Business Protection Manager at the EMC Chris Swalwell talks about his experience supporting Climate Care to distribute LifeStraw in Kenya.
“Exciting, humbling and exhausting, that sums up my experience back in 2015 when I was chosen from 2,500 applicants from across the business to take part in a project in Kenya on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover.
“It was a truly like-changing experience; one which I will never forget.
“Following what seemed like a never-ending journey, it was with great excitement and a good deal of trepidation that our group of six volunteers landed at Kisumu airport in Kenya.
“The bubbly mood of the team soon sobered, as we drove out of the airport and saw the reality of the tin shack and dirt existence the locals had to live in. It was a real wake-up call and the reality of the task ahead of us dawned.
“After an overnight stay, where none of us really slept, we headed off at dawn to what would be our base for the next seven days.
“At Bungoma we were split into teams to go to 2-3 schools a day and act as ambassadors for Jaguar Land Rover to provide water filtration systems. The area itself has no clean water and the biggest killer is cholera, a terrible disease, but one that we fought and succeeded in eradicating over 100 years ago.
“In what was a relatively short time we were hoping that our intervention would help to break the continual cycle of illness, through lack of awareness.
“The experience not only taught me a lot about myself, but also about others.
“We are extremely fortunate to live in a country where clean drinking water is available at the turn of a tap. Others are not so lucky.”