From sanitising water to keeping schoolchildren well fed, visit the A&K initiatives changing lives – and even lend a hand.
A&K has long championed sustainable tourism. AKP, our philanthropic arm, has been funding community projects across the world since 1982. Many of our clients are looking for ways to give something back to the wonderful destinations they visit, which is why we’ve made these initiatives an optional addition to our tailor-made holidays. You can see the vital work first hand, and in some cases help directly.
Kenya is especially close to our hearts. More than 55 years ago, Geoffrey Kent – then a young man in Nairobi – founded one of the world’s first luxury safari companies here: A&K. Since then, we’ve supported many philanthropic initiatives in this East African country, ensuring its tourism is responsible, sustainable and rewarding for everybody. Here are three vital AKP projects you can add to your itinerary.
Safe Water for Schools initiative
Simply accessing safe water is an overwhelming challenge for many in Africa’s schools, including in the Masai region of Kenya. 75 per cent of school principals surveyed said illness was the main reason for student absenteeism – with more than 50 per cent specifically mentioned waterborne diseases such as typhoid. These health problems put an additional hurdle in front of children in an already challenging educational environment.
Because of this, we’re supporting the Safe Water for Schools initiative. This project aims to introduce sustainable, non-invasive means to acquire clean water for students in Kenya. So far, we’ve introduced the LifeStraw community filter to eleven Masai schools; these high-volume water purifiers convert contaminated water into safe drinking water by removing 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoan parasites. Each filtration system is chemical-free and can purify between 70,000 to 100,000 litres of water – enough to serve a school for three to five years.
Through AKP’s Safe Water for Schools initiative in Kenya, more than 16,000 students in communities bordering the Masai Mara now have access to clean drinking water. Enkereri Primary School is one such recipient of this life-changing technology. During a visit, you can see the community filter in action, and learn more about the direct impact it’s having on pupils’ wellbeing.
Enkereri Lunch Programme
Schools across Africa face a multitude of challenges, without many of the resources to meet them. Through a combination of community-focused programmes, we’re working to change things for the better.
An army marches on its stomach, and this is also true of the student body. Schools across Africa are affected by a shortage of food to fuel the enquiring minds of their keen pupils. At Enkereri Primary School, we’ve built a dedicated dining hall and implemented a daily lunch service for 200 students and teachers. We’ve also sponsored eight members of the local community to prepare and deliver the service, widening the positive impact beyond the school.
Literacy programme with Worldreader
In Africa, 50 per cent of schools have few or no books, directly impacting the literacy rates of pupils across the continent. In partnership with Worldreader, AKP has delivered e-readers pre-loaded with culturally appropriate content directly to schools across East Africa. Within the first 18 months of introducing the programme, we’ve seen average reading speeds of participating students increase to 24 words per minute, and comprehension double. This will have a profound impact upon the lives of each student, not only allowing them to better understand the world around them, but also to improve their future career prospects.
Enkereri Primary School was one of the recipients of the programme, and you can visit it as part of an A&K holiday – it’s just a 15-minute drive from Sanctuary Olonana safari lodge. Enjoy a guided tour, meet the gleeful pupils, and even play a spot of football or frisbee with them. See first-hand how their future is brighter than ever.