Why would a small group of teenagers and adults from the Brattleboro area travel to Kenya? Call it connection, call it adventure—call it a gift from Wangari Maathai, the late Nobel Peace Prize recipient, whose work of tree planting started in Kenya and blossomed around the world, and even came to Guilford, where she planted an apple tree at the church. Wangari started the Green Belt Movement to reforest Kenya. Some of the young people of the Green Belt Movement began teaching indigenous dance and song to raise money to care for children orphaned by AIDS, and the Guilford Church has supported their work for several years, helping to buy food and clothing for the children. There is no orphanage; the children are cared for by families, whose resources are usually very limited. Through this connection, our pastor, Lise Sparrow, visited Kenya twice, and inspired the youth group to go there as well.
In April 2012, teens from All Souls Church, Dummerston Congregational, Centre Church, Newfane Church, Guilford Community Church, and Saint Michael’s Catholic Church will travel to Kaiguchu, (Mukurweini district, in the Nyeri province) Kenya. They will work with the village’s interfaith group to provide resources and to make the school and other areas in the village more pleasant and useful for the community.
It’s expensive to travel to Kenya, so the teens have been fundraising since the fall of 2010, selling potholders, cooking meals, holding tag sales, parking cars at the Guilford Fair, and selling Solmate Socks. Many have also gotten jobs. They will take with them duffels filled with t-shirts and books for the children. If you feel moved to support their work with a financial contribution, please click on the button below. We’d love to see you at our African Dinner on October 15!