Today the 2011 Kenya team left Kiamuri for their overnight safari in Sweetwaters Game Park. They also left behind them a community of grateful new friends. But of course, no one is more grateful than the Youthlinc participants for the amazing experience of culture and service.

All the kids in Kiamuri joined in today for the Carnival & Fun Fair, and all the adults joined in for Closing Ceremonies. Youthlinc is leaving Kiamuri after four summers of service. We’ve partnered with this community on the following projects, through a combination of Michel Family Foundation contributions, Rotary International Grants, and donations raised by each Service Year team :
 Expanded St. Luke’s Hospital compound $5,000
 7 classrooms $35,000
 Rock water catchment $12,000
 Roof water catchment $10,000
 Ovens, baking equipment, computers $8,500
 Kauthene School water tanks $1,500
 Libraries: $10,000
 Microcredit loans: $5,000
 In kind services & supplies: over $100,000

This year’s team completed one classroom at Gikuru, helped to complete another at Kauthene that was being built by the community. One other classroom will be built by the community with funds donated by Vernal Rotary as soon as possible at Gikuru. Much work was done with women’s health, thanks to our medical committee, headed by Ob/Gyn Dr. John Oglesby.

Our microenterprise committee checked in with the Kiamuri Microcredit Governing Board to find that last year’s loans to 20 women have been completely paid back, and new loans from those funds and from money raised by this Service Year microenterprise committee are ready to be distributed. Much thanks to committee leads Jason Taylor and Erin Grieve.

A highlight of the team’s activities was a cross cultural mural completed at Kiamuri Secondary School. It depicts an American girl and a Kenyan boy both reaching for a diploma. One side of the mural includes images from U.S. life, and the other from Kenyan life: yet both young people want the same thing, an education and a better future.

Many thanks to all team members this year who worked so hard to accomplish so much. A great big shout-out to Team Leader Scott Bawden, and Alum Leader Jerika Michel. We will hear much more about all the activities and see some great photos on our blog and on Facebook when the team arrives back in the U.S. in a couple of days.

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