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WATWB: Samburu Warriors Who Rescue and Protect Elephants

WATWB: Samburu Warriors Who Rescue and Protect Elephants

The animal-human conflict is as real as it can get in Kenya. Local dailies are never short of headlines on elephants straying into farmland and destroying crops. Or lions attacking herds of sheep in their enclosures.

While the government has made radical steps to minimize this conflict, eliniminating it altogether has been an uphill task owing to shrinking pasture lands and periodic spells of biting drought.

Recently, ranchers have found themselves at a crossroads with pastoralists who have defied even security forces intervention to bar them from grazing their animals in conservancies. Deaths have taken place on both sides as this ugly tussle for precious pasture rages.

Herders with their cattle near zebras

For this reason, it is uncommon to find individuals caring for wild animals out to compete for natural resources with them. Nonetheless, a bunch of Samburu warriors have taken the initiative of working with the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary to rescue elephants that get stuck in water holes and get left behind by their herds.

During the dry months pastoralist communities follow elephants as they scavenge for water in dry riverbeds. They then dig deep wells, up to 15 feet, as they look for water.

Sometimes elephants stumble and get stuck in these wells. A group of Samburu warriors often rush to the cries of stuck elephants and help them out. They then care for them until they’re reunited with their herds. Sometimes their efforts end up happily, sometimes they do not.

Case in point is when Lolngojine and Lemojong rescued Kinya, an elephant calf, and nursed it as they waited for its herd to come back. When the herd failed to turn up they took it to the sanctuary and continued to care for it. Unfortunately it died before it could be reunited with its family .

While what the crop of Samburu warriors is doing might seem inconsequential at this point, it’s a sure promise of a transformation of how humans related with wild animals in an environment where competition for natural resources is cutthroat.

Read a detailed version of the story here

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This post is part of the We Are The World Blogfest, a monthly event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month’s cohosts are Shilpa GargBelinda Witzenhausen, Guilie Castillo, Sylvia McGrath, and Mary Giese.

Click HERE to check out the rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time.

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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in Environment, Uncategorized

 

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#WATWB – ResqueBnB: Bringing Together Victims and Volunteers Amid Post-Poll Chaos in Kenya

#WATWB – ResqueBnB: Bringing Together Victims and Volunteers Amid Post-Poll Chaos in Kenya

The August 8th presidential elections turned out to be a fierce dynastic contest pitting the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta against his rival, formidable opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The outcome, where the electoral commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta winner, led to pockets of protests across the opposition leader’s strongholds.

Police responded to the protests with deadly force, leading to an unknown number of deaths. Human rights groups put the number of deaths at twenty four while opposition leaders put the figure at over a hundred.

In the wake of this brutality, some families were forced to run away from their homes, citing cases where police broke into people’s houses to brutalize them. Those who ran from their dwellings were essentially stranded given that most did not have secondary residences.

While some chose to sit back and blame the victims for being ‘violent protesters,’ Kenyan developer Tevin Otieno and colleague Miss Nyawira came with ResqueBnB, a collaborative endeavor between social media users and humanitarian volunteers to connect stranded victims with willing hosts who can accommodate them for an unspecified period. The initiative has also overseen collection of cash and food donations. The groups activities are also coordinated via their Twitter handle @ResqueBnB. A more detailed description of the initiative can be found here.

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We Are the World Blogfest” seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.

This month’s co-hots are Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese,

For guidlines and how to join, click here

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Inspiration, Lifestyle, News, True Stories, Uncategorized

 

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Kenya Media Blacks Out Post-Poll Chaos

Some parts of Kenya broke into song and dance as chaos and mayhem rocked others following the IEBC’s declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the just concluded, hotly contested presidential elections.
Reports of people being being shot and brutalised started streaming into social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and Telegram shortly after the electoral commission declared Uhuru the duly elected president.

Images of people shot dead, particularly from the lakeside town of Kisumu, a bastion of opposition leader Raila Odinga, were shared widely.

Conspicuously though, none of these incidences has made it to mainstream local media, pointing to a deliberate effort to black out such news.

Here are some posts on popular social platforms:

Meanwhile some supporters of the ruling party could not restrain from gloating.

While some goverment sympathizers have accused the opposition, pointedly Raila Odinga, for not calming their supporters, it is clear from the video below that is not the case. Opposition leaders were earlier in the day talking to supporters when they were attacked by police.

Despite videos and photos telling a contrary tale, Cabinet Secretary for Interior Security Dr. Fred Matiang’i as well the police spokesperson have said police are acting within the law to deal with looters and that no live bullets have been used. In the video below police officers are clearly breaking into someone’s house while calling for them to come out. Clearly contradicting the statement that police are not brutalising innocent civilians.

It remains to be seen if Uhuru will commit to unite a Kenya so polarised along tribal lines that it’s threatening to tear apart at the slightest provocations.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in News

 

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#WATWB: The 100-year old Living Saint

Every end month, members of the ‘We Are The World Blogfest’ post uplifting and inspiring stories from news sites.

For my second #WATWB post, I’ve chosen to once again share the story of grandpa Dobri, which has a special place in my heart and is in fact one of the initial posts I did when I created this blog.

Grandpa Dobri is a 100-year-old beggar who is already celebrated as a saint in Bulgaria; a country ravaged by poverty and corruption. For over 20 years, Dobri Dobrev has been begging on the streets of Sofia, collecting alms worth lots of money. You would expect him to use the money to better his life, but that’s not what he does. The old begger gives all proceeds from his begging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, making him the church’s largest private donor. 

Besides donating his collections to the church, Grandpa Dobri also shares food items given to him with other believers. According to a bishop from the church, Dobri gave them $24,900 in 2009 while he continued living a life deprivation. This is a considerably huge amount of money that can change a man’s life given the high poverty level  in Bulgaria; the poorest, if not one of the poorest, members of the EU. The bishop notes that the old man also donates to snaller churches around the area.

His selflessness and generosity hasn’t gone unnoticed despite his meekness and refusal to grant interviews to the media. He is is locally known as “The Living Saint from Baylovo” and graffiti artists painted a mural of him holding a candle on a 10-storey building in a Sofia neighbourhood. 

Grandpa Dobri Mural. Photo courtesy

Dobri is indeed an inspiration that any one can do good to others in society irrespective of financial standing. You can read the story in it’s entirety here.

For guidelines and how to join the #WATWB community click here

For further info, get in touch with this month’s cohosts Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanIndepreet UppalSylvia Stein and Damyanti Biswas.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2017 in Inspiration, Lifestyle, News, True Stories

 

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Is The Car You’re Driving A Fraud?

Kariuki

Did you know that an estimated 90% of used cars being sold in Kenya have their odometers (mileage meter) tampered with?

Well, these statistics are not scientific. I obtained them from representatives of two separate car dealers in Nairobi. They both surmised that 90% of used cars are tampered with before being sold off to unsuspecting motorists.

If you are plotting to buy a used car in the near future, please read on. You, too, if you already bought a car.

By law, a used car being imported is supposed to be inspected based upon documents from the country of origin. This documentation is usually accurate and reliable.

Upon being inspected by contracted agents such as the ever reliable JEVIC, the car’s general condition is ascertained and published. The car’s make, chassis number, odometer reading, etc. are also logged and registered with KEBS. This is a condition not just for…

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Posted by on July 9, 2017 in Resources, Tips & Tricks

 

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#WATWB: Raped and Stabbed on the Wedding Day

While crawling the blogosphere for daily tidbits, I came across a story about a group of writers who came up with the idea of shining some light to the darkness of negativity hogging social media. At the end of every month, members share uplifting stories on “We Are The World” Blogfest. Stories that show all is not lost and that there’s so much positivity in the world; people who go out of their way to make the world a better place or those who’ve been through heartrending ordeals but found the courage to rise up again. 

One such person is Terry Gobanga.

One beautiful day Terry was preparing for what she thought would be a memorable day ahead. Well, memorable it was but not in a way she anticipated. Terry was abducted on the morning of her wedding day, raped, stabbed and left for dead. All this happened while the groom, family and guests were already assembled in a church waiting for her anxiously.

During her hospitalisation, doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to have any children of her own because the stab wound she suffered on her stomach had penetrated her uterus. At this point it seemed the world was collapsing on her. 

Her groom, Harry, stood by her through the ordeal, insisting he still wanted to marry and take care of her. He kept his word and seven months later he walked her down the aisle in a wedding catered for by a rape survivor and her friends.

This is the point at which you’d probably think all is well that ends well. Not so, Terry lost her husband to carbon monoxide poisoning, almost dying along with him, after the jiko (charcoal stove) he had lit to keep them warm filled their bedroom with the toxic fumes.
Despite being a pastor, she felt God had forsaken her. People thought and said she was cursed. She swore she would never get married again. She was depressed.

Nevertheless, a friend of hers never gave up and kept visiting and comforting her. After a while he fell for her and told her he wanted them to be husband and wife. Terry tried to dissuade him in account of her dark past and inability to bear children but he had made up his mind. He married her and they miraculously had children.

Terry wrote a book about the ordeal, Crawling Out of Darkness, and started an organization, Kara Olmurani, that offers rape survivors support and counselling.
Read Terry’s full story here

This month’s We Are The World Blogfest cohosts Lynn HollbrooksSylvia SteinSylvia McGrath and Belinda witzenhausen welcome all to join and share uplifing stories via the #WATWB blogfest.

Click here to become part of the community

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2017 in Lifestyle, News, True Stories

 

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

So today I dove deep into my legacy email account to look for some info and by chance I stumbled upon this great piece my sister had sent. I don’t think she even remembers it but it is a great piece. I hope the words encourage you to live a better life.

ENCOURAGEMENT

Don’t let someone become a priority in your life,
when you are just an option in his/her life……………

Relationships work best when they are balanced,

Never explain yourself to anyone.
Because the person who likes you doesn’t need it,
and the person who dislikes you won’t believe it.

When you keep saying you are busy,
then you are never free.

When you keep saying you have no time,
then you will never have time.

When you keep saying that you will do it tomorrow,
then your tomorrow will never come.

When we wake up in the morning, we have two simple choices.
Go back to sleep and dream, or wake up and chase those dreams.

We make them cry who care for us.
We cry for those who never care for us.
And we care for those who will never cry for us.

This is the truth of life, it’s strange but true.
Once you realize this, it never too late to change.

Don’t make promise when you are in joy.
Don’t reply when you are sad.
Don’t take decisions when you are angry

Think twice….., Act wise.

Time is like a river.
You cannot touch the same water twice,
because the flow that has passed will never pass again.

Enjoy every moment of life….

First I was dying to finish my high school and start college
and then I will be dying to finish college and start working
then I will be dying to marry and have children, and then I will be
dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back
to work. But then I will be dying to retire. And then I will  die
suddenly and  realize that I forgot to live.

Please don’t let this happen to you, appreciate your current
situation and enjoy each day.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Inspiration, Short Stories

 

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