I know from experience that when we stay in one of the Lodges, either at Loisaba or the Masai Mara, we are waited on hand and foot. I feel slightly embarrassed about this and like to make friends with the staff and lighten their load by at least keeping my room tidy. The lodges and their surrounding conservancies employ lots of people not only in the kitchen and dining room but also as cleaners, gardeners at the lodge, or engineers in the garage. There's the anti-poaching team and all the people who look after the domestic animals, camels and cattle, as well as overseeing the wildlife. Of these, it is probably the guides who have the highest profile and their master's degree level of understanding the habits of the wild animals is outstanding.
Places like Loisaba, employ hundreds of people, many of which work behind the scenes. Many come from communities far away which they will only visit every four months, others live in the local communities. Each one of them is likely to provide for ten or more family and distant family members, generously eeking out their wages to share with them all.
It is easy for tourists to forget or ignore the hardships faced by remote communities although they can always give a large tip to the staff or a donation to local charities. Ailsa's Suitcase allows them to do even more at little or no cost - taking an extra suitcase on their flight to be delivered to the charitable organisations that support remoted pastoralist communities. This takes those communities beyond simply existing and helps to give practical support to children going through school, particularly girls.
We provide functional clothing for outside school hours including nightwear and underwear which helps people to stay clean, and to avoid things like bed bugs. Shoes help people to avoid 'jiggers' which are parasitic insects which burrow themselves through people's skin and lay their eggs within their body. They can cause swelling, itching, and infection, and lead to amputation or even death in very bad cases. People who have them find it difficult to walk because of the extreme discomfort. Children find it hard to settle in school too when they are infested with jiggers.
PLEASE help us to get this project off the ground by taking one of our suitcases with you to Kenya. The procedure is very straightforward and we provide the appropriate paperwork.
Take a look at another lovely blog for their description of Jiggers