At this wonderful time of year, we sometimes forget how fortunate we really are. We are surrounded by loved ones, give gifts to our friends and family, and occasionally over-indulge at the dinner table. But during this festive season, it is also important to think about children in less developed countries, and the difficulties communities have in providing an education for their children. Here at Rowntree, we have made it our mission to help those less fortunate by raising money to help children in Kenya gain the skills and qualifications they need to succeed.
When we began this school year, we were about $1200 away from reaching our goal to build a school house in Kenya. For our second Halloween Dance-A-Thon, we asked for pledges of support, and as usual our wonderful RMS school community delivered! Our fundraising total was over $4700! This means we have surpassed our $10,000 goal, and our school is ready to be built! Way to go, Rowntree!
We have been partnered with Free the Children for just over one year, and in that time we have already raised enough money to build a school. On November 5th, we received news from Free the Children that our school is to be built in the Kenyan community of Kipsongol. After hearing the news, we looked for information about the people who live in Kipsongol, and we are very excited to be working with this community.
Kipsongol is a small rural community of 2000 people, located about 185km from Nairobi. Their economy is based almost exclusively on livestock. In 1996, the parents in the community began the Kipsongol Primary School under a tree in a nearby forest, and then fundraised as a community to acquire land and build eight temporary classrooms. They believe strongly in the power of education and have a renewed hope for their future. Free the Children began working in Kipsongol in 2012 to help convert the 8 temporary school houses into permanent structures. This was a huge undertaking, for the village has over 800 school aged children—there is definitely lots of work to be done!
The reason we have been partnered with Kipsongol is that there is no well in the village. Children must walk over 15 km each way to gather water from the nearest water source – this takes 6-8 hours. It is the responsibility of women and girls to collect the water, so girls can’t attend classes and mothers can’t make sure their kids go to school. Rowntree will be working to build a well, to be located next to our new schoolhouse. This will allow more children to attend school, and return to their homes with clean water.
For more information on our Kenyan community, please visit:
Once again, the generosity of the RMS school community shines through, and what better way to share than to help with schooling, and “Nurturing Tomorrow’s Achievers” even in Kipsongol, Kenya!