A Unique Opportunity to Learn About the People you are Helping in Kenya
Thanks to your wonderful support of Water Is Life Kenya (WILK) tens of thousands of Maasai people in Southern Kenya have easy access to clean water. We work in partnership with the Maasai so understanding their culture and way of life is integral to our success over the past 13 years. To learn more about how we partner with the Maasai, please join Joyce Tannian, WILK Founder and Executive Director, on January 7 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time for an informative discussion about this beautiful relationship that you make possible.
Register in advance at for this webinar:
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We did our first Water is Life Kenya 2020 webinar on December 10 at 7 p.m. to share with our donors and interested people about Water is Life Kenya’s tremendous progress in 2020 and our ambitious plans for 2021.
Our co-founder and Executive Director, Joyce Tannian, lead a lively discussion from the numerous questions the attendees asked. We are profoundly grateful for your generous support.
Our annual Livestock Loan Review Seminar for our Livestock as a Business 2019-2020 program took place on September 22-24, 2020. This is the culmination of our loan cycle and is a 3 day meeting where the Livestock Farmer Groups we have trained report on the $2000 Livestock loan they received from us last year. This year we have 10 groups who received the loan.
The big things we keep an eye on are the money transactions to ensure that the money is used for the intended purpose and reported accurately, and to make sure that the fattening season is going well. We provide support to minimize risks in case there are any challenges along the way, like drought, disease or group problems. This is one of the ways we make sure the loan is repaid. It is a successful strategy. We have 99.7% loan repayment across all the years of the program.
The groups had the highest profit we have ever seen. First, all repaid the loan. Then, we have 4 groups who made more than $2000 net profit (on a $2000 loan). Two groups made between $1000 and $1999, and the remaining 4 groups each made between $500 and $999. These extraordinary results are a result of hard work by our groups and the good luck of a) good pasture b) corona virus causing some markets to be closed, so it was a sellers' market!
Click here to read the full report!
Water is Life Kenya's Water Walk Challenge is on! This year we are walking for Osewan! We invite you to walk with us and help us give another community access to water! (Imagine not having direct access to water or walking at least 5 miles everyday just to get water.)
(Copy & paste the entire text shown below):
I accepted the #WILKWaterWalkChallenge for @WaterIsLifeKenya (re-type "@WaterIsLifeKenya" to activate tag) from Joyce Tannian (type who tagged you) to walk at least one mile and/or donate! Here in the US, we are lucky enough to consider going for a walk a leisure activity, but for many women in southern Kenya, it's not uncommon for them to walk nearly 5 miles to bring clean, viable water home to their families.
To learn more about this fundraiser and to donate CLICK HERE: https://tinyurl.com/turnthewateron4OSEWAN
Please copy & paste this entire text along with your selfie or video, then challenge and tag 5 of your friends! You have 48 hours!
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If you need assistance with getting started, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can message us here or email us at: info@WaterIsLifeKenya.com
Dr. Tannian, Board President for Water is Life Kenya shares his appreciation for the work being done.
You and your helpers have taken wonderful steps: by a large amount of your direct effort to help many PEOPLE in the Kimana and other markets.
One way of looking at this is...well, why not do this/ all people know this was a good
thing, to ask people to wash their hands and to tell them about the hidden danger of
But who among us did or will actually take steps to do good for his brothers and sisters?
What is and was needed is a community (WILK) of people to think, spend resources and
be on the ground with water and staff.
In my mind the actions you and Joyce took for the Game Scouts, and for the Big Land Use Conference last year and now for the Hand Washing are individual examples of Christian Charity in practice.
In my technical field (economics) they are examples of delivering "public goods". That means organizing people and ideas and then spending resources (time, money) to deliver services or products that are valuable for MANY individual people. That value has a collective benefit (blocking community not just individual disease) for which individuals are not able to pay individually but the direct benefits secures the health of many as well as for me or you.
The Game Scout service and the Amboseli Land Plans aimed to bring valuable community services which are also "public goods". One or two individuals stand to be better off...but more importantly the entire community for miles around can expect a better Maasai community benefit when wildlife and cattle (key dimensions of their group life) have better chances to prosper.
Here in the U.S. our challenge is to explain this creative capacity of WILK so we gain
financial support. In Kenya the challenge is to keep a staff who recognize how these costly steps of improved water systems and improved livestock allow their communities to prosper.
Again, Larasha, God Bless you and the entire WILK (Joyce) team for great service.
Water is Life Kenya provided critical training and hand washing stations for nearly ten thousand people at the Kimana and Rombo weekly open air markets in southern Kenya. COVID-19 is in Kenya and people from rural areas need the awareness training to know how to protect themselves and their families against the disease.
Maasai families rely on once weekly markets for selling livestock. They then use the cash to buy food for the week or the month. It also provides income for all the people selling vegetables, clothes utensils and all other life necessities.
WILK organized a team of 25 people to staff hand washing stations, refilling the water and soap and instructing people in proper hand washing practices, social distancing and mask -wearing. Local leaders directed people to wash hands and wear masks. Failure to wash or wear a mask meant exclusion from the market.
Thanks to all our hard-working team on the ground, led by Water is Life Kenya co-founder, Joseph Larasha. We still need donations to continue to providing the training and hand washing stations.
Radio Citizen Kenya (below) highlighted our work last week on the air in Swahili.
Water is Life Kenya (WILK) launches virtual fundraising campaign for their newest clean water project “Turn the Water on for Osewan!” The Osewan community has been on the WILK waiting list since 2014. The campaign’s goal for April is to raise $40,000 to help jump-start this project (total cost is $80,000). Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the need to cancel in-person events, WILK is promoting and raising funds via social media with their fans and by weekly email blasts to their supporters. In addition to this, every Friday night at 7PM Eastern, Founder Joyce Tannian greets and updates her supporters on Facebook Live. To watch WILK Live show visit: https://www.facebook.com/WaterisLifeKenya Previous episodes can be found here.
The live show begins with Joyce wearing and explaining a very colorful and traditional Kenyan outfit. She continues with updates on the pandemic in Southern Kenya, an informational segment called Wildlife Corner, and concludes with accepting additional questions. The show is twenty minutes long and is very educational.
Joyce Tannian, Founder & Director commented, “Our work doesn’t stop and can’t stop now. Osewan people need us now, more than ever...finally it’s their turn! People have been trying to live in Osewan for a long time, but can’t. The area is very dry. It has ample pasture, but no water for cows or people. We want to make sure people in that area have enough clean water for themselves, for their families; enough water so they can build a school and build a hospital.”
To find out more about “Turn the Water on for Osewan” and to make a donation visit:
Reports in my Kenyan home town, Kitengela on Friday, March 13, 2020 were that the virus had arrived in Kenya.
The day was like any other typical day in Kitentgela, located an hour south of Niairobi (pop. 100,000). It was full of people milling around the outdoor markets with the town cows wandering through the market as usual. Vendors were lined up on the side streets selling bananas, tomatoes, and live chickens.
Family, co-workers and friends had been filling me in on what was happening globally, in addition to what I was picking up on here in Kenya. It had me wondering if I should keep my April 16th travel date, or change it. The airport, which is the long rope I must pull to get back home to the US, was open for now. Other news said all in and out flights might stop indefinitely. For those that don't know, I had malaria a few times since I started living in Kenya over 12 years ago and so I know the health care system here is spotty at best. People die from simple things (e.g. - lack of tetanus meds.). A deadly virus could be ruinous for me. For everyone!
My close American friends who have lived here for the last 15 years got stuck more than 3000 miles away in Mali – the other side of Africa! Mali government had just blocked their exit and flight back to Kenya. That got me thinking, how would I like to be stuck in Kenya?
Thoughts raced through my mind. Could any deadly virus really be locked down? How many months would it be like this? Might Kenya, with primitive toilet options, spotty water availability, no hand sanitizer and weak medical care, collapse politically, economically, even socially? The average, prudent Kenyan feels their government is corrupt. They say so without prompting. Deep distrust of official announcements is almost certain. Would Kenyans ask themselves “Is this a political scheme? Can we believe this?” and ignore important directives if the government published a statement of “A deadly virus is here”.
Well, that day, I decided to change my original April ticket with British Airlines. For 2 days I could not get through by phone, but finally on the third day I got a reply. Nothing to Philly, but what about DC or Newark, NJ? I agreed to a flight leaving that same evening. Racing around my apartment, I shoved things into a bag, cleaned up and made it out on the flight leaving at midnight.
Thursday I arrived home in the US. Our dear friend, Mark Manniso, picked me up, to deliver me safely to Newark, DE. He doused me with rubbing alcohol, then handed me a box of St. Joseph’s cakes in honor of St. Joseph’s Day. Even the 6 lane traffic on the NJ turnpike was a relief!
So great to be home!
The poor families we work with in Namelok, Olepolos and other villages remain. For more than 12 years we have struggled with them for clean water and a better life.
Loving our neighbors has never been more critical as we face this turbulent time with this disease outbreak preoccupying everyone. We still have our Kenyan team on the ground to continue our critical work for the communities we serve.
More than ever, as they wait for the impact of the virus in Kenya, we continue to support them with prayers and donations for new life-giving, life-protecting water supply thanks to you and Water is Life Kenya.
Joyce lives most of the year in Kenya. She finds being on the ground and working with the communities intimately helps her to relate to their culture and needs. It also provides her with a comprehensive in-depth understanding so that Water is Life Kenya can properly come along side them and empower them without impacting their culture adversely.