BOUNTIFUL – While learning about the Continent of Africa, Saint Olaf Catholic School second graders discovered that most families don’t have running water in their homes and that most villages in Kenya don’t even have a freshwater well.
The kids were shocked to hear that young girls their age (6 or 7 years old) have to walk for up to 15 miles to a watering hole, fill up a bucket, and carry that heavy bucket for miles back to their village.
They also found that many boys and girls their age don’t go to school. Not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t have a school building to go to.
So, the students decided to help the children of Kenya.
The students researched Koins for Kenya, an organization that helps the impoverished families of Kenya by building schools, wells, water cisterns, and health dispensaries.
The second graders also decided to raise money for the organization.
They created, glazed, and fired clay bowls that were sold during a classroom museum walk as part of Catholic Schools Week. They also sold fresh popcorn to supplement their charitable donations.
The students originally hoped to raise enough money to purchase some desks ( $40), books ( $100) or perhaps enough for a one year scholarship for a student ($400).
When asked why this was important, Ashton Scholz said, “It’s sad they don’t have enough money to go to school”.
Julie Rickerd wrinkled her nose when she commented, “The water is so muddy they have to hold their nose when they drink it”.
And Grace Garrison said, “It would be nice if kids didn’t have to walk so far to bring water to their village”.
The plight of the Kenyan children became so personal to the St. Olaf students that they expended every effort possible to make this project a success. And succeed they did; when all the money was counted, their total was an extraordinary $1,337.03!
The excitement was contagious.
When they called Nancy Littlefield, a representative for Koins for Kenya, and told her how much money was made, she old them she was thrilled.
The students told Littlefield they wanted to build a cistern but didn’t have enough money since the cistern cost $3,500.
She told them the money would be put into an account until there is enough money to buy a cistern. In addition, Littlefield told them the name, St. Olaf Catholic School, will be placed on the cistern.
“Kenya will be happy and God will be happier,” little Hannah Flynn said.