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Comments (5)

1 Marjorie Madfis commented Permalink

Great blog Colleen. I am delighted to see the development in East Africa. I was there in 1992 on a photo safari (where I met my husband). We spent quite a bit of time with the Massai and the Samburu tribes. They want to maintain their way of life but also want education and health care. There seems to be great progress in 20 years.

2 Colleen Burns commented Permalink

Thank you, Marjorie. It seems like a dichotomy for sure, the Maasai's need/desire to stay relevant in business (think tourism/safaris), while holding tight to cultural practices and beliefs. But I think it's a really bold (and interesting) example of how modern technologies can be incorporated into more primitive cultures.

AWF became involved with AIDS education because so many families are being affected, and the destruction is taking its toll in so many areas. For example, if the head of household (typically the man) becomes infected and sick - it is up to the women to care for him, as well as the home. Resources become scarce for the family, and often times, basic survival tactics don't take land conservation into consideration. But also, the man may have worked on the safari - so losing him also means losing a wealth of knowledge and experience on the savannah.
Our role was a small piece of the puzzle - recommending effective ways to educate students about HIV and AIDS prevention. But it was probably some of the most important and fulfilling work that I have done so far in my career.

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