I'm Steve Pooley, I'm a bushcraft and survival expert and I'm about to head out to Kenya to volunteer for a month with a Dorset based charity, The Word Forest Organisation.
It's run by Tracey and Simon West, passionate environmentalists, who plant trees, build classrooms and facilitate education in impoverished communities in drought-ridden Kenya.
Their forests are expanding, biodiversity is starting to flourish once more and animals are returning to the area for the first time in years, but it's challenging sourcing clean water to hydrate the community, so they can take care of the trees.
One of my primary tasks is teaching the people of Boré how to make personal water purification systems from locally sourced, natural materials.
It'll enable them to draw water from nearby rivers that are close by but filthy dirty and riddled with water borne diseases. The alternative involves women walking several miles through the bush, two hours before dawn and carrying 20 litres home in a container on their heads: watch CEO Tracey West trying to do it.
These personal water purification units will also become life savers in the event of another massive flood, like the ones experienced in March 2018, when the long rains arrived a month early. The floods displaced 20,000 people from Boré, the heart of the Word Forest's project; they took lives, washed away homes and livelihoods and left everyone surrounded by seriously contaminated water, with nothing safe to drink to keep them alive.
These floods are unlikely to be their last and they came after several years of Kenya being gripped by deadly drought as a result of climate change.
I'll help them build larger water purification systems at high points throughout the community too and I'd be grateful if you could help me raise vital funds to sustain the community. The world needs trees, now more than ever before and tropical forests grow at the fastest rate of any on the planet, removing a huge amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and helping mitigate the devastating effects of climate change - we need to help the people working so hard to keep the trees alive and tend the forest.
Any spare money from my fundraising will be converted into building materials for new classrooms and lots of new trees.
I'm retired now, but I spent 22 years in the army. I've worked in Bosnia with NGO's helping with the resettlement of refugees and I also did two tours in Belize working in line with anti-drug forces, helping communities in a variety of ways and also secured heritage Mayan architectural sites too. I'm still very active in my retirement and I like to teach the lifesaving skills that I've learned in extreme environments, to help dedicated charities and great organisations like The Word Forest Organisation.
About Word Forest:
The Word Forest team take a holistic approach to reforestation by looking after the human needs of the people who are taking care of the trees. It's a win-win situation and not only are they mitigating climate change but the commodities from the forest are also lifting the communities out of poverty. See www.WordForest.org for more information, or watch this short animation to find out why they're called Word Forest!