Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers is #CallingAllRelatives !!
Why it’s important to donate:
If you are one of our Distant Relatives who has had, or dreamed of, the opportunity to experience our incredible Ecolodge in Kenya, we ask for your support with any contributions during this COVID-19 crisis.
The dream and intention is for Distant Relatives to be an inspiring experimental model for a more sustainable and more conscious society. At a time of climate emergency and growing social divide across the world, Distant Relatives aims to bring a message of optimism and inspiration, as well as to stimulate the local economy through all of our operations and activities.
Our philosophy has always been to work around nature, rather than making nature work around us: all of our accommodations are made by local people with local materials and intertwine with the surrounding environment, connect us with the natural world and minimize our footprint wherever possible.
Distant Relatives is made of 30+ wonderful staff, most of whom are from the immediate local area with near to no current income and very little resources/savings. There’s nothing the entire team would love more than to ensure we can continue to welcome all of you beautiful people for the decades to come.
Today, Distant Relatives is #CallingAllRelatives as we are in trouble and we could really use your help. We’ll make sure to give back to you and to the community ten-fold, in part with rewards listed below and in part in hugs, thanks, love and big vibes from the entire Distant Relatives team.
We hope to welcome you back to your second home in Kenya soon!
Love from your Distant Relatives.
Who is Distant Relatives:
Sitting above the emerald waters of Kilifi Lagoon is Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers: a community hub, an eccentric ecolodge, a backpacking haven, an experimental model of conscious living, located in Kilifi - coastal Kenya’s hidden gem.
The name “Distant Relatives” encapsulates the central principle of the project: “We’re all Distant Relatives”. From the beginning in 2012, Distant Relatives immediately became a community hub for Kilifi connecting distant travellers with our lovely local community. The aim was to bring together humans from the surrounding areas as well as from all around the world to learn, share, exchange and inspire one another; to make them all feel immediately and wholeheartedly welcome, as well as to build lasting relationships based on an understanding and appreciation of community and sustainability.
Our dream was for Distant Relatives to also become an inspiring experimental model for more sustainable and more conscious living. At a time of climate emergency and growing social divide across the world, Distant Relatives aims to bring a message of optimism and inspiration. From Permaculture gardens to easily replicable (and many times replicated!) custom dry compost toilet systems, planting and giving away hundreds of indigenous trees, bi-annual Permaculture Design Courses, natural grey water treatment systems, optimized water harvesting, the continuous upcycling of hundreds of tyres, thousands of bottles and countless other small and large experimental projects exploring how to minimize our footprint as humans, Distant Relatives wants to continue participating in creating a more sustainable Kilifi for future travellers and locals alike.
Just a 60km drive away from the bustling streets of Mombasa and the tourist center of Malindi, Kilifi offers a refreshing taste of pristine, untouched coastline. Start your mornings with the smell of freshly brewed Kenyan Coffee, sunrise yoga and a dip in the pool. Fill your days sunbathing on Bofa Beach, reef snorkelling in crystal clear waters, exploring nearby historical Gede Ruins or playing Beach Volleyball at sunset. Dream without falling asleep--at night enjoy a moonlit dhow sail, beach bonfires, live music and a starry bioluminescent sea.
As a traveler's haven, Distant Relatives offers a pocket-friendly alternative to other coastal accommodations - from camping under the stars, airy dormitories, safari tents, private rooms and spacious en suite Bandas with their own private gardens and courtyards. Our philosophy has always been to work around nature, rather than making nature work around us: all of our accommodations are made by local people with local materials and intertwine with the surrounding environment, connect us with the natural world and minimize our footprint wherever possible.
Our financial situation:
Our running costs have been minimized to the absolute maximum and despite that, we are already into debt simply trying to keep our property secure, do damage control through the stormy rainy season, and cover our on-going administration and operational costs.
Despite our efforts to minimize costs to the absolute bare minimum and some provider’s generosity to give us time for unpaid bills and even waived bills, Distant Relatives still requires security staff and a minimum of gardening, maintenance and admin presence, as well as many other expenses resulting in expenses upwards of 520,000 Ksh (4,500 Eur) per month. Having already spent every bit of savings we had and having accumulated a debt of approximately 1,630,000 Ksh (about 14,200 Eur) and aware that we will need a minimal capital to restart operations, we are seeking to raise 3,000,000 Ksh (30,000 Eur) to be able to get us out of this dark tunnel and back onto the shiny road:
- Food relief packages to all staff and their families.
- Small monetary contributions to all staff sent on unpaid leave.
- Wages for the few remaining skeleton staff
- NSSF: Social Security for employees.
- NHIF: Health insurance for employees.
- Water bill (because some staff live on site, to maintain gardens and swimming pool).
- Power bills since February.
- Security company bills.
- Food for our animals (Mowgly, chickens & ducks).
- Business Licenses, our co-Founder’s Work Permit, some unpaid salaries, Online Travel Agent bills and software licenses.
- Maintenance (collapsed roof; new door, window bars and fence to fix to reinforce security since a recent semi-violent robbery incident by desperate thieves)
- Unpaid bills (accounting, pending supplier invoices since the close of our business)
Our goal is also to ensure we can continue our operations once again, as our business model is designed to work with hundreds of partners throughout the local community to ensure that our business is stimulating the local economy in numerous ways, both directly and indirectly. There is nothing more we wish for, than to continue operating, educating, inspiring and learning from and alongside our local and global community for years to come!
What we would like to offer you:
In exchange for your contribution, we would like to give back to you both as much as we can and as soon as we can! All of this prizes will be immediately redeemable as soon as we are able to re-open Distant Relatives!
- 50 Eur - Pizza & a Cocktail of your choice on A Friday night
- 100 Eur - Two Nights* for 2 in a Banda with Private Courtyard and bottle of wine.
- 200 Eur- A Distant Relatives T-shirt, Two pizzas, two cocktails, and Free entrance to all of Distant Relatives 2020 and 2021 events**.
- 500 Eur - Two Nights* for you and 2 friends in accommodation of your choosing and Sunset Dinner on Traditional Swahili dhow for 3 (Swahili food) and a bottle of wine.
- 800 Eur- Two Nights* for you and 5 friends in accommodation of your choosing with a dedicated driver and our Van for the duration of your stay to take you around town shopping or to the beach and a trip to explore Malindi, Watamu, Gedi ruins or Arabuko Sokoke forest.
- 1000 Eur - 10% discount off our next Permaculture Design Certification Course and free accommodation for the two-week period in an ensuite Banda with private courtyard*.
- 2000 Eur- A limited edition artwork by Katy Kidd and your own little secret Private Dinner with two bottles of wine for you and your 5 friends in an area of your choosing (gardens, lounge, beach or afloat on a dhow) as well as accommodation of your choice for two nights*.
- 5,000 Eur - Two nights* for 10 friends in accommodation of your choosing with a dedicated driver and our Van and 500$ Bar & Food Tab.
- 10,000 Eur - Your private gathering/ party: Exclusive use of Distant Relatives for 24 hours* with a 1,000 Eur Bar & Food Tab with accommodation for you and up to 30 friends. Inclusive of our projector, sound system*** and access to all games within the facilities, as desired.
* Outside of Peak Season and according to Availability
** Exclusive of Kilifi New Year festival and Retreats/ Permaculture Design Certification courses.
*** Noise and time levels will need to be respectful of our dear neighbourhood
- Franziska Fabian
Fundraising team: Distant Relatives Team (21)
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