Why I left my successful career to dig wells in Africa

Kristen had been a television executive in Hollywood for 10 years when she realized she wanted to change her life. She loved the creative aspect of her job, going onto the set and mixing with the actors and the producers. She found it very fun and social. However, she never felt like she was doing anything meaningful.

“The job just wasn’t in line with my spirit. I’d always had this dream of going to Africa. My last day of work, I packed up my office, went to my goodbye lunch and that afternoon I was on a plane to Kenya.”

Kenya was definitely one of the most challenging experiences of Kristen’s whole life. She had the opportunity to travel with a female tribal leader and went through out the bush and talked with other women. Day after day she heard the same story. “These women spend their entire lives looking for water.”

Women look for water all day, so it does not leave them anything thing else to do during the day, such as have a job, or care for their children. The women don’t have the ability to make money or to have freedom. They are oppressed and live under the rein of the men in their society.

“They don’t have the ability to make choices, such as saying yes to having sex with their husbands who are infected with HIV. Because they don’t have water the kids don’t go to school. The list just goes on!”

After spending many weeks with these women and learning about their issue with water and not having it, Kristen decided she wanted to do something to help these women change their lives. “What I decided was that if I was going to do anything I was going to help them get water. So I came back to L.A. and started The Samburu Project which is a non-profit organization that helps bring these people water.”

Since starting this project, every aspect of her life has changed. Kristen used to make money, and now she doesn’t. She has had to scale back, in order to run a non-profit organization and hold four other odd jobs all at the same time.

“I realize now I wasn’t unhappy with my life in Los Angeles, I just didn’t feel like I was doing what I was supposed to do, what my spirit was called to do. Now, I feel like I am doing what I was supposed to do. In [America] we have the luxury of following our dreams…and that is what I am doing, my dream.”

If you would like to get involved, check out the following resources.

The Great Project
Kristen came up with the Samburu Project after traveling through Kenya. The project aims to build 25 wells in parched Samburu, Kenya.

Give Til It Feels Good
You’ve got that giving gene in you, and Just Give helps you feel even better about your generosity with inspiring stories of change and challenges to do more.

Find Your Purpose
Volunteer Match can pair you with causes that are close to your heart and close to your home.

One Child At a Time
The Children’s Hunger Relief Fund works to provide safe drinking water and meals to impoverished children all over the world.