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Leisure, travel, charity events, social gatherings; the Island’s business community with their suits off. By the end of the project, strong friendships had been made. VOLUNTEERS FROM BARCLAYS SUPPORT COMMUNITY IN KENYA TO BUILD A SAND DAM Excellent Development Isle of Man, which supports rural dryland communities to escape water scarcity and poverty with sand dams (a rainwater harvesting technology), have built a  new sand dam in Kenya with the support of 20 volunteers from Barclays in the Isle of Man; providing water security for over 1,000 people. T he volunteers personally raised £1,000 each through various fundraising activities from bag packing in supermarkets and car washes, to race nights, raffl es and taking part in the annual Manx Telecom Parish Walk. The funds raised were used to build the new sand dam in Ukambani, southeast Kenya. Ukambani is a semi-arid region where approximately two thirds of the population lives below the poverty line, 66% of households lack access to safe water and women and children can spend 6-12 hours per day collecting water. The volunteers flew to Kenya to help the ‘Kyekuyu’ community to construct the sand dam over two weeks. Kyekuyu formed a ‘self-help group’ in 2017 with the aim of working together to solve the water crisis in the area. They started with 17 members, but have now grown to 61 members – all of whom worked to build the sand dam. Side by side, the Kyekuyu community members, volunteers, Excellent Development staff and the charity’s strategic partners in Kenya, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation, shovelled sand, mixed cement and carried rocks on the sand dam construction site. By the end of the project, strong friendships had been made and a sand dam had been completed that will provide clean water for the local community for generations to come. Simon Scott, managing director and country head of Barclays Isle of Man, said: “Having the opportunity to support the Kyekuyu community by building a sand dam that offers them lifelong access to safe water has been so rewarding. Excellent Development does such fantastic work in Africa supporting rural dryland communities to come together and help themselves. The volunteers were delighted to be part of this project which has given the people of Ukambani the tools to help transform their lives. “Barclays is proud to support colleagues who choose to volunteer for causes that have a positive impact in the community.  Barclays has a fantastic Colleague Community Programme that encourages employees to get involved in the causes they care about. It’s about giving our skills, time and energy to support communities – so we’re thrilled to have supported Excellent Development Isle of Man with this project.” David Jordan OBE, Chairman of Excellent Development IOM, said:“I know from my conversations with the volunteers that their experience of working alongside local people and hearing about what it is like to live without a safe and secure water supply has altered their world view forever. For members of the local community, knowing there are others who believe in them and who are reaching out to help them is equally powerful.” | 53