With only 6 days until Bethany Whitmore embarks on her trip to the Mara in Kenya, feelings of nerves and excitement are kicking in.
Our own Bethany Whitmore is collaborating with Wellers' client Peach Pubs - who we've worked with for over 15 years - to undertake a 7 day charity mission in the Mara, Kenya. As someone keen to help others, Beth has previously embarked on a cycle to Paris in 2013 in aid of the British Heart Foundation, completed the MoonWalk for Breast Cancer and last year climbed Ben Nevis for Cystic Fibrosis.
As part of the advisory team for the Pub Group, Beth was introduced to the charity mission through conversation whilst onsite on audit. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Beth which she wouldn’t miss for the world - but, it’s not going to be an easy journey.
What is the charity mission?
The Peach Foundation charity mission at hand is Herds for Change, with the goal to raise £130,000 to buy the Enonkishu community a herd of 8 pedigree bulls and 400 cows and help them breed the best possible offspring. The profits will be owned and used by the community to support their livelihood and conservancy.
Around 5 years ago it became apparent that farms in the Mara, Kenya could no longer sustain intensive farming. So Tarquin and Lippa, a couple of friends of Peach Pubs, followed their hearts by encouraging more people to support the fragile eco-system in the Mara.
What will this journey entail?
The 7 day trip will include:
Buying the herd from the local cow market
Walking the cattle 20 miles into the conservancy
Preparing the herd, including; inoculation, record the weight, their appearance, branding, ear tagging and naming
Visiting local villages and schools, and learn about the Maasai challenges in 2017
Build a mobile boma, which is a night shelter to protect the cattle from predators
Embark on another 5 mile walk to deliver the herd to the community
Experience the Maasai life
Go on safari and experience the wildlife
Who will this be helping?
Predominantly they will be helping Enokishu – a conservancy community organisation, (not for profit), that works with the community and organises the security, the herds and monitors the wildlife.
Springboard – the UK charity provider
The Springboard Charity helps young people achieve their potential and nurtures unemployed people of any age into work. It helps alleviate poverty by supporting disadvantaged and underprivileged people into sustainable employment within hospitality, leisure and tourism.
Springboard’s work encourages, motivates, builds confidence, develops the skills required and mentors beneficiaries to succeed in a career within hospitality, leisure and tourism.
Why do they need help?
The management of land is a complicated situation in the Mara and the Enonkishu Conservancy is a leading light in Kenya, delivering a sustainable solution to the challenges the communities face.
The Conservancy is delivering better cows, more income for Maasai, less poverty, more water, less desertification, more grass, less drought stress, more wildlife, less poaching and more tourists. More Maasai are willingly choosing a pastoralists life which means a more Peachy life in the Mara.
Achieve better grass coverage and carbon sequestration
Protect wildlife and eco-tourism
Help achieve pride and dignity for the Maasai
Will there be any potential dangers?
Beth states “There’s the possibility to get eaten by lions, charged at by bulls, and illnesses. Not only this, but Hippos live in the river and graze near the accommodation. They aren’t dangerous as long as you respect their rules."
Crocodiles are in the river, so no swimming!
Wildebeest, Zebra, Warthogs, Dik-dik, and Hyenas are also very likely to be roaming around.” So it’s important to keep their wits about them at all times! Whilst the potential danger is minimal, it’s still not an every day threat.
Terrorism does sadly exist in Kenya – but the trip is being planned so the time spent in Nairobi is minimal.
"Hamish, one of the directors at Peach Pubs says the most likely accident is to damage yourself under the influence of multiple Tuskers, the local lager. Or to walk at 2am into the path of a buffalo… don’t wander at night!"
Any pain or potential pain?
“Walking 20 miles across a dessert in the blistering heat with a herd of cows sounds painful to me. Not to mention the 7 vaccinations!”
Why do Peach do this?
The founders of Peach, Lee Cash, Hamish Stoddart and Jo Eames have always believed Peach Pubs should find ways of giving back and Making Life Peachy for others. The Peach Foundation are committed to putting something back into our world, through aiming to improve communities and the future sustainability of our world.
The past trips have proved a huge success for the community and the Peach team and that’s why they want to do it all over again - this time for Herds for Change.
What preparation/training has Beth had to do for it?
“WALKING! I have walked the marathon before (London Moonwalk) and I have signed up again for 2018 so any chance to get out with the dog and climb some hills! I also climbed Ben Nevis last year too, for part of the Three Peaks Challenge.”
Beth has had the vaccinations required and has gathered the right kit for the task – which are predominantly neutral colours.
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