In 1996 Mount Elgon Orchards (MEO), a large flower farm in the Chepchoina regio in Western Kenya (40 kilometers from Kitale), established a small clinic on the farm. MEO is owned and run by Bob and Bea Andersen, who found it important for their employees to have access to basis healthcare in the regio. MEO is dedicated to the production of roses for the export market known as: 'The Elgon Collection'. Today the farm employs about 900 employees which makes it the biggest employer in the Trans Nzoia District.
The initiator of the clinic, schooling projects and other activities of the Mount Elgon Trust is Dr. Bea Andersen - Schipper. She is a medical doctor from the Netherlands who worked for Medicins Sans Frontieres in both Africa and Asia for several years. When she met her husband Bob in Kenya in 1993, she moved to live on her husband's farm, Mount Elgon Orchards, and became actively involved in the wellbeing of the local community. With the help of a great number of partners, MEO have expanded their welfare projects considerably over the years, initially giving hope to employees and their children. For many years now the healthcare, education and welfare projects are no longer only focusing on the employees who are working on the farm, but the local community as a whole.
What began with a small clinic, over the years grew to a large corporate social responsibility foundation which is not only focusing on healthcare anymore, but also on educational and social development of the area. In order to ensure a sustainable development of the region, in 2006 Mount Elgon Trust (the Trust) was established in order to run all development projects initially started by MEO. The Trust was set up in order to further professionalize the structure of the increasing number of welfare projects and to secure a high ownership. The establishment of the Trust will guarantee the continuity of the activities and thus safeguard the well being of the community of Chepchoina.
Bea Andersen - Schipper
An employee from the farm who was tested for Malaria