Blue Planet Network Empowers Team to Build Wells in Kenya

Sabore and Therese are working tirelessly to create long-term access to safe drinking water for the nearly 9,000 residents in the Ewaso Nyiro region of Kenya. Safe water is the first step out of poverty and towards a better life for everyone in Ewaso Nyiro. Since the spring of 2010, they have worked to bring awareness by organizing presentations at many schools and businesses, and holding dozens of open houses.

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(managed by Blue Planet Network)




The Need

Currently, the women and girls bear the burden of fetching water and must walk 6-8 miles one-way to collect water from the river. Sadly this water source is full of contaminates and is the root cause of many health issues for the villagers. There are also the potential dangers of human encounters with the wild animals that share the river's water. Sabore and Therese quickly understood that a close, safe water source was the first step out of poverty and towards a better life for everyone in Ewaso Nyiro. Any and all contributions to this project will be used to install wells in the surrounding areas.

The Progress

Sabore’s Well has completed the drilling and installation of two wells through the summer of 2014. Committed to sustainable energy, Sabore’s Well uses solar-powered pumps and will soon be installing a decentralized solar water-filtration system. Ongoing monitoring and updates for Sabore’s projects can be followed on Blue Planet Network.

Sabore's goals:

Sabore Ole Oyie

Sabore Ole Oyie

Maasai Warrior and Elder Sabore Ole Oyie - graduated from Naikarra High School in Narok, Kenya and was honorably selected as a senior advisor to his community and elders. His education has played a major role in his ability to communicate in both his native languages, Kiswahili and English, as well as his tribal language, Maa. He uses his experience and knowledge gained from both his formal education and his warrior training to educate the community on the importance of school and preserving many cultural traditions.

As second-in-command to the chief, he emphasizes youth education and economic development for his community. He’s experienced the benefit of being sponsored to go to school, the critical need for education and the importance of learning so the community can be stronger and healthier. He continues to live in the traditional ways, including wearing the traditional Maasai clothing, carrying hand-made weapons for hunting and self-defense against lions, elephants and other dangerous wildlife, and living in a hut made from sticks and dung. He herds his cattle, sheep and goats, sometimes having to move them long distances to find greener pastures. In addition, he is a Cultural Ambassador for Kenya.

Sabore has traveled extensively throughout the world in order to bring awareness to the struggles of his homeland and to the beauty of the nomadic culture of the Maasai people.

Sabore’s participation in Global Leaders for Justice, an intensive program at Santa Clara University in California, was one such significant visit. It was through this curriculum, focused on building leadership qualities and transforming individuals visions into realities, that Sabore was inspired to augment his original goal of two wells and 5 girls in school to actually building schools and installing over 400 wells!

Sabore has partnered with Therese Hjelm to raise funds in the United States. Together they have aligned with Blue Planet Network, a non-profit connecting water project funders, implementers and communities around the globe to more effectively create sustainable access to safe drinking water. Blue Planet Network, a program of Thrive Networks, provides fiscal sponsorship for Sabore’s Well, allowing all donations to be tax deductible. 100% of the funds raised go directly to the project. Sabore’s Well is happy to answer any questions regarding progress, donations, and possible outreach by Sabore himself. You can contact them at saboreswell@gmail.com.

M. Thérèse Hjelm

Thérèse’s passion for Africa started as a child. She was introduced to this enchanting continent by her mother’s college roommate, Dian Fossey, the woman who studied and struggled to protect the gorillas in Virunga National Park and in Rwanda. Having her first trip to Africa in 1997, she describes it with one word - magical. Nine years later she was able to return and this time with her mother. Their adventure took them on safari and to the place in Tanzania where Dian’s career started.

In 2008, Thérèse met Maasai Warrior and Elder, Sabore Ole Oyie, while volunteering for a non-profit organization in Palo Alto, CA. She attended his demonstration of the Maasai Warrior training experience. During this event Thérèse learned Sabore and the organization’s founder were to present at a school near her home. The thought of them having to commute so early in the morning gave her the idea to offer them the use of her guest rooms. That gesture would end up being life changing and the beginning of a wonderful partnership.

Therese and Sabore

January 2009 brought Thérèse back to Africa, this time to visit Sabore’s village. She observed first-hand the hardships his village and other local communities faced due to the lack of fresh clean water. At that moment, she knew she needed to help but was not sure how. Later in the year, Sabore returned to California for an educational tour fully explaining what it’s like for boys and girls growing up Maasai. It was after Sabore finished a talk at Castilleja High School in Palo Alto that a student approached Thérèse with tears in her eyes asking if she could help. No sooner were the words out of her mouth that she reached out her hand and gave Thérèse three crumpled up $5 bills. That $15 became the first donation to Sabore’s Well. It’s moving and inspiring to realize this project started from the generosity of a 17 year-old girl.

A local clean drinking water source is vital for the survival of Sabore’s community. Without it the women would have to walk on average 14 miles round-trip to obtain water from the nearest river. It is from this same river that the residents bathe, wash their clothes and that domestic and wild animals drink from. The potential clash between humans and wild animals is ever present. In addition, it is the responsibly of the young girls to help their mothers either collect the water or do their mothers chores instead of attending school. These are the reasons why Thérèse has chosen to take on this project.

Thérèse worked in the financial planning and investment industry for over 15 years and helped found a company in 1992. She left the corporate world several years ago to pursue her desire to dedicate her time to volunteer work. Her yearning to help and create opportunities for others has brought her to this new, challenging, but highly rewarding project assisting Sabore with building wells for his community.

Please contribute to this important fund online, visit saboreswell.org for further information or email Thérèse at saboreswell@gmail.com.