MapAid Summer Party, July 2022

As the summer draws to a close, we look back  to Saturday 2nd July when several MapAider’s managed to get together at Poynatts Manor, Henley-on-Thames, in the UK, to have a good lunch (that we self-funded) and discuss some of the activities of the past year.

These activities are all over the website, and include our new focus on mapping of water matters, in Africa.

Towards the end of lunch, the Rupert Douglas-Bate made a short speech to thank our volunteers and associates and here is an edited version:

Not all could come, we are based in several countries.

MapAid Summer Lunch

 

I just want to make a very short speech, nothing fancy, but simply to thank you all, my friends, for standing with MapAid, especially over the past 2 and half years, during Covid.

Starting and running a charity is a team effort, and you have shown yourselves to be kind, committed, and professional and you need to be thanked.

What we are doing is not easy. The qualities of patience, constructive ideas, and openness are vital, in helping us work as a team.

Some of MapAid’s friends have given time for free as they have day jobs. Others have given what they could and charged mates rates, but whatever you as friends have given, MapAid is grateful.

There are so many good people, whose names could be read out, who in the past couple of years have given amazing inputs and support, sometimes in large amounts and sometimes in small ways, but all of them meaningful.

 

Thank you so much.

 

Why are we starting this charity ? Let me tell you a short story, from my own experience.

I was in Bosnia in 1994 working as a water engineer project leader, to put right some of the damage to water supplies caused by the war, and therefore attended water meetings attended by local & international leaders concerned with implementing & mending water supply.

One day at such a meeting, an argument broke out, between two fine upstanding soldiers, from very different countries in Asia, about a village that fell at the fuzzy border between their humanitarian areas.

It felt to me that this was a problem that a map could have been used to solve, at the very first moment they met. The border could have been drawn and agreed at that early moment, then the village and their need for a working water system would not have fallen down the gap.

Fast forward to today, MapAid has just completed a strategic review and will be focusing on mapping through a Water outlook.

Our focus for the foreseeable future will be to map in two project areas, namely…

  • Ethiopia, and shallow ground water mapping using an AI system, to improve irrigation by small farmers, and double their food supply. We will work with local partners.
  • Malawi, and mapping of simple but effective soil water conservation, to support small farmers, and again double their food supply. Again, we will work with local partners

All this requires patience. It reminds me of a line from the poem “If by Rudyard Kipling”, let me read it out….

 

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

I will read again…

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

 

We all know that sometimes along the way, things go south, and everything can seem lost, but I am reminded of another line from another poem, “Prospice by Robert Browning”, this is what it says….

 

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,

I’ll repeat…

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,

And finally this leads to some words from a third poem

Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy”, let me read these too…

We are the music makers,

    And we are the dreamers of dreams,

Yet we are the movers and shakers

    Of the world for ever, it seems.