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Journey to Kenya

Do you like school? What is your favorite subject - besides recess? For many African children, especially girls, going to school is a luxury their family can't afford. The children are needed at home to work. Even many children who go to school do not have enough pencils or paper. What would your school be like if you had no paper or pencils?

For generations and generations the Masai (ma-SI) people of Kenya were a nomadic people who didn't live in any one place. They moved as much as 12 miles a day to find water for their animals. If your family is always on the move, it is hard to go to school. So the Masai children rarely went to school.

That all changed when Church World Service helped some Masai to improve their methods of collecting and storing water. Now with water nearby, their children are able to go to school. One mother said, "The water is helping so much. Now my child can go to school, and I can even wash their school uniform."

Girls at school in Kenya
Photo: © Annie Griffiths for CWS

In the school pictured at right, four teachers educate almost 250 children. These Masai girls consider themselves especially lucky. Schooling is often denied to girls in many traditional African cultures. CWS works hard to convince parents that schooling is important for all their children - girls and boys.

Children in North America have pitched in to help these schools. They have decorated cloth bags for School Kits. Inside the bags they put pencils, paper, and other supplies needed to help make learning possible. Children helping children - a great idea, don't you agree?

The Masai children in the story go to school and work hard at home to help their families, particularly the girls. It reminds me of another proverb from Africa, "If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family." What do you think? I think education makes everyone's life sweeter - it's like honey!

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