News and blogs Latest news Have your donations doubled - The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021 The Big Give Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest match funding campaign which, since 2008, has raised £156 million for UK charities. For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donations doubled! This year Excellent Development will be taking part in the Challenge once again, aiming to raise £100,000 to enable the construction of four sand dams in the drylands of southeast Kenya, where severe water scarcity is contributing to widespread poverty and threatening wildlife populations, to improve access to water, enhance food security and increase resilience to climate change. About Kenya The drylands of southeast Kenya are characterised by frequent and severe droughts. Climate change is intensifying these droughts, posing a real threat to rural communities and causing widespread food and water insecurity. During dry periods, women and children can spend up to 12hours daily fetching water, leaving them little time for farming or to go to school. Wildlife too are suffering the consequences. In 2017, 300 elephants in Tsavo National Park died as a direct result of a drought that year. About sand dams Sand dams offer a solution, providing year-round access to water, whilst also helping to provide healthier, more productive environments as they recharge groundwater levels, which in turn promotes vegetation regrowth and reduces soil erosion. Watch how sand dams work here: About our Big Give Christmas Challenge We will support 2 rural communities in Ukambani to build a sand dam and receive farming support. No longer reliant on unreliable rainfall patterns and with improved farming methods, farmers like Julianne (pictured) will be able to grow crops year-round, providing a source of food and income, even during dry seasons. “Before our sand dam project the water point was very far. Sometimes we would leave at 3am to reach the river in time to come back and continue with our tasks. We lost a lot of time and energy walking to that place. But now we have water very close, so instead I use that time to develop my farm.” Julianne Daudi, Chairwoman of Kavili community, southeast Kenya. A further 2 sand dams will be built in Tsavo National Park to improve water access for wildlife, and by recharging the water table, the sand dams will help protect and restore the habitat, reducing vulnerability to drought for the long-term. This year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge is taking place from midday on Tuesday 30th November until midday on Tuesday 7th December. For more details about our appeal, and to have your donation doubled when the appeal goes live in November, click on the link here. Please note that any donations made to our Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal must be made via the Big Give website using this link between midday on Tuesday 30th November until midday on Tuesday 7th December.