Maraianta Project: School Lunch ProgramOk, so I’m minding my own business, wanting to take pictures of exotic animals on a safari in Kenya when “wham!” my lens is blocked by the vision of children trying to learn but lacking enough food to satiate them for them 7-10 walk each day to school.
We are just like you, we are not special caretakers with special gifts and talents, nor do we belong to any organization or movement or church. We belong to an extended family around the globe, with a special place in my heart for children. And this is where synchronicity comes in to play. We happened upon a need in a village in Kenya and chose to get involved. It’s really that simple. We run a non-profit organization called MSR [click the link to learn more], that is not affiliated with any organization.
Every single cent goes directly to the children, delivered by us and if you would like to be a part of this program, we welcome your donations. You can donate for a specific cause such as food or clothing or to the school lunch program itself. All donations are tax deductible.
We began our project in September 2016, broke ground in March 2017, and now return for a third time to finish building the cafeteria and feed the children so they can grow and learn to be pilots, and surgeons and teachers and more! We have raised $4,600 of the $23,000 that will complete our project of a kitchen, school cafeteria and a new classroom. We are returning to Kenya in June 2017.
Any amount you donate will benefit the children and myself and a few volunteers will personally deliver your donation to the school.
We belong to an extended family around the globe, with a special place in my heart for children. And this is where synchronicity comes in to play. We happened upon a need in a village in Kenya and chose to get involved. It’s really that simple.
MSR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization [EIN: 59-3762274]
started by Christel Nani and Rebecca Grace. All donations are tax deductible.
“Joining Hearts Across the World” Campaign continues…
© Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved
More about the school project...READ MORE
These children dream of becoming pilots and surgeons and future teachers. We also learned that many of the children walk seven to ten miles each way to school. No there is no yellow “apple” bus even for the little ones.
We listened to their lessons and gosh they are smart, and then we watched them form a line for lunch—the only meal they would receive for many hours, regardless of their age. A cup of gruel, a grey, pastey liquid something, and that is all they get until they walk another seven to ten miles home.
How can they learn when hungry? How could we stand by and listen to their empty stomachs growl when we eat three meals a day—and sometimes even more… We couldn’t, so of course, we got involved. It feels good to be involved in something other than our own little worlds.
On our return visit in March 2017, we saw all the new uniforms, all the mended uniforms, the schools, school supplies and yes, even a small swing set. And so our project began. We would build a small kitchen, a lunch room and a food storage area so that each child could get bread and water for breakfast and something more than gruel for lunch before their long trek home.
No, we don’t know how to build buildings, and no, none of us is an architect, but all of us decided to figure it out with the help of an amazing chairman, Phillip, and a dedicated and very smart headmaster, Peter. They keep meticulous records of who got what to make sure that the distribution is fair.
These two men whipped up a frenzy of excitement and In came the Fundi’s [similar to a mason], the laborers, the architects the stone workers, the cement people, the fathers and brothers and more. Talk about being organized. Everything is written down, estimates, you name it, these men had it all ready for us. And everything was documented and written down to make sure no one was left out or received more than another child. Phillip and Peter are so fair minded and committed.
Speaking of distribution, we don’t simply give money and hope it goes to the right place. Nay, we travel and buy the shoes, the cement, the stones, the necessary items for our project. There is no overhead, no administrative fees, exactly 100% of all donations go directly to the children.
So in March 2017, we broke ground. Well, we shoveled some dirt and stood around looking busy like the road crews on Long Island Expressway, but actually the men were working up a sweat. We just added a little eye-candy to the building project.
Phillip and Peter worked with the architects and the fundi [similar to a mason] to map out the project, the costs, the supplies needed and the workers. They are so dedicated to their village, the school and the children. we love working with them.
While we weren’t quite as skilled as the laborers we were thrilled to see the results of creative minds and loving hearts for a good cause: the future of our children. Perhaps you noticed one of the photos of a man sitting before a huge pile of stones with a hammer and chisel. Just like the hand hewn stones of Machu Picchu, each stone in the Marianta School has to been hand chiseled to make a perfect fit. Wow.
Our project was blessed and we dedicated the building in English, Swahili and of course Maasai, using an orange to instill the energy of enough food for all [kind of like the loaves and fishes story] and of course, the scent of oranges inspires the brain to feel happy.
The parents were so happy, they came to the school, again they walked a great distance and thanked and honored all of us with handmade necklaces and tied a ceremonial shuka around each of us to show that we are all family. They are so grateful and I believe we were adopted so we are now honorary Maasai! Very cool to extend the family tree, but I would prefer not to be the Maasai that keeps the lions away during the night.
May I add that we don’t simply give money willy nilly. Each parent must make an effort and contribute to the welfare of their children. Just supplying charity without an exchange, is a way to destroy a person’s dignity and motivation to help themselves and their tribe.
We are raising more funds to complete the project and buy more uniforms so more children can benefit from an education. We interviewed many children about their dreams and what they wanted to be when they grew older. Boys and girls wanted to be surgeons, veterinary doctors, pilots and teachers. How exciting to play a role in a child’s dream coming true!
I am honored to be the spiritual teacher of such awesome people as my students. I am awed by the tenacity of my students to step out of their comfort zone to help. I say again, we are not great philanthropists but just simple people who saw a need and chose to answer that need.
Should you like to be a part of this project in any way—physically joining us in Kenya, or monetary donations, or prayers and good wishes, we are grateful. If you choose to donate to a general fund for all the kids that’s great. if you want your donations to be specifically for a uniform or school supplies, or food, or a specific child, please let me know, I will personally make sure it goes exactly where you desire it to go.
100% of all donations are hand delivered to the children. We can’t wait to see the first meal served in the lunch room. We are excited to help make a dream a reality. But more so, darn it feels good to be a part of something bigger than what I previously knew, it feel awesome to come together with like-minded people who are making a different in the life of a child, and I feel blessed that I can be a part of bringing our world to the tipping point of positivity in one small village in Kenya.
Can’t wait to see where the next synchronistic opportunity to lend a helping hand presents itself.