WORK IN KENYA

Marc Kielburger

Work In Kenya

A Life-Changing Trip

When Marc Kielburger brought his family to Kenya in 2006, he knew they would appreciate the vast and beautiful savannahs full of wildlife.

He didn’t know that the Maasai would change his life’s work forever.

During their stay, Marc and his wife received a wedding ceremony according to local customs, standing back-to-back as tribal members sang and danced around them. They learned about the Maasai culture, and the bead necklaces the women wear to celebrate marriage, childbirth, and grandchildren.

“We didn’t realize it in that beautiful moment, but the Maasai had provided us with more than just a lifetime memory,” Marc wrote in the book WEconomy. “They had given us a completely new perspective on business and its power to uplift lives.”

Marc and his team at WE Charity had been looking for new products to help grow their charity work.

They needed something that could generate funding while staying consistent with the organization’s purpose. With the bead necklaces, the Maasai had provided the answer.

There are many problems facing Kenya: climate change, water scarcity, poverty, and others.

“The list of problems is long,” Marc wrote. “But so are the opportunities for solutions.”

Giving Back to Kenya

Marc Kielburger and WE Charity have been hard at work since 2006, helping Kenya’s Maasai, Kipsigis and Kisii communities create sustainable solutions.

Through the WE Villages program, these peoples have been empowered to build brighter futures for themselves and their families, and ensure the survival of their vibrant cultures.

WE Villages has:

● Built more than 230+ schoolrooms, libraries, teachers’ offices and kitchens

● Provided 13,000 Kenyan children with the opportunity to attend WE-supported schools every day

● Constructed Kisaruni Group of Schools, which includes an all-girls secondary school and an all-boys secondary school, providing Maasai and Kipsigis students graduating from primary schools in WE Charity partner communities with access to secondary school through individual scholarships and ongoing support of the Kisaruni Long-Term Sustainability Fund

● Opened the doors to two health centres: Baraka Hospital and Kishon Health Centre, which have provided more than 125,000 patients with high-quality medical care

WE College

This is one of the most important projects that WE Villages completed through its charity work in Kenya.

WE College was created to give Kenyans access to high-quality, post-secondary education absolutely free of charge.

The WE Villages program initially aimed to improve educational infrastructure within Narok County, especially primary schools. When that program saw immediate success, with more children and more girls attending class, the vision expanded.

First, WE opened an all girls’ high school in the Maasai Mara, giving young women the ability to continue their education. Two years later, with high demand, WE Villages opened a second campus. Then a third campus was created, this time an all boys’ high school.

All that work led to the creation of WE College, which is another step that Narok County Kenyans can take to expand their education.

The college offers special courses in tourism management as well as a variety of other programs, including community nursing, clinical medicine and entrepreneurial agriculture.

“We start with tourism management because there is a high demand for professionals in this field,” said College Principal Gertrude Manani. “These young women will be able to gain employment and improve the standard of living for themselves and their families.”

One mother, Agnes Korir, accompanied her daughter Naomi Chepkoech to the new college. Korir said she felt sad that her daughter wouldn’t be home with her, but also felt enormous pride.

“I never got an education, but I have always hoped that my children would get the best education,” Korir said. “Seeing her off today is hard, but I’m so happy!”