Given the incredible amount of devastating news that bombards us each day, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by negativity. But there is so much good news happening every single day in the world, and choosing to focus on it may just be the dose of positivity you need to remind yourself that goodness exists.
It is very easy to get caught up with looking out for ourselves — with worrying about not only our health and happiness, but our desires, too. But focusing on what we want in life, on a grand and small scale, can prevent us from ever reaching out a helping hand to boost the well-being of the environment around us. So when we see someone doing something selfless, it serves as an incredible reminder of the power of giving.
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua is an unsung hero we can all certainly appreciate. Known as the ‘water man,’ he brings water to the wild animals residing in the dry lands of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park. A pea farmer in his local village, he was struck by the idea after witnessing the devastating results global warming was having on Kenya’s land.
“We aren’t really receiving rain the way we used to,” he says. “So I started giving animals water because I thought, ‘If I don’t do that, they will die.’ ”
Every day, Mwalua spends a few hours driving to fill the dry watering holes with the water that doesn’t just quench the animals’ thirst, but quite literally saves their lives. Pulling up with a truck of 3,000 gallons of fresh water each time, he is greeted eagerly by the elephants, buffalo, antelope, and zebras.
“There is completely no water, so the animals are depending on humans,” Mwalua explains. “If we don’t help them, they will die.”
“Last night, I found 500 buffalo waiting at the water hole,” he notes. “When I arrived they could smell the water… They started drinking water while I was standing there. They get so excited.”
Recognizing his passion for wildlife, three American women set up a GoFundMe page for him. Though they have never met him or each other, the desire to keep the taps flowing is a common desire that keeps them connected.
“I visited Kenya December of 2015, though I didn’t know Patrick at the time or meet him,” says Angie Brown, who lives in Connecticut. Her visit revealed to her the unfathomable conditions both the country and its animals must endure. Upon learning of the most recent drought, Brown connected on Facebook with Cher Callaway from Utah and Tami Calliope from Vermont on the issue, ultimately teaming up with them to help Mwalua.
“His commitment to the wildlife and his heritage is unmeasurable,” says Callaway, who set up the GoFundMe page that has collected more than $18,000 from people around the world. “Even risking his own life in the middle of the night to deliver water to a dry water hole.”
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“We have all spent a lot of time getting the word out about the animals Patrick is helping and the GoFundMe has been a real success,” Brown says. “He needs so much more money though.”
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