In today’s world I think we tend to get bogged down with all the reasons we can’t do something before we even start. There are so many times I read an article and think that I wish I could do something to help but I become convinced that there’s not really anything meaningful that I could do. Sometimes an action or a solution can be simple but we talk ourselves out of it before we even try, or worse don’t even take the time to think about potential solutions. I think there is something refreshing about being able to look at a serious problem and coming up with a simple solution. Instead of jumping ten steps ahead and thinking of all of the potential roadblocks and barriers, start with step one and have some faith. I also think this is the reason to encourage children to learn about ways to give back. Children have that completely untainted, innocent way of thinking that is just what is needed in today’s world. They should receive the message that problems are solvable and that solutions are within reach if you just put some thought into it.
There are so many negative and depressing things going on in the world today it’s rare to read about something positive and uplifting. A story that I found to be very motivating and a perfect example of how someone can start with a simple solution is that of Patrick Mwalua, also known as Kenya’s water delivery man. In 2017 there was a severe lack of rainfall in the Tsavo region in Kenya. Prolonged droughts would have a devastating impact on all the animals that relied on water for life. Patrick was a local pea farmer who grew up in the area and was very familiar with the local wildlife. He saw the problem and decided to take action. He rented a truck and, with the permission of the Tsavo West National Park, began delivering water to the animals living there. He was delivering over 3,000 gallons of water to the park each day.
Three women from the US learned about his mission and set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his efforts. They were able to raise over $450,000, which enabled Patrick to buy his own water truck. Patrick is passionate about educating youth about wildlife and what he sees as people’s responsibility to protect the wildlife. Reading about this made me so happy for a number of reasons. I think children are so much more capable of understanding complex issues than we give them credit for. They have that amazing way of seeing something complex and breaking it down through their eyes. Patrick’s original thought of immediate action to bring water to animals is a perfect example to give children of how to start to effect change. Patrick saw a problem; there was a lack of water for animals. So he came up with a basic solution and brought in water for them. Through his work and the awareness and funds raised, Patrick’s mission has grown and he has started the Mwalua Wildlife Trust to work towards more long term, sustainable solutions. According to its website,
“Mwalua Wildlife Trust is a Kenyan founded and operated organization that works towards sustainable water solutions for human and wildlife communities in Tsavo ecosystem, Kenya. We are striving to create water management strategies that will supply water to wildlife in their habitats while promoting human-wildlife coexistence. We work together with communities to raise awareness about conservation, promote ecological restoration, and increase ethical economic opportunities to protect Kenya’s nature and biodiversity.”
Instead of thinking that there isn’t anything meaningful we can do anyways, perhaps we should find even the smallest ways to make a difference. In doing so we can set an example for our children and open their eyes to all that is possible. My favorite quote that I read from Patrick Mwalua was, “everything is possible if we decide to change.” To learn more about Patrick’s mission, check out his website: