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June 19, 2023

A Journey of Compassion: Transforming Lives in Wajir County, Kenya

A Journey of Compassion: Transforming Lives in Wajir County, Kenya

June 19, 2023

A Journey of Compassion: Transforming Lives in Wajir County, Kenya

A Journey of Compassion: Transforming Lives in Wajir County, Kenya

A Journey of Compassion: Transforming Lives in Wajir County, Kenya

Being part of a small team that had the opportunity to visit Wajir County in Kenya was an incredibly fortunate experience. This remarkable journey emerged from a distressing situation, where caring and passionate individuals, including influencer Abdulsalam and Tone Trump, partnered with UMR to extend help and assistance, as well as raise funds for the less fortunate residing in challenging conditions.

Accompanied by the remarkable and selfless Jae Deen, our trip was brief but filled with purpose. After almost 24 hours of air travel from the United States to Kenya, we had a mere three hours of rest before embarking on our journey to Wajir County. Without delay, our program commenced, engaging us for two consecutive days of impactful activities.


Education and Water Initiatives:


Our first visit took us to an elementary school constructed by UMR, catering to over 300 students from four villages within a 5-kilometer radius. This secure and fenced school featured an adjacent deep borehole, equipped with solar power to provide clean water not only to the students but also to the livestock passing through the area. This school is a crucial component of UMR’s “Adopt a Village” program, which aims to establish education as the guiding light for scattered communities. Additionally, the school doubles as a center for health services, water access, and other essential activities in this remote and arid region.

Ongoing Development:


While the school and its immediate amenities marked the first phase of the program, UMR’s efforts are far from complete. Currently under construction, the second phase involves extending pipelines from elevated water tanks, which have a storage capacity of 50,000 liters. These pipelines will supply water to the four neighboring villages, ensuring a sustainable water source for their residents. Prior to UMR’s intervention, these villages relied on temporary shallow wells, saving them from undertaking arduous four-hour journeys in search of water. However, the temporary wells are susceptible to drying up, further emphasizing the urgency and significance of UMR’s ongoing efforts.


Healthcare Collaboration:


Notably, the school also houses a clinic and dispensary center, set to operate in collaboration with local county authorities. This collaboration aims to provide essential healthcare services to the community, addressing the pressing medical needs of the residents in Wajir County.


Our visit to Wajir County, Kenya, proved to be a transformative experience. Witnessing the impact of UMR’s initiatives firsthand, we were humbled by the dedication and compassion of everyone involved. From the construction of the elementary school to the provision of clean water and healthcare facilities, UMR‘s comprehensive approach is making a tangible difference in the lives of the less fortunate. As we reflect on our journey, we are reminded of the power of collaboration, empathy, and a shared commitment to uplift communities in need.

These heartwarming experiences were captured in positive pictures, showcasing the impact of our visit to Wajir. While distributing sweets to the students aged 4-12 years old, Tone Trump noticed that not all of them were dressed in clean school uniforms. Touched by this observation, he expressed his desire to provide uniforms for all 150 students.

Jae Deen, who had previously visited the area six times and had already been to the “Elmi Elementary School” twice, ensured that we had an opportunity to meet with the parents and guardians. Sitting with the men and women on the parents’ board, we listened attentively as Tone Trump and Jae Deen requested them to express their needs and concerns. Our purpose was to understand and address these issues effectively.

Our next destination was Elmi Village, nestled four miles away amidst the shade of Acacia tortillis trees, commonly found in Wajir County. These acacia trees are well-suited to arid environments and provide vital benefits such as shade and windbreaks for the local communities.

To our surprise, a mobile health clinic was present during our visit to the village. This clinic was the result of a partnership between UMR and the county government, aiming to provide essential healthcare services to remote areas. Children and infants received check-ups and vaccinations, while mothers and expectant mothers benefited from health and nutrition services.

Numerous requests were made during our interactions, and we assured the villagers that we would address each one. UMR has become synonymous with meeting their needs, be it necessities or additional luxuries. Among the requests, the most essential and crucial was the need for public lavatories/toilets. Tone Trump promptly responded by promising to sponsor twenty sets of toilets, each costing around two thousand dollars. However, the logistics and maintenance of these facilities remained a concern.

Our third stop brought us to the Wajir County government, where UMR, as a trusted and longstanding partner, was welcomed with open arms. We had the privilege of meeting the governor of Wajir, who expressed gratitude for UMR’s contributions and assistance to the people of Wajir over the past eight years.

Subsequently, we held a meeting with the Dr. Habiba, the Minister of Health Wajir County, where Her Excellency and Dr. Dahir, (the CEO of Wajiir Referral Hospital expressed their appreciation and gratitude for UMR’s invaluable contributions. They acknowledged the donation of over “Eight Hundred thousand dollars’ worth of hospital equipment and medicines imported directly from the United States”. Additionally, they recognized the twice-annual cataract and hearing aids missions, which provided vital support to thousands of patients. Tone Trump and Jae Deen played instrumental roles in helping get donations to cover the costs of some of these missions through their influential efforts.

Concluding our visit to the county, we donated additional equipment to enhance the functionality of our mobile clinics, including foldable stretchers/beds and chairs and tables for use in remote locations.

Despite three days of continuous travel and activities since leaving the USA, our determination to visit more places propelled us to two additional locations. We observed two out of twenty-six shallow wells that now provide water to numerous villages. Previously, villagers had to embark on eight-hour journeys to fetch water from the nearest sources, often carrying it on the backs of donkeys. Now, they have access to water right in the heart of their communities.

As the evening approached, around six o’clock, we settled in for the night, eagerly anticipating another day of assessing the needs of the people and villages in Wajir County. The journey had already been filled with touching encounters and inspiring moments, fueling our commitment to making a lasting difference in the lives of these communities.

Starting our second day, we embarked on an early drive of thirty miles to a village called Al-Ghaghara, located twenty-five miles east of Wajir. The journey took us through the desert on a rough road, accompanied by a security force provided by the county to ensure our safety.

In these rural villages, the communities are informed of the weekly mobile clinic visits through messengers, local radio broadcasts, and set timetables. This visit was to another village among the thirty-seven villages sponsored by UMR in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Wajir.

Tone Trump and Jae Deen continued to bring joy to the children in these villages, distributing sweets and delighting the kids who had never experienced such treats before. It was heartwarming to witness their interactions, as they sat down, unwrapped the sweets, and shared in the joy of the moment.

However, our purpose extended beyond distributing sweets and making children happy, although that alone would have been significant. We wanted to understand the needs of the men and women in the village, and the answer became clear: they needed toilets. Toilets have become a major program for UMR, Tone Trump, and Jae Deen to address.

The remainder of the day was spent visiting various locations to assess the best strategies for providing water, toilets, clinics, and education to the region based on the people’s needs.

Returning to our hotel, an important meeting awaited us. Around twenty-five representatives from different communities had gathered to express their gratitude to UMR for establishing and sponsoring six feeding centers in different locations. During one of the most challenging drought periods the county had ever faced, UMR provided daily meals to over six thousand people for three months. The young and old, who had lost their livestock and means of support, benefited from this initiative. Although praise was not our intention, it was inspiring to hear about the success of UMR and the influencers, led by Jae Deen and with the participation of many fantastic influencers, in raising funds for these feeding centers.

One elderly lady shared her story, revealing that she and her grandchildren had gone without a meal for two days. When she learned about the feeding center sponsored by UMR, she was carried there, grateful for being saved after losing all their animals due to the drought. She expressed the need for UMR to continue operating these feeding centers since there are unemployed individuals who lack the means to feed themselves. UMR is collaborating with another local organization called Northern Eastern Youth Development “NEYD to address this need and establish a permanent center for providing food assistance.

As the day ended, we prepared for our departure to Nairobi. UMR wanted to seize the opportunity to meet with our partner, Caritas, a Christian church, and organization. Together with the German government, we are developing one of the most unique projects of its kind in Kenya—an agricultural program called “Hydroponics farming” aimed at empowering single young mothers and widows to become self-reliant and provide income for their families.

Our next visit took us to {Eastlight}, also known as Little Somalia, in the heart of Nairobi. We visited a school called Taysiir Islamic center, UMR sponsors schools and supports less fortunate children and their families by providing books, educational materials, and health insurance to cover their healthcare needs. Additionally, UMR sponsors over one hundred and fifty orphans and their mothers, ensuring they have access to healthcare through health insurance.

Everywhere we go, the need is great, and we recognize that we cannot do it alone. The generosity of our donors and the hard work and dedication of our influencers, such as Tone Trump and Jae Deen, alongside all the kind-hearted participants who joined UMR to raise awareness and funds for these noble causes, make a significant impact in transforming lives for the better.

During our time in one of the villages, a touching moment occurred when a ten-year-old boy with severe mobility issues in both legs crawled out of his hut made of hay and straw. Witnessing his condition brought tears to our eyes, but we were determined to help. Plans were made to assist him and his family in traveling to Nairobi to seek treatment for his condition.

Tone Trump, the man with a big heart, had some remarkable experiences throughout our journey. Here are a few things you may not have known about him:

Upon arriving in Nairobi with British Airways, Tone found himself without his bag and clothes after a twenty-four-hour journey. With no shops open late at night to purchase new clothes, we ventured to a small market in Wajir before our program began. Tone bought two “Jalabiyh, Thobe” traditional local attire, and wore one of them in the shop. He showed incredible resilience and adaptability throughout the trip.

Tone’s compassion was evident when he spotted an elderly man wearing torn clothes. Despite the language barrier, he reached out to the man and took him by the hand. A few minutes later, we realized that Tone had given the old man his own clothes. Tone selflessly changed into his sleeping pants and a tee-shirt, putting the needs of others before his own comfort.

On our way to the airport, as we were leaving Wajir, Tone suddenly screamed for the driver to stop by the side of the road. We initially thought he might be feeling unwell or needing a restroom break. However, we soon discovered that Tone had left all his clothes, including t-shirts and shoes, by the roadside for someone in need. He acted on his instinct to help others, even if it meant sacrificing his own belongings.

Jae Deen, the wise and observant young man, made a significant impact during our journey. He displayed thoughtfulness, respect, and immense talent, including his ability to speak multiple languages. Jae Deen had already planned upcoming trips and mapped out a comprehensive plan to help the people of Wajir and extend support to Somalia. His dedication was evident as he continued to share his experiences with his followers and dedicated friends around the world, using his platform to raise awareness and inspire others.

The icing on the cake! I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the individuals who truly made this endeavor a resounding success—the planners and the hardworking individuals who tirelessly worked behind the scenes to organize the most challenging aspects; the logistics and the planning. Special thanks to Brother Abdulghani Ismael, our Horn of Africa Director in Kenya, who played a vital role in all these programs on behalf of UMR.

I would also like to express our gratitude to the remarkable media team, “Dream Digital,” and their exceptional leaders. “Brother Dawood”, who holds a special place in our hearts as he embraced Islam by the blessing of Allah (SWT) during our previous influencers’ visit to Wajiir. Brother Musa, through his Islamic lessons, values, and lectures, made a significant impact on David’s journey with UMR in the past few years. I also extend my thanks to the rest of the media team members who accompanied Brother Dawood, including our brothers Kevin and Ian. Their outstanding work in capturing footage, photos, and videos has beautifully documented this visit.

Once again, a heartfelt thank you to our Kenya board, Mohammad Elmi and brother Abdulbari Abdulrahman and to everyone involved for their unwavering commitment and contribution to the success of our mission.

I am fortunate to have been in the company of these two humanitarians—individuals, influencers, Tone Trump, and Jae Deen, both with boundless passion and caring hearts. Their dedication and compassion have made a lasting impact, and I express my deepest gratitude to both Tone Trump and Jae Deen for their unwavering commitment and care.

Muhieldin Salih
June 16, 2023

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