Northport High School’s Students for 60,000 organization continues to make tremendous progress in not only constructing school buildings in the Iviani region of Kenya, but in developing close relationships with the children and families of the village. During their annual trip over winter recess, more than 20 students and several chaperones travelled to the region where they have committed to providing resources, funds and most importantly, hope for the future.
The work has been ongoing since 2020 and included completing a junior-secondary building for student learning. During this most recent trip, the group worked alongside the residents to lay the foundation for the administrative building as well. This work involved difficult manual labor such as mixing and transporting sand, rock and cement to lay a solid floor for the space.
Much of this work was possible thanks to the Kenyans continued efforts throughout the year, including digging the well for the foundation and preparing the ground.
Club advisor Karen Paquet described the evolution of the relationships between the Northport High School members and the locals. She said with each year they return, the village children become increasingly comfortable and excited to welcome the group and spend the week with them.
“What we’ve given to this community is the chosen bonds of relationships,” said Mrs. Paquet. She also described the importance of charitable work that goes beyond monetary donations, explaining that while we may feel guilt for the needs of those less fortunate, we also need to build relationships so we can see them as individuals.
In addition to hard work, students had opportunities to explore the beautiful country by visiting Kilaguni Safari Lodge and Tsavo West National Park, speaking with local adults and children and learning about the nation’s history and traditions.
Students for 60,000 fundraisers will continue to benefit the village with hopes of eventually building a high school as well as providing for an electric fence, which would help protect the school and prevent theft.