When I received the call from Aaron that “Kakenya” had won an award, I could not believe it. I was stunned speechless. When he went on to tell me that the award came with $25,000 that Vital Voices was going to donate to the school, I was overjoyed. The money would make a huge impact on our girls.
We had started building the dormitory, but we were $40,000 short, and Phase 1 must be completed by the first week in January. If construction was not finished, I worried that we would need to choose between not admitting the next group of girls and admitting them without housing. Just as bad would be having to send the 63 girls we currently house in an unused classroom-the one we need for the new students in January-back to their homes at the end of every day. We would no longer be a boarding school in a safe, sheltering environment. Most girls would need to walk long distances-up to 5 miles each way-and would be subjected to the dangers of animal and human predators, And for the 63 girls, the necessity of moving off campus would demoralize them. Although they have been sleeping two to a bed, they have been happy, self-confident girls with a growing sense of academic excellence and a higher self-esteem. Walking would necessitate lengthy chores at home and greatly diminished time for homework, along with the complete loss of extra-curricular activities on which our school prides itself.
The award has renewed hope that the new dormitory will be completed before the school reopens in January. With this $25,000, only $15,000 remains for our end-of-year fundraising efforts. Construction is continuing aggressively. Thank you so much, Aaron and Vital Voices, for your generosity. Our goal is for our girls to learn; play, and dream just like any other happy, healthy young girls elsewhere in the world. Because of this award we may extend our reach to include more girls in this dream from surrounding villages. Thank you for giving hope to the young girls in my homeland.
Read about the Kakenya Center for Excellence.