Michelle’s Visit to Kisaruni in Kenya
“I have a new appreciation for school. Especially on those days where I don’t want to go to school or I don’t want to make an effort. It’s changed a lot of things for me at home.” – Michelle Owens
Michelle Owens went to Kenya to help build a school, but she came away with so much more.
From going on a water walk, to spotting elephants and cheetahs on safari, to beading with mamas, Michelle says her ME to WE Trip was an amazing experience—but that the biggest thing she took away is the importance of education.
Michelle’s trip took her from her home in North America to visit rural communities in the heart of Kenya’s Maasai Mara. There, she volunteered alongside locals to work on two classrooms in WE Villages partner communities.
“Helping build the classrooms was really awesome,” says Michelle. “We were putting the walls up and laying concrete. It was cool knowing that the kids I met in that community would be going to that school someday.”
Michelle also spent time with Joyline, a student at Kisaruni Girls Secondary School. The two were fast friends and spent the day getting to know each other and telling each other about their lives—Joyline telling Michelle about her favourite classes and the future she dreams of for herself.
“We really connected because we were about the same age and both at the same place in our lives—but completely different places in our lives because of where we live,” says Michelle.
Kisaruni was opened by WE Charity in 2011, recognizing a need for continued education for young girls graduating from primary school. While primary education in Kenya is free, secondary education is incredibly costly and largely out of reach for the communities supported by WE Charity. Michelle says that her experience with Joyline opened her eyes to what life is like for students in Kenya, especially girls. She was inspired by the dedication of the Kisaruni girls, who love learning so much they take every opportunity to learn—spending their spare time reading or taking part in extracurricular activities.
(Read more inspiring Kisaruni stories on this blog post about the school’s very first graduating class!)