Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tsavo Loses a Soldier

 For three long years Sara Proebsting, a.k.a Sawa, has fully dedicated her mind, body and heart, not only to the CBO’s comprising of ex poachers that GVI works with, but to the whole district. This is abundantly apparent when you walk though the market centre of Taveta, “Sara! Sara!” echo’s all around her as people rush to greet her, or to ask her advice on all matter of things, from community issues to marital problems. When you visit the communities she has worked in you will find several small children named Sara.  Her dedication becomes more apparent when you pass by the water pipeline from Salaita to Kasaani she fought long and hard to fund with the CDF and then proceeded to dig with her bare hands (and a jembe of course). The water pipeline also saw the introduction of GVI Kenya’s construction project. A short term volunteering opportunity that has immeasurable benefits to the communities and the volunteers and is truly an experience of a lifetime for everyone involved.

Another successful project

In her time with GVI she has implemented several income generating projects including an eco tourism centre, several successful handicraft businesses, Chicken farming, A posho mill, the list goes on. She has improved agricultural methods in the area with the introduction of Vertiver grass to improve soil quality and prevent erosion as well as convincing reluctant farmers who were traditionally reliant on an increasingly difficult maize crop to switch to drought resistant crops such as green grams.  Through her construction projects she has provided critical infrastructure to support alternative livelihoods as well as providing basic needs such as clean drinking water and food security projects.

Saying goodbye..
Although she is moving onwards and upwards, her efforts in Tsavo will not be lost. Due to the participatory, bottom up, design of all of her projects, they will continue to benefit the communities well into the future. Of course GVI will continue to work in the same vein with the communities of the Taveta District by providing indirect funding and running capacity building and alternative livelihood skills training. 

Sara, you will be remembered and missed by all, volunteers, GVI staff, CBOs, the ladies in the market, the matau and bus drivers, and especially the chickens. Best of luck for your very bright future!