats very steeped in tradition. From the deep-rooted origins of our country, to our colleges and universities, to our sports teams — there’s history and tradition spread throughout almost every aspect of life in Boston.
For years, we’ve admired and looked up to Free The Children (FTC) like an adoring younger sibling. We’ve celebrated them in their many achievements, we’ve praised their holistic models, and today, we’re proud to announce that we’ve solidified our partnership with Free The Children in an effort to create EVEN MORE change in a revolutionary way.
And our first project together is…you guessed it…#MINGA
To be honest, we work with pretty kick-butt people. The Change Heroes office is always booming with positive vibes, hard work, and hilarious energy. Sure we may work in close proximity, but knowing we are working to change the world — one campaign at a time — gives us all the delight we will ever need and kicking each others tables really isn’t the worst thing. We have mastered the art of making everything delightful by working in an environment that allows us to do so. For all of you out there still wondering how to make everything delightful, here are 5 tips for everyday life to make it more delightful than it already is.
The first time I encountered Sam Zipursky from Beats for Change was the day after I started interning for Change Heroes back in June. It was the same day I met the entire team. The same day I was brought to a mingler. And the same day I was told to walk around and talk about Change Heroes as if I had been working there for years and not just one day!
About a month later, Sam Zipursky and cofounder Marvin Bruin released the mix they had produced specifically for Change Heroes. Once we heard the mix, it was only a matter of time before Sam was interviewed and the Beats for Change story emerged.
After two very full days of travel, we have arrived at our final destination, deep in the amazon jungle of Ecuador. Minga Lodge has all the appearances of traditional jungle housing. Thatched roofs made from natural vegetation provide shelter from the Amazon’s heavy rains, but most of the lodge is open-air oasis that allows for a harmonious relationship between the jungle and it’s inhabitants.
Minga Lodge was recently purchased by Free The Children within the last couple of years. It’s named after the Kichwa word, “Minga,” which means, “The coming together for the betterment of all.”
It is a word that we have kept with us in our travels. A word that today, we want to share with you.
…For the record, 4 hours of sleep is not enough when you’re already running on fumes from the night before. Everyone talks about how wonderful travel is, the easy-breezy nonchalance manner in which we think about time while on “vacation,” (even though, technically, this isn’t a vacation) but so often we leave out the part about actually getting to where we’re going (which in my opinion, can also be an exciting part of the adventure). And where we’re headed, today…well, let’s just say it doesn’t have the most direct route.
Back to 4 hours of sleep. 6:37 am in Quito has me confused. The sun is rising, ripe as an orange, just beyond the Pichincha volcano; the teeming city of Quito, waking up with the glow, looms just below.
Where am I? Oh yah, Ecuador. Why am I here? Oh yah, this is my job.
My alarm is set for 3:00 am. Upon crawling into bed — after laundry, packing, checking and double-checking my lists, and checking-in online — I do the math in my head: If I fall asleep right this instant (11:13 pm), I will get 3 hours and 47 minutes of sleep. Not possible. If I fall asleep in 15 minutes (still not likely), I will get 3 hours and 32 minutes of sleep. The numbers game makes the task of falling asleep more and more daunting as I see precious minutes pass by on the dimmed screen of my iPhone.
(Foreshadowing: in 24 hours, none of this will matter. In 36 hours, I’ll be without the luxury of my iPhone, or even electricity, for that matter. In 48 hours, my eyes will be opened to a whole new reality; an entirely new perspective)
I’ve done this before, though. I might even call myself a ‘seasoned traveler.’ At 25, I’ve been fortunate enough to see my fair share of plane bellies. I’ve been to Europe and back again — twice. Trekked my way through Italy, Belgium and Holland. Three provinces in China exposed me to monkey cheek dumplings, X’ian’s terracotta warriors and a culture shock I could never have predicted. Between the beaches of Costa Rica, Mexico, and Cuba, I’ve effectively earned the status of ‘heliophile’.
But I’ve never been somewhere like this. I tried to Google>image Mondaña, the village in Ecuador we are venturing to, but it’s so remote that not even the World Wide Web can provide me with adequate pictures or any reference for me to form some sort of expectations. The fact that it’s only accessible by way of canoe on the Rio Napo should have suggested as much. I’m going in blind, so to speak.