Love where you live!
Raising Money For Kenyan Friends
LA MESA -- Last night, a fantastic troop of La Mesa fifth grade girls from Rolando Elementary raised money to bring water to a school in Kenya. The Kenyan school, Peter Kariuki Primary School, also has a scout troop. But their scouts live very different lives than our scouts.
I visited Peter Kariuki Primary in February of this year. About 70 percent of the children in the area near the Kenyan school are malnourished, and many school kids eat just one meal a day. The school wishes they could provide lunch, but they cannot afford it. The school is located in Thika, a city in Central Kenya with a high rate of HIV/AIDS, so many children are orphans as a result. Some live in child-headed households and some must earn money by working in a quarry after school. Many do not even have shoes. The nearest source of water is 3 miles away.
Four La Mesa Girl Scouts earned their Bronze Awards by learning about the lives of their Kenyan counterparts - even trying their hands at carrying buckets of water on their heads. Then, last night, the kids joined me in raising money and awareness for the kids in Kenya. Our goal was raising $3000 to buy rainwater harvesting equipment so the children will no longer need to walk 3 mi to fetch water. We raised $431.
The event was held at La Mesa First United Methodist Church, which generously rented out their social hall and kitchen. Patrick Dean, father of one of the Girl Scouts and former candidate for La Mesa City Council, cooked a meal of Kenyan food using local, organic ingredients. Much of the food was donated from local farms, including Suzie's, Womach Ranch, Sage Mountain, and Dutch Farmers. People's Food Co-op in Ocean Beach, Divine Madman Coffee, and Tropical Heritage also donated food and Silent Auction items to the event.
The Girl Scouts displayed posters they made for their Bronze Awards, showing different aspects of life in Kenya - photos of the school they are helping, different ways people in Kenya get water, a description of a slum in Nairobi, photos of a farmers market in Kenya, and more. There was also a Silent Auction in which attendees could bid on handmade crafts from Kenya as well as a few other donated items.
The children of Peter Kariuki Primary in Kenya are heroes to me because they persist in their education even with empty bellies, long walks, and difficult physical labor. But the kids of La Mesa and the excellent parent who raised them to be such conscious young ladies are heroes as well for their hard work to help out fellow Scouts who live halfway around the world in such different circumstances. In addition to raising money, the event last night also raised awareness about poverty in Kenya and its causes and solutions.
Special thanks to Scout leader Carly Garrett and Chefs Patrick Dean, Jenny Goff, and Dana Palermo.