“I’ve felt a deep connection with Kenya for a while now,” says L.V. Rogers student Natasha Bergman. “It’s a country with a lot of potential.”
Bergman is one of the students in the Global Perspectives class hosting a traditional Kenyan dinner and fundraiser at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club on Saturday at 6 p.m. Funds raised will go to their adopted village’s education, health care and water through a charity called Free the Children.
“We’ve gotten letters from Free the Children showing us what we’ve done,” Bergman says. “Things like there’s a well now, or there’s a school, or we’re paying for a teacher’s salary. It’s amazing to see kids able to come out of poverty because of what we do.”
Classmate Amelia Martzke agrees.
“The statistics we read about Kenya were devastating,” she says, noting she’s particularly alarmed by the lack of decent education. “I couldn’t believe there are children and people our age living this sort of life.”
So they want to step in.
“I really love the idea of youth helping youth,” says Bergman. “And they’ve shown such promise in that country in really developing their sustainability so they don’t sink back into poverty.”
Martzke says the charity works with the community rather than “dumping money.”
“I’ve always loved this humanitarian work and dreamed of maybe working in that field, maybe in health care,” she says. “So it’s been great to learn more about it.”
Recently in Kenya the government announced students can be educated for free, but then learned they had a million more students than anticipated.
“There’s so many people who was passionate to learn,” Bergman says. “Now this is the in-between period we can help with.”
The event will consist of a traditional Kenyan dinner prepared by the class. There will be live music from students and after the meal there will be a Global Perspectives presentation on their work.