Oxford student planning Kenya relief visit
Paige Black plans to visit this summer as part of a volunteer team
OXFORD - Paige Black plans to visit Kenya this summer as part of a volunteer team, but will rely on her community to help get her there.
The Oxford Grade 12 student is raising funds for the mission, which would see her spend three weeks in the African country this summer as part of a group from a B.C. college.
In order to go, she must raise $5,000, and that effort began in earnest on Jan. 12, with an evening of music at the school cafeteria.
“I hope to gain even more perspective,” said Paige, 17. “I have done a lot of research, so I have some perspective on what it’s like, but I don’t think you can really understand until you’ve been there and you’ve seen it.”
The student said her mother has always kept her aware of poverty in the world, and that she has always known how fortunate she is. Her family has always sponsored a child in need, but Paige wanted to get involved directly.
“Here we do things for the food bank, and there is that level of poverty where things need to be done, but it’s at such another level there,” she said. “I think that’s what needs to be taken care of first, and I want this to be an ongoing thing. I hope to go to Kenya this summer and return to Africa many more times.”
She attended the Move Your World peace conference in Prince Edward Island in the fall of 2009, and also attended International Affairs Week at Encounters Canada in Ottawa last summer, all the while keeping her eye out for her opportunity to make a difference. During the summer she came across a photo on Facebook of a friend who had gone to Kenya.
“I contacted her and asked her who she had gone with,” recalled Paige. “She said she had gone with her college, so I thought well, there goes that, but she put me in contact with her professor and he was willing to take me on with their group.”
The group from Lester B. Pearson in British Columbia visits Kenya through an affiliation with the KULE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides continuous long-term sustainable local projects in Kenya while providing students with the opportunity to address key global issues such as health, education and poverty eradication.
Past projects for the group have included working with orphanages, providing education on raising poultry, building a library and classrooms for children living in slums.
Paige is not sure about the plans for the group’s three-week visit this year. She has to focus on getting there first. She has to raise $5,000 by the end of April, and $400 by the end of January. A concert, titled “Kenya get me there?” musical evening will be held at a later date at the school cafeteria.
The concert will feature acts such as Fresia and the Offspring, The Bedroom Session, Dean Dormeidy, The You-Turns and Paige herself. More fund-raising events are to come in the months ahead.
Oxford Regional Education Centre Grade 12 student Paige Black is raising funds to go on a volunteer mission to Kenya later this year.