Happy New Year from our team in Kenya

Where have ME to WE and Free The Children staff been for the past 2 weeks? In Ecuador- Amazon and Kenya! We spent our holiday connecting with our partner communities overseas and checking out Free The Children development projects on the ground. We saw firsthand how continued support from amazing youth (like you!) is resulting in beautiful schools, stocked classrooms, full bellies and a concrete path to sustainable change. From the lush Amazon rainforest and the sprawling Kenyan savannah, we want to say thank you and wish you all the best in 2015!

Check out some of our staff trip highlights from Kenya! And don’t forget to check back next week for staff highlights from Ecuador!

Kim’s Highlights from Kenya


A Water Walk with Mama Jane


Stepping into the shoes of youth participants, we visited Mama Jane’s house near Kisaruni All Girls High School to learn about her way of life and take a water walk to the nearby river. After filling our plastic jugs with water, we hoisted them on our backs, fitting a rope across the crown of our heads. Hiking up the steep, rocky pathway was difficult with 50 lbs of water, but nearby children made it a little easier as they joined us with smiles and laughter (and a few even received piggybacks from those not carrying water!). We also saw the bore holes that Free The Children drilled to provide clean water to the communities—a stark contrast to the dirty water we hauled previously.

Building a Boys’ School

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At the build site near camp, we laced up our work boots to help with the foundation of the new boys’ school. From pick-axing and laying bricks, to cutting and tying rebar, we worked hard under the hot Mara sun, celebrating the removal of any stubborn boulders with impromptu dances.

Touring the nearby Kisaruni school gave us a glimpse of what our efforts would eventually create: beautiful, bright classrooms constructed from materials made to withstand the elements and keep students safe.

The skeleton of an older school still stands at the Kisaruni site, made of sticks, mud and dung that once housed students and even animals taking refuge from storms. It almost looked like a foreign object, when compared to the beautiful, sturdy structure of the Kisaruni All Girls School. We couldn’t help but smile when every Kisaruni girl proudly showed us her own desk, books and school supplies.

Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School Graduation


I think the best part of my trip was attending the Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School graduation ceremony. Nelly Furtado and Hannah Simone, both heavily involved in Free The Children’s education pillar, presented the grads with Rafiki Friend Chains to honour their achievement. Then, a few Free The Children and ME to WE staff sang Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours,’ accompanied by a ukulele, to the new grads!

Magical doesn’t even begin to describe our staff trip experience. It was incredibly rewarding to witness how our work in the office is contributing to life-changing impacts on the ground–just like your fundraising efforts! Meeting our Kenyan staff and connecting with locals allowed us to learn more about our volunteer projects and really understand how important it is for youth like you to participate on these trips. If you’re looking to carve out your travelling skills while contributing to real global change, then check out our ME to WE trips and choose your own adventure!

– Kim, ME to WE Writer

Find out more about ME to WE Trips to Kenya/Tanzania here!