15 December 2023

Volunteering in Tsavo, Kenya – Clarissa’s story

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Since 2017 the Robert Walters Group has partnered with the Global Angels Foundation to support the Itinyi Valley community in Tsavo, Kenya, developing new, sustainable methods of farming and adapting to an environment that’s changing due to climate change and drought. 

Each year Robert Walters Group employee volunteers travel to Tsavo to work on key projects. Clarissa Pryce is a manager in our Walters People office in Belgium, who travelled to Kenya and saw first-hand how the Robert Walters Group, Global Angels and the community are working together to build a sustainable future for the region.

When asked why she applied to be a Global Angels volunteer, Clarissa said: “I believe a manager should lead by example, and I wanted to experience everything the company has to offer to be able to be the best brand ambassador I can be with my team. Furthermore, we have the priviledge as employees working at Robert Walters to live this experience so I could not miss a life-changing opportunity like this one.” 

Impact on the local community

During her time in Tsavo, Clarissa was involved in a multitude of activities that are improving  community living conditions. From digging holes for an orchard to making bricks for a water container, she worked hand in hand with local workers, actively participating in the projects.

Clarissa also contributed to preventing a gully from expanding by moving heavy stones, planted sisals to prevent landslides, assisted in the creation of a natural fertilizer using worm juice and water and served food to children at a local school.

When asked how our partnership with Global Angels has impacted the community the most, Clarissa explained that the Global Angels programme with the Tsavo community has made a significant difference - she saw the work that had been done by previous volunteers such as building a chicken coop is now providing a sustainable source of income through the sale of chickens and eggs. Donations have also allowed for the expansion of the farm, providing employment opportunities for the local people, and materials have been sourced to build water tanks, benefiting the entire community.

Working alongside the people of Tsavo

The project in Tsavo is dedicated to building a sustainable future for the community. By teaching workers about climate change and implementing permaculture techniques and regenerative agriculture, the project aims to preserve the land for future generations. Clarissa witnessed first-hand the effects of climate change on the local community, with the dry land impacting farming crops. However, the project's focus on using natural resources instead of harmful pesticides and fertilizers is helping address this issue.

Collaboration with the local community is fundamental to the success of Global Angels projects. Clarissa thoroughly enjoyed working with project leaders, Jackson and Lydia. She also had the opportunity to share her insights on effective task delegation with Lydia, emphasising the importance of explaining the purpose behind each task. This exchange of knowledge and experiences fostered a strong bond and a shared commitment to making a difference.

Clarissa’s volunteering experience

When asked about her most memorable moment and key takeaway from the trip, Clarissa mentioned the evening reflection sessions. These moments provided an opportunity for introspection and to share emotions with others, creating a supportive and comforting environment.

For Clarissa, delivering water to the local community also helped her understand the challenges they face on a weekly basis. Interacting with the locals during this process brought the purpose of the trip full circle, leaving a profound impact on her.

From her experience in Tsavo, Clarissa learned valuable lessons about agriculture and the importance of love and understanding in all interactions. The trip reaffirmed her belief in the power of human connection and vulnerability, as she met incredible individuals who quickly became lifelong friends.

Clarissa wholeheartedly recommends volunteering with Global Angels to anyone seeking a transformative experience. She believes that the trip changed her life for the better and allowed her to forge deep connections with extraordinary people.