I just received a full report from our 2 volunteers in Uhundha village on the shores of Lake Victoria, Bondo district in western Kenya. Wow!

Ben consults for ADAS, specialising in sustainable development and climate change. He just spent 2 months living within the Uhundha community, with partner, Katalin, who works within the European Business Assembly, which supports the development of economic, educational and cultural ties, a skill she put to work in the community. Their joint placement has resulted in a major proposal being submitted to the Bondo Fisheries Department and the European Union to construct a modern fish shed on nearby Honge Beach. “The hard working fishermen there are currently selling fish at very low prices (set by the buyers) .. due to the lack of a modern shed.”

In addition, a fish-farming project (aquaculture), served by windmills pumping water inland, has been planned. Moi University is advising the community. Solar cookers were demonstrated and introduced and a fantastic re-vegetation project began with a tree-nursery planted at the Nyayo Primary School.

Ben & Katalin instilled self-reliance and initiative into the community, something we firmly believe in. AVIF has never been financially involved with a host. We provide information and opportunity, and we can do this at no or low cost, which is why we have no need to charge fees. As Ben & Katalin advise in their report, future AVIF volunteers need to continue instilling self-reliance .. “a big culture change for most”.

Corruption does exist. It can also ruin a trip, marr your experience & can get under your skin! Volunteers should always check that what you’re paying out to help others, WILL ACTUALLY DO THAT.

Lastly, on Ben’s advise, rather than paying for a solar cooker, we can now help to distribute the wealth of carbon-trading business in the west, offsetting their CO2 emissions by giving solar cookers freely to developing countries such as Kenya. Utilising the global but locally-ran introduction & training services of SCI this should only improve the effectiveness of an already-fantastic concept.

I’d like to thank Ben & Katalin, and all our volunteers, for all their incredible help and generosity, past, present and future.

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