Miles isn’t an ordinary 16 year old. Instead of say, an amusement park, Miles chose to go to Kenya for his 16th birthday and spring break trip. He chose Kenya because he learned from his paternal grandfather that his great great great grandfather was from the Masaai tribe. He was looking forward to having a cultural learning experience that would be very personal to him.
Mom, VP of Campus Relations and Operations Jennifer Dilley, was all in so they planned the trip together. Instead of a traditional safari, Miles wanted to interact with people in a more authentic way. They chose to spend their time in two different conservancies run by two different tribes. These were both tented camps, one run by the Samburu tribe and one run by the Masaai tribe. Having senior elders of each tribe be their guide meant their tourism dollars would go right back to the tribe after the expenses of running the camp are covered.
Then, they connected with One Horizon, an organization devoted to solving poverty and changing lives. Jennifer and Miles spent a day with school children playing, reading and, because One Horizon sponsors a lunch program, eating! Jennifer also learned that One Horizon’s reach extended beyond the school day with their program to empower caregivers of the students to better provide for their families. Jennifer and Miles visited the home of a grandmother whose grandchildren with whom they had just spent the day. This grandmother’s life was changed four years ago when she received two pigs from One Horizon. She now has energy in her home, which is powered by bio-fuel created from the pigs’ waste. She also breeds the pigs, which she sells and uses for food. Plus, a few from each litter go back to One Horizon to pay it forward for future families. Jennifer shared how amazing it was to see the pride on the grandmother’s face when she described how dramatically her life, and the life of her family, have changed since receiving the pigs and learning how to create a sustainable farming plan.
Experiencing Kenya up close and personal made for a magical vacation. Jennifer and Miles saw incredible wildlife and the beautiful countryside of Kenya. But, more importantly, they connected with people and chose to spend their money in ways where it would have the most impact.
“To say the whole experience was powerful, would be a tremendous understatement,” said Jennifer Dilley. “We were truly were honored take part in something with such a life changing impact on us while also directly benefiting the people in the communities we visited.”