Lööf Foundation’s – March 15, 2018

We are all flying back home today and decided to go to an orphaned elephant sanctuary to see the baby elephants being fed.

The elephants here are rescued and brought to the sanctuary from all over the country. They are orphaned for various reasons, for example: by poachers killing the mother (the most common reason, sadly) the death of the mother by natural causes such as old age or disease; or even from starvation or lack of water because of the recent drought.

The sanctuary houses 26 elephants from 18 months to 5 years old. The sanctuary releases the elephants back in to the wild when they are weaned off of milk. The process of reintroduction can take up to 5 years long, as the elephants need to befriend elephants in the wild and adapt to the change.

The sanctuary also has a mobile veterinary unit which treats injured animals in the park. In addition, they have an anti-poaching team that searches for signs of poaching both on the ground and by aerial surveillance.

From here we visited the Giraffe Centre which aims to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe. The breeding program has been a success with several breeding pairs being re-introduced to the wild. We all got to feed the giraffe with food pellets. I think we all found this a special experience as we were able to get up close and personal with the giraffes and see how gentle they were.

Lisa held an art class at the Kenswed Academy for the students and handed out many art supplies donated by Berit at Paleda in Stockholm. All of the children appreciated the new paper and drawing utensils! It was so great to see all of the students express themselves through their art, and use the new materials we handed out!

We would like to extend a large thank you to everyone who helped and donated baby clothes for this trip, all of the mothers were so grateful for the items we handed out! Thank you to Öfvre Optik in Stockholm for glasses, they were very much needed! Everyone’s contributions helped children and adults in some way during this trip!

When we got back to the hotel we all shared our personal highlights from the trip:

Highlights of the Trip

Susanne Knutson:
– The arrival at the school – I felt very warm in my heart, the staff and children made us feel so welcome!
– The opportunity to take part in the inauguration ceremony for the Maternity & Health clinic. It is currently just an empty plot of land and great to think that in just six months it will be a maternity ward and health clinic. I feel very strongly about supporting women and girls, equal rights, and this maternity ward will support my strong beliefs.
– The walk through Kibera slum area. I was struck by how happy the children were and I feel I understand better the background of many of the children at the Kenswed Academy. I now realise that you don’t need material things to be happy.
– I was struck by how many people work to improve the lives of other people – it was a big eye-opener. Everyone can so something, no matter how small, to help others and make the world a better place in order to help others.

Ulrika Blyh Schultz:
– I was also very touched by the warm welcome at the school and was struck by how happy everyone was despite the fact they are very poor.
– It was very interesting to meet the house mother (matron) of the boarding school at Kenswed. The house mother’s own child is being cared for by her mother while she stays at the school caring for 51 children.
– I thought it was very good to go to Kibera and to see the conditions many of the pupils at Kenswed come from. This was an eye-opening experience.
– I am very happy and pleased that we had the opportunity to experience the Kenyan wildlife.

Simon Hooper:
– I really enjoyed the visit to the Kenswed Academy. Because of the graduation ceremony, and our visit, this was not a normal school day and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the children – they really wanted to be involved and those that were, gave it their all.
– At the Kenswed Academy it was great to talk to the staff and meet some of the Swedish visitors and learn about their work there. It was especially interesting to talk to the Swedish engineers and learn of their projects to improve the IT facilities at the school and to fix the biomass electricity generator which has been broken for some years.
– The slum walk was one of the highlights for me as it was an experience I will not forget quickly. Even though I was perhaps aware of the conditions of a slum from seeing them on the television, but it is a whole other experience to be there and see the maze of crowded alleys with people, garbage and animals.
– Running with world-class elite athletes. This was a fantastic experience, they were so friendly and welcomed us to their group despite the vast difference in our ability.

Lisa Persson Baagøe:
– The first day when we visited the school and held the ground-breaking ceremony.
– The Kibera slum walk because although I knew about the poverty, it was emotional to walk there and to see how they live. There was a particular moment when there was a child with starry eyes who offered me a coin in the slum, and then a hug. She wanted to give me something nice – that really touched my heart.
– The visit to the pre-school.
– I held an art class at the Kenswed Academy and it felt so meaningful to pass along knowledge and hand out art supplies!

Sophie Lööf:
– The ground-breaking ceremony was the highlight of the week for me – it has been my ambition for many years and it is very exciting to get the project underway. It is great to have such fantastic partners with the Zelmerlöw & Björkman Foundation.
– To see the school, to understand the work they do there, and to learn how quickly it was built and how it is run.
– A highlight was when Måns Zelmerlöw sang “Children of Tomorrow”. The sentiment of the song made my cry!
– The visit to the maternity clinic by Kibera. It was good to see a clinic of a similar size and capability to the one we are building. It was, of course, great to meet a mother and baby and to hold the baby. We also handed out the baby clothes here which felt very good.
– Before our meeting, myself and Monica wrote pages of A4 questions to ask of those involved. It was great to get all our questions answered. I was very happy with the meeting we held and that we created a revised plan. It was great to find all the involved parties were of one mind over the building and operation of the clinic.
– I am flying home with a very warm heart. I have good faith that this project is in good hands and I feel so grateful and happy that this project is finally underway! It’s amazing to think that just six short months ago I went up to Måns Zelmerlöw to ask if his Foundation was interested in cooperating with this project, and that here we are today. We have broken the first ground to this project and have started the first process of creating something beautiful, helpful and worthwhile together as one!

 

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