Authors: Chrissy Johnston, PK Teacher; Sarah Ivany, Grade 6 Teacher
It is difficult to put into words what two weeks in the Masai Mara, located in the most rural part of Kenya, will do to change a person. This past summer, we had the opportunity to visit Kenya and see firsthand the result of our school’s recent fundraising efforts. Our school community enthusiastically embraced the Brick By Brick initiative and raised enough funds to build a school house in Kenya through the Free the Children organization. We are now fundraising to build a well through the Drop By Drop initiative.
Inspiring, life changing, emotional, and magical: these are just a few of the words we have used to describe our two week adventure in Africa. The important partnership that the Free the Children organization has with the very fragile communities in the Mara, is very apparent to all participants in their volunteer trips. Through their five pillars: Education, Clean Water, Alternative Income, Agriculture and Food Safety, it was amazing to see the hope, growth, and promise that some of the most remote and poor communities have received, and what is still to come in the future.
During our stay, we spoke to many students who attend the schools being built through this initiative. The inspiring girls from the Kisaruni Girls School spoke of their dreams of becoming teachers, child advocate lawyers, and bankers. These girls work very hard on their studies, and truly believe that it is an honour and a privilege to attend school.
As we reflect on our experience in Kenya, we will always remember the children running to our jeep yelling, “Jumbo”, which is a Kenyan greeting. The bright smiles of the children will live on in our hearts forever. Although they have few material possessions, they are very grateful for what they do have. Words will never be able to describe the incredible, heartwarming experience that we enjoyed in this most beautiful country.