On Tuesday, the Irish Embassy were visited by Father John O’Callaghan, Thomas Franklin, members of South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO), and Fifth Year students from Glenstal Abbey school at the end of a very productive three week visit to Kenya.
The ten sixth year students taking part in the Kenyan School Project 2019 fundraised and took part in activities aimed at improving facilities and opportunities for the young people at Oloika Middle School. Led by Father John, the project has left a lasting impact on numerous Kenyan schools over the last ten years.
Students fundraised before the visit with some of them discovering a talent for bricklaying and carpentry. Donated computers have been installed and are up-and-running, proving to be a huge boost for the Kenyan pupils with the Glenstal boys sharing their Information Technology knowledge with their counterparts.
SORALO is a community-based and community-driven land trust established in 2004 which works in Kenya’s South Rift Valley to provide a bridge between the Maasai Mara and Amboseli.
In this area, local Maasai communities have lived with their livestock alongside wildlife, forests, and grasslands, maintaining a landscape of exceptional biological and cultural diversity, hosting one of the richest large mammal populations on earth, including both wildlife and livestock.
This co-existence is enabled primarily by the communal and semi-nomadic form of local land use, which encourages mobility to ensure survival.
Today, this is an increasingly threatened landscape, confronting a growing population, a culture in transition, and land use changes that threaten both wildlife and their livestock.