Today at noon, Kristin boarded a plane for Montreal, where she will meet up with her Me to We group, and fly off to Nairobi, Kenya (via Zurich). Free the Children -- the charity partner of Me to We -- was founded in 1995 by 12-year old Craig Keilberger to fight against child labour. Today, Free the Children is the world's largest network of "children helping children" through education.
Kristin will arrive in Nairobi on May 12 (it's a long trip), and the following day they will be heading hundreds of kilometres west to the community of Enelerai.
For the next 16 days, the group will be very busy building a school, going on a water walk with a local Mama, learning about local social issues in the Maasai area, beading with Mamas, playing with local children, going on sunrise hikes, learning Swahili, planting trees, going on a safari, listening to Maasai warriors tell their stories around the campfire, and getting traditional weapons training from the Maasai warriors.
Free the Children's "Adopt-a-Village" program is based on four pillars for community development: water, health, education, and alternative income. They have been operating in Kenya since 1999, and are now actively involved in outreach and development in many Maasai and Kipsigis communities.
- 26% of Kenyan children aged five to 14 are working in child labour.
- Almost 30% of Kenyans live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day.
- One-quarter of all Kenyan girls under the age of 15 are married.
- Although mosquito nets could reduce the spread of malaria by 50%, only 15% of Kenyan children under the age of five sleeps under a mosquito net.