Doing What We Can: Intern Post by Aliska Kilgore
No matter how many times I am fortunate enough to come to Kenya, my amazement at this beautiful country never ceases. There are always new stories to be heard, emotions to be felt, and priceless individuals to meet. Each trip, I try hard to be mentally, emotionally, and physically ready for Kenya – and each trip I am never fully prepared for the impact it has on my life.
I met with a boy named Salim this year. He had come to us hoping to get a scholarship from Kenya Keys. I have never been so impressed by one individual person. His father died when he was in fifth grade, leaving him the only boy in his family. He has a great desire to care for his mother and three sisters. He wants so badly to succeed and he’s made a plan he feels will insure that success. He is consistently top in his class and with the amount of drive, motivation, and ambition he has, I believe he can achieve anything.
But his mother’s small scale business of cooking and selling a local treat cannot bring in enough money to pay his school fees. Luckily Kenya Keys will be able to find a donor to support him in finishing secondary school. His story made me think about all the other amazing people out there that are slipping through the cracks. I know there must be millions of children with endless talent and ability that will never have the opportunity to meet their potential.
As I started to think about this and think about all the untapped talent, I got so sad. My heart ached for the little boys and girls that want a bright, promising future, but the relentless burden of poverty will simply not yield this. My eyes started welling up with tears at the same moment I saw Salim playing volleyball with friends. I was reminded of the timeless starfish story…. We can’t help everyone, but we can certainly make a difference in the lives of the few we do serve.