We started to think about what it must be like to be a 5 year old child living in Africa.
How must it feel watching other children around you die from waterborne diseases and dehydration? And when a child’s life is cut short, you can’t help but think about all the things they’ll never get to do — all the dreams they had that will never came true. It’s heartbreaking. This is when WATERisLIFE and DDB New York ad agency came up with the idea of the Kenya bucket list video story.
We wanted to find a young child and have him do all the things on his bucket list now — all the things he wanted to do in his life — in case he never made it to age 5. Nkaitole comes from a small Maasai village of about 200 people. There were so many things he’d never done before: He’d never ridden in a go-cart; he’d never been to a soccer stadium; and he’d never seen the ocean. This was actually going to be really tough on whomever WATERisLIFE took on this journey. It was a long trip with a lot of new and sometimes scary experiences.
We chose Nkaitole because his story was real. He is not an actor. We looked for a young child to take on this journey with energy, enthusiasm and, of course, courage. The result is a truly wonderful film. It is both happy and sad. Although it’s not sad to watch the images, the sadness comes when you start thinking about the fact that, based on statistics, Nkaitole might not make it to age 5.
Now after the video has been released, what has happened? Nkaitole’s village is his home and that’s where he wants to be, with his family and the things he knows. He loves his home; all he needed was clean water. And you did just that! With your support, Nkaitole now has clean water in his village — for lifetimes to come. This project has also helped to drill additional wells in neighboring Maasai villages and is providing hygiene and sanitation education and training. Nkaitole is a rock star in his village.
He now has all of these stories to tell about the world that few children or even adults from his community could ever experience. We left a special gift for Nkaitole, a book of Polaroid photographs that we took of him at each place we visited so that he could always remember this experience and tell stories of how he helped bring clean water to Maasai. Nkaitole jumped right in and helped drill the wells, showing what we each can do to make a tremendous impact on the lives of others.
As a result of what we all did together, Nkaitole and all the people in surrounding villages now have access to clean water. Nkaitole did make it to age 5 and has now been given an honor, Maasai Warrior, because of his bravery and deeds to help others. This true story is amazing not only because you can help bring clean water to those in need, but also because the impact you can make on lives runs much deeper. We promise to keep sharing stories of impact and how Nkaitole continues to make a difference in his community.