Larry Conover | May 13, 2014

Children at the Biamiti School in Kuria, Kenya. Photo: Joel Cooper/CWS

Children at the Biamiti School in Kuria, Kenya. Photo: Joel Cooper/CWS

Imagine – growing up in a small, rural, impoverished community in Kenya.

Imagine – going to a school that had no real building, no desks, no private toilets, and no access to water.

Imagine – having a parent who didn’t value your education because they believed you wouldn’t accomplish much in life anyway, and expected you to remain forever in poverty.

Imagine – being a young girl who realizes she probably will not graduate from primary school; that she will be forcibly taken away for genital mutilation and given off to early marriage.

Imagine – that you were the person who came along and helped change all of this.

Well if you’ve partnered with CWS in any number of ways in the past few years you have been part of that change for the children at the Biamiti School in Kuria, Kenya.

Today, thanks to you, the children at Biamiti enjoy a lovely school building with desks, private toilets, and a well with drinking water.  Attendance is growing and test scores have improved dramatically.

But some of the greatest change has been in the hearts of the parents.  They have begun to see and believe that their children can have a future.  The parents have contributed their own labor to continue to build and maintain various aspects of the school.  The whole community seems to be valuing the education and development of their children as never before.  Especially evident is the attitude toward seeing their daughters become educated.  Girls are now progressing beyond primary school, and in November the leader of the local parents group announced that they will no longer approve of the practice of female mutilation.

For these children, you haven’t just given them a better place to sit during school.  In many cases you’ve helped to radically change their lives.

Imagine – all of us doing something similar to this story all throughout the world.  Can you imagine it?  I can.

Larry Conover, Assistant Field Director, Michigan