Kean University to ship books to Kenya in 2013

By Sonia Aquije

 

Kean students are being urged to help raise money to ship collected books and school supplies to Juja Farm Secondary School located in Kalimoni, Kenya.

Kean students get ready to fund-raise.
Photo Credit: Gedwan Blanc, financial coordinator of NJHSA

The Steering Committee of this project is composed of Dr. Roxie A. James, executive director of the School of Natural Sciences; Dr. Peter Kamau, adjunct faculty of the School of Natural Sciences; and Angelina Okwuego, junior economics major and Ronald McNair Scholar.

Okwuego began to pursue this cause when she was informed about this service project by professor Kamau.

“He told me he was doing a book drive for a school in Kenya and I thought ‘wow, that’s a great idea to help students,’” Okwuego said. “He was already working with Dr. James and then it was the three of us, and we decided to open it up to Kean students and make it a community project.”

Professor Kamau feels strongly about this outreach project, “students helping students across the ocean,” because of his origins in Kenya.

“I came from a country that is extremely poor and I was one of the lucky ones,” Kamau said. “What motivated me to bring the idea to the students is so that they know that we are lucky here in the U.S. compared to elsewhere. They need to know that there are people elsewhere that need to be assisted.”

Kean students fundraising in order to ship books and school supplies to Juja Farm Secondary School located in Kalimoni, Kenya.
Photo Credit: Gedwan Blanc, financial coordinator of NJHSA

Juja Farm Secondary School is a four-year high school. It maintains its uniqueness by representing a body of students from the majority of the 46 tribes in Kenya. Of this population, 50 percent are female students.

Bringing in all of these students together, the faculty believes it may change the opinions of tribal rivalry, “bad blood.”

“These kids come from many tribes and they’re working together,” Kamau said. “In turn, bringing their parents together because they are learning together.”

Kean students are enthusiastically willing to help Juju Farm Secondary School.

“I normally teach in other colleges, but I realized Kean students are more interested in helping,” Kamau said. “Over 50 boxes have already been collected; that’s an indicator Kean students care.”

Books are scheduled to be shipped by the spring 2013 semester as of now. The books take 2 months to arrive in Kenya. They will be hand delivered by the Steering Committee and any other student or faculty member interested in traveling at their own expense.

Students who help with the fund-raisers will receive service hours. For more information contact Angelina Okwuego at okwuegoa@kean.edu.

Upcoming events:

Thursday, Nov. 29 in Hutchinson Lobby 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 5 in Hutchinson Lobby 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Book donations:

Bring to Science Building, Room C124 by Friday, Dec. 21.


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