Stories From Around the World
Some experiences you just can’t fully describe.
It’s not until you’re on the ground, visiting communities on a ME to WE Trip that it all makes sense. Every dollar raised for Free The Children has new meaning. Every fundraiser, every moment of preparation means so much more. The first moment you shake hands with a community member or high-five a kid, the first day you arrive at the build site to work side-by-side with communities on a development project—that’s when you know why you’re there. Here are some of our favourite stories of positive change, collected on trips across the globe.
Narok South District, Kenya
Rhoda grew up in a small village in rural Kenya with her mom and seven younger brothers and sisters. She loved going to school. But sometimes, Rhoda’s mom couldn’t afford to pay for her daughter’s books, school supplies and uniforms. She was a farmer, and if it didn’t rain, she didn’t earn enough from her crops to pay for food for the family—let alone school supplies. Still, Rhoda was determined. Even though she sometimes wore the same uniform for years and had to share pencils with classmates, she completed primary school, getting top marks in every class. When she was 15, Rhoda started Grade 9 at Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School—the first all girls high school in the region, built in 2009 in partnership with Free The Children and local communities. Today, Rhoda dreams of becoming a doctor.
“I want to start to uplift our community.” – Rhoda
30-year-old Vardi used to spend her days throwing a rope and bucket into an open pit well to draw water for her children, who had nothing to drink while they were at school. But the well ran dry in summer months and was full of harmful pollutants the rest of the year—causing Vardi and her family to get sick and her children to miss school.
Then Vardi joined her friends and neighbours in building a new hand pump and water tank in the community, in partnership with Free The Children. This project gave more than 900 people access to clean water! Today, Vardi, her family, and the entire community are able to avoid waterborne illness and make sure that their children are all healthy enough to go to school.
“Clean water is very important for our family and community. If our water is not clean, it is very harmful.” – Vardi
El Trapiche, Nicaragua
Edward and his cousins used to be in danger every time they walked to school. The only path followed weather-worn cliffs and swamps that overflowed in the rain. The 12-year-old once had to save his cousin from drowning in a flash flood that dragged her into a river.
Today, there are safe, new classrooms in El Trapiche—built by the community alongside Free The Children. And for Edward, his cousin and their friends, this means they can spend their days focused on learning, instead of the walk home.
“We will be safe. Now we just worry about getting excellent grades.” – Edward
San Miguel, Ecuador
In San Miguel—a remote community high in the Andes Mountains—there was no high school until very recently. And because the cost of travelling to another city to attend high school was so high, many students, especially girls, didn’t continue their education past Grade 8.
Today, San Miguel has a new high school, built in partnership with Free The Children. 18-year-old Ana Lucia is proud to be among the first generation to attend high school in her community. She’s also part of a girls’ club led by Free The Children, where she learns skills like sewing, leadership, and even how to raise pigs! She used money earned from selling her handcrafts to buy a piglet, which she plans to sell one day to earn money toward her school fees. One day, Ana Lucia dreams of going to university and starting her own clothing business.
“I will be the first one in the family that finishes high school!” –Ana Lucia, 18
On a ME to WE Trip, you can be a part of the change and visit communities like these! Find out more and book your volunteer trip at metowe.com/youthtrips.