A worker for Jhpiego, Jane Otai addressed the school a couple of years ago, from that assembly the students began to put their allowances to good use.
From the Baltimore Sun story, reporter Donna Owens tells us what the kids are up to.
"I described the challenges of families and children there," said Otai, recalling the visit, her first to the U.S., during a recent international phone call. "Most families live in houses with iron sheet roofs and mud floors, no indoor plumbing or electricity ... no access to clean water. If they can get work, they become very cheap labor at nearby industrial factories, earning about $2 a day."
The students, moved by what they heard, had a bevy of questions for Otai. At one point, a girl named Jasmine Harris stood up and asked: "What can we do to help?"
From there, an informal partnership was launched with Jhpiego, and a long-distance friendship was born between a Baltimore school and a country an ocean away.
"At first, we thought about sending clothing to the children in Kenya, because one of the things we learned from Miss Jane was that there weren't enough uniforms," said Keishonna Davis, 11.
But shipping items to Africa would have been too expensive. So the students agreed to save spare change and collect donations from family and friends and send that money to Kenya, Rock said. Using empty cookie tins to hold their money, the youngsters began their nearly yearlong campaign. Some gave up their favorite treats, like candy, and instead put money in the pot.
"We really wanted to help," said Wayne Zeback, 11. "Our goal was to raise a thousand dollars."
"I was saving pennies, dimes and quarters," said 10-year-old Miesha Manigault, who regaled the class with a hilarious tale of how she visited a supermarket to tally the coins in an electronic counting machine.