How Kites Can Educate a Generation of Kids! August 02 2013, 0 Comments

Girls in Kenya“The following is a story about kites, hope and kids from Tracy Wemett, a volunteer with one of our partner organizations – Many Hopes.”  What does it mean to rescue a child ? To save them?  To give them money or food? Everyone knows the adage about teaching a child to fish rather than just giving them the fish, and I think we all agree that doing both is what needs to happen. But is there something more than just rescuing and teaching life skills? I volunteer for an organization that believes there is. Many Hopes is the fundraising arm for an organization in Kenya that builds homes and schools for boys and girls in Kenya.  We create local business to sustain the schools so you don’t have to. Together, we are defeating the causes of extreme poverty by raising up leaders with character and local enterprises that will grow the economy. Who are these boys and girls? They are some of the poorest children in the world, but by providing for them now, they will be the solution to the poverty and corruption that hurts their country and exploited them. Many Hopes invests in sustainable community development on 5 related fronts: girls homes, quality school, boys homes, medical facility and community water. We believe in starting small but thinking big. That’s rescuing. But what else do we do there? We fly kites. And that’s not all. We swim, and swing, and blow bubbles and kick soccer balls. Yes, we play. Play leads to HOPE of a better future - These kids are playing, and the smiles and laughter that result end up rescuing us – the volunteers. I wish I could bottle the giggles or watch a video of our girls learning Tae Kwan Do. In the rain. One of my first experiences flying kites in Kenya was with a girl named Winnie. She had never  flown a kite before, and she was so thrilled to try. With no breeze, she ran and ran until the kite finally jumped a few feet high. It would rise for just a moment and come crashing down. But she didn’t give up. All that effort for just a few moments in time….well, it was worth it to her. And for me? It was pure joy. At some point during our visit we decided to take the kites to the Indian Ocean. Winnie ran fast to get the kite up in the air, and then she stood and gazed as it soared high.  I saw a twinkle in her eye, her smile grow wide , and for a brief time I’m sure that all of her fears and worries flew off into the sky with that kite.  In that moment, we were indeed creating Many Hopes. I saw the healing power of play with our girls’ lives in Kenya….I believe it’s what our children need here in the U.S. and all over the world.  I mean physical stuff. Not an Xbox game or an iPhone app, but a real, get-outside and move around play session! Schools have minimized recess, and while organized sports are important - not everyone is a star athlete. But just about everyone can fly a kite, blow bubbles, or play in the rain. To learn more about Many Hopes and their impact and work in Kenya, please visit www.ManyHopes.org