Our President, Ali Cheloei, recently went to Kenya with Lifestraw, whose mission is to provide safe drinking water for all. In the middle of this national emergency, he wanted to share his life-changing experience with our Abbey Remodel family and friends in hopes of inspiring self-reflection, collaboration, and love within our wonderful community.

ABBEY REMODEL x LIFESTRAW: KENYA TRIP


“We’re experiencing an extremely difficult time in our world. With the Coronavirus pandemic, many people are self-quarantining and working from home. A lot of people are losing their jobs. This is extremely heartbreaking. At Abbey Remodel, we are doing whatever we can to help our community of clients, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. We are also taking this time to reflect on how connected we are. A virus doesn’t care whether you are rich or poor, or what nationality you are; It can affect anyone of any race, any background. In the same way a virus can spread, unseen to the naked eye, so can love and goodwill. 

I saw that love firsthand during my trip to Kenya with Lifestraw. We were on a weeklong campaign installing “Lifestraw Communities” in groups. Designed for harsh conditions, emergencies and humanitarian work, the LifeStraw Community is their highest capacity, longest lasting, ultra-durable water purifier. The Community meets the highest requirements of the World Health Organization and the US EPA, removing virtually all viruses, bacteria, parasites and microplastics from water. A LifeStraw Community has a lifetime capacity of approximately 26,000 gallons that allows it to serve 100 people for 3 to 5 years. 

We visited three schools in isolated neighborhoods outside of Kenya each day. At each school, we walked with the kids to the local water source to fetch the water and brought it back to get purified. Not only did we train the kids how to use the Lifestraw Community, but we got to know them. These kids have very little resources but were so full of life and hope. They live on very little, but they have so much. I learned so much from my time with them. Little did I know that a few short weeks later, the world would be in this current state. My experience in Kenya greatly impacted how I am facing this national emergency. Instead of thinking selfishly, we have to think of our community. We have to think of humankind. We are not in this alone, and we have to do what we can to help, because no one is immune. Donate your time – many kids who are now home from school have no one to watch them while their parents are at work. Donate perishable goods – many people are getting laid off and do not have enough to feed their families. And most importantly, stay safe, stay healthy, and keep spreading love.”

-Ali

To learn more about Lifestraw and their mission, please visit their website: https://www.lifestraw.com

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