After traveling to Kenya in 2010 and again in September 2012, I witnessed the sad state of affairs in the schools in Samburu, Maasai Mara and Nairobi.
As a former teacher, it broke my heart to see children deprived of an education for lack of funding. I was told that conditions in the north were far worse with the majority of the population being deprived of an education because of their extreme poverty.
I soon met Kura Omar, a resident of Kenya, who helped me understand even more the great need for assistance. Kura grew up in northern Kenya so he is very aware of the hardships and needs of the people living there.
Upon returning to the United States, I started The KURA Project (Kids Uniting for Rural Africa), naming the program after Kura, in order to raise funds for school supplies for these underserved students in northern Kenya.
Since its inception the Kura Project has delivered supplies to:
- Lontolio Primary school
- Loglogo Primary school
- Karare Primary school
- Songa Primary school
- Kargi Primary school
- Gatab Primary school
- Loiyangalani Primary school
- Elmolo Primary school
- South Horr Primary school
- Ngurunit Primary school
- Namarey Primary school
These deliveries included items the teachers requested, such as pens, pencils, geometrical sets, story books, rulers, graph books, dictionaries, composition books, exercise books, text books, crayons and sanitary towels(pads).
Kura generously donated his time and effort to deliver these supplies to schools in the north.
After delivering supplies to several of the schools, and receiving letters of thanks for the donations, a common theme appeared. Each letter and sentiment passed on through Kura expressed appreciation for sanitary towels.
Many girls are deprived of an education because of the lack of this basic necessity. Many girls must remain home during this time and risk the danger of being married off for cows at a very young age.
In 2012 The KURA Project began raising money for AFRIpads kits. These reusable sanitary pads last the girls and women up to one year, keep them in school and allow them to go through their monthly cycle with dignity.
Kura informed me in the fall of 2013 most of the girls and women (we supply each mother and daughter a kit) did not own underwear. It is impossible to use the kits as intended without this basic necessity.
Because The KURA Project received a generous donation of 2,000 AFRIpad kits from the Lunapad company we were able to purchase underwear to go along with each kit. To date 4,600 reusable sanitary towel kits and pairs of underwear have been delivered to thirty eight schools in northern Kenya:
Four schools and community members from in and around Manchester, Vermont, have also helped raise the funds to make these deliveries possible.
Over 100 schools in Marsabit and Samburu Counties remain in need and are waiting for a delivery from the KURA Project.
In January of 2014 we began sponsoring students for high school. Through generous sponsors we currently support thirty one students through four years of high school. We hope to grow this number so as to help as many students as possible reach their dream of getting an education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela