Loiborsoit is a village of approximately 5,000 Maasai people – a tribe known for their bright red clothing, their rich cultural heritage and a pastoralist way of life (raising cattle). When we first went there, we discovered there was a shortage of water and no health care. People literally had to walk 2-3 days to get any health care.
We met with the village leadership and some Maasai church leaders. They shared the plight of the people with us. We determined the first way we could help was to build a clinic to meet the people’s health care needs. When the people saw we were committed to building a clinic, they gave us some land to do so.
We worked with Maasai leadership throughout every step of the clinic building project. We took a construction team from the U.S. and some doctors, and started by operating a health care clinic in that area for four days. During those four days, we saw close to 2,000 people needing medical attention. We saw children with STDs, children who were more than a year old weighing less than 9 lbs. due to waterborne illnesses, a lot of sickness from not having clean water, eye infections from the flies and also respiratory infections because of the smoke they cook with. They bring the fire inside their houses to stay warm at night, and breathe it in even though they’re confined in small spaces.
When we met the people and began to develop a relationship with community, it became clear that their main water source – a borehole – was inadequate for them. People were walking substantial distances to find water and grass for their cattle. They invited us to come back to do a water and sanitation project. As happened with the clinic, the Maasai gave us property near the site of the clinic for the water well. We went back and drilled a borehole for water.
Now the site of the clean water well is where we’re building a Life Center to offer an array of services to the community. Our goal is of course not to change the Maasai way of life, only to reduce suffering and improve their lives through clean water, improved health care, improved education and an overall better quality of life.
The clinic and staff housing construction projects are now completed, and the government has sent health care workers and medicines to make the clinic operational. We look forward to establishing a Life Center in Loiborsoit that will be a blessing to each person.