VOL. # ONE ISSUE #1
THE MILGIS TRUST
A CHRISTMAS LETTER A YEAR IN THE MILGIS To all the Milgis Trust’s supporters we say ashe oleng, thank you so much for being there through a difficult year in northern Kenya. It has without doubt been a year of hardship and suffering for both the tribes and the wildlife of the Milgis Ecosystem; 2009 has indeed been the harbinger of one of the worst droughts seen for many a year.
But with the negatives
come the positives and the Milgis Trust, despite the drought, despite the fall in tourism and despite all hurdles, has pulled through with strength and courage and is witnessing the effects of its continual hard work; ~ The Milgis ecosystem is regaining its balance ~ Key wildlife species, endangered and rare are rebuilding in numbers ~ The Elephant population is expanding and thriving ~ Clean drinking water is changing the lives of communities ~ Education is growing and schools are flourishing ~ Conservation awareness is succeeding ~ Medical support is expanding ~ And in 2010 the Milgis Trust will unveil its new drought preparation Water Reservoir Unit; serving the entire Milgis Ecosystem with natural rain water harvesting reservoirs - with immense gratitude to our ‘friends of the Samburu’ in Portugal.
THE GIFT OF CLEAN WATER The Milgis Trust has been incredibly lucky to have the support of the Voss Foundation (www.thevossfoundation.org) for two wonderful projects so far in the remote Samburu villages of Latakwen and Swari. These water projects improve health, hygiene and living standards for all the community especially women and children. With such support the Milgis Trust can install access to clean drinking water at schools, medical clinics and water kiosks within remote communities that are desperately in need of help. And in support of our Swari Women Helping Women project we are thrilled to be welcoming 11of the women who helped fund the project, out on a safari in January 2010, celebrating the official opening of the village’s new water. We are also thrilled to report that the Voss Foundation has now decided to fund another clean drinking water project to be implemented in 2010. Please see www.milgistrustkenya.com/water.html for more info
“When darkness joins the tropic moon To flood the landscape o’er We know we may be hearing soon The lion’s massive roar. Oh give me, give me, all these things…” By Sandy Field
SCHOOLS AND SMILES LATAKWEN NURSERY, THE MILGIS SCHOOL & SURUAN PRIMARY. Education is the route to understanding…and the Milgis Trust feels that the way forward for the future of this fragile land is through the children of the Milgis ecosystem. By securing desperately needed support for new schools, classrooms, teachers and educational materials, these children will be in the position to improve their own futures and that of their families and become ‘ambassadors’ for conservation in their communities. So far the Milgis Trust has built and outfitted two successful schools in the last 3 years. The first, the Milgis School, is a wonderful hive of learning and is now considered one of the most influential schools in this vast area. Four wonderful classrooms have been erected, a kitchen as well as shower and toilet facilities, with another classroom on the way in 2010 with thanks to our private funders. We are also proud to say with your support the Milgis School is the only school in the area that has its very own clean drinking
‘We saw more elephants in a single evening than we have seen in a decade of visiting the area. It wasn’t just elephants though, it was kudu, desert warthog, jackals, hyena and a host of smaller game… It is clear evidence that in approach and operation, the Milgis Trust is obviously doing it right.’ Victoria Stone
water supplied by a solar-power pump. The second school, Latakwen Nursery, is a beautiful school and enrolls an ever-increasing number of children who are thriving in an educational environment that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. In 2010 we will also be thrilled to announce the creation of Suruan Primary with thanks to the Toto Trust (who have also supported both other schools)
THE BBC COMES TO THE MILGIS The Samburu & the Elephant
and friends. Suruan is an incredibly remote community nestled high within
As part of the BBC’s new series ‘Human Planet’ the
the Ndoto Mountains, which has never had access to education, making this
Milgis Trust hosted a film crew within the Milgis
project truly life changing.
ecosystem for 3 weeks. The story is about the natural relationship between the Samburu people and the elephants and how they need each other to survive. Despite the effects of the long-lasting drought last September, the scenes that unraveled throughout the day and through the night were absolutely fantastic. The wildlife performed beautifully; elephants of all shapes and sizes calmly acted in front of the cameras and the Samburu people enjoyed the filming just as much as our guests. This period was one of testimony to the work the Milgis Trust Scouts have been doing and proof that the wildlife is indeed returning to the Milgis and remaining safe and protected. BBC’s HUMAN PLANET BROADCAST CHRISTMAS 2010
VOL. # ONE ISSUE #1
THE MEAK CLINIC
LATAKWEN’S NEW MEDICAL CLINIC •
Remote communities can now access the medical support they so desperately need
Mobile clinics can now work effectively and regularly within this isolated land
With the wonderful support of MEAK (Medical and Educational Aid to Kenya; www.meak.org) and their friends from the U.S the Milgis Trust has been able to restore and refurbish an old building in the Samburu village of Latakwen and transform it into a lifechanging medical clinic. Through this sustainable support the Milgis Trust has now also been able to employ a fully
WILDLIFE & SCOUTS With Protection comes Abundance With Awareness comes Harmony
qualified full-time nurse and cleaner to ensure the clinics ongoing success.
With the continued support from SHIKAR Safari Club International Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our private funders the Milgis Trust was able to sustain
On top of this we are overjoyed to announce
its vital core operations; supporting 24 scouts all equipped with GPS units and radios,
that the Latakwen Medical Clinic will now be
patrolling within the Trust’s massive 6,000sq kms coverage area. Moving our 24-hour
supported by a desperately needed ambulance
radio base, which was an enormous task involving the construction of the new station on
and driver, offering emergency transport and
the peak of a huge mountain overlooking the Milgis, Seiya and Barsaloi luggas, has also
treatment to the many remote areas within this vast land.
been a great success, improving communications considerably. This increase in coverage area and subsequently extended awareness creation has helped improve not only wildlife numbers and security but also human-wildlife relations.
As with all our funded projects we implore our
the first time in many years the Ostrich has returned to the Milgis Lugga, Elephants have
sponsors to come on safari and see for
moved to areas they have not gone to for more than 30 years and there is more than a
themselves what truly amazing things are being
visible increase in Greater Kudu, Lesser Kudu, Gerenuks, African Wild Dog and many
created with their support; and we look
more species. Our umbrella species, the African Elephant has thrived under the expanded
forward to welcoming the MEAK supporters in
surveillance; such a presence has this year also meant three successful elephant rescues;
two of which, Nchan and Kudup, are now safely homed at DSWT in Nairobi. In order for this equilibrium to be sustained the Milgis Trust Scouts must continue their patrols throughout this fragile land.
The Milgis Trust needs your support to continue the successes it is achieving. There are many projects needing sponsorship, be it within Education, Wildlife, Medical, Community or Operations. Whichever it may be, the Milgis Trust needs your help in whichever way you choose to give it. Please do get in touch!
VOL. # ONE ISSUE #1
THE MILGIS TRUST
A SAMBURU TALE THE HYENA & THE MOON Long ago through the moonlight a pack of hyenas hungrily stalked a morsel to eat. Neither here nor there could they find any food. Stopping on the crest of a high hill the eldest and plumpest of the hyenas looked up at the clear night sky, ‘Brothers’ he rasped ‘look up to the heavens. Do you see that bright white circle?’ The hyenas all craned their thick necks to look upon the glowing moon. ‘Do you know Brothers what that is? It is a large piece of white meat and if we can reach up high enough we shall all feast for an eternity and be hungry no more’ The other hyenas felt their empty stomachs gurgle and looked upon the moon licking their lips. ‘One by one if we climb onto each other’s backs we will be able to reach that meat’ said the old hyena. And so, one by one the hyenas climbed onto each other’s backs creating a staircase towards the moon. Higher and higher they climbed until only the old hyena was left. One step at a time he climbed up over the staircase of wobbling hyenas until he was nearly at the top. But all of a sudden a fierce gust of wind blew and one by one the hyenas fell crashing to the ground, never to walk the same again. So that, says Samburu-Lore is why the hyena stalks the earth with a sloping back.
Asante Sana . . . Ashe Oleng. . .Thank You. . . for your Support
MERRY CHRISTMAS! This logo depicts a camel embracing an elephant which represents our work!
The Milgis Trust PO BOX 93, Naro Moru Kenya, 10105 Please keep in touch! Helen@milgistrustkenya.com Stella@milgistrustkenya.com