Traveling to Africa and volunteering as been a long time goal of mine. So much so, that I took Swahili lessons in Boulder (about 4 years ago) in preparation for my trip that would someday happen. As we pulled up to KYGN I was overwhelmed with emotions that after all this time and hard work I had finally arrived. I went in and met with Anna-Maria (director/founder) and informed her that I had raised $2600 for the organization. She was floored with the amount raised as the organization has not had stable funding and she was worried about covering their monthly expenses; my timing could not have been more perfect!

When Anna-Maria would pass through the village of Mabogini to work on her families rice field, she noticed an overwhelming number of girls spending their days at home not being given the opportunity to attend school. Boys are still be given first priority to education, but in many instances families are unable to afford the minimal school fees.

Four years ago, at the age of 24, Anna-Maria made the decision to do something about the situation and started KYGN. The focus was to prepare girls to attend public primary school as well as, running a vocational program teaching older girls sewing, cookery and batik making. Currently, the organization is 100% volunteer run. Anna-Maria’s family helps to support her as she works to make KYGN a sustainable program. She is by far one of the most inspirational women I have met. She has a great big loving heart and you feel that the moment you meet her. She is one person making a difference!

KYGN is looking to grow and develop. With a portion of the funds I raised, they will be putting a payment down towards purchasing their own land. The goal is to build an education center which would include their own primary school and an enhanced vocational program. KYGN is backed by a fantastic group of volunteers that are committed to helping Anna-Maria reach her goals!

Julia Burnham
3/16/2012 01:32:07 am

Helping at the KYGN is the experience of a lifetime. You'll never view the world in the same way again once you've been there. I've never seen children so happy, yet have so little. The Hostel Kili, which is linked to the KYGN is a great place to stay while you're volunteering. What they need now is funds and help to build a school with proper facilities on the land they've obtained.

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