My country is the World. My religion is to be Human.

WE MADE IT – 50 of us helped 15 children in Kenya

During my two-month journey to Kenya, in a village on Rusinga island, I had a chance to meet 15 children in a school in the middle of a field  (originally  there were 12 of them but were later joined by other three). I wrote about my volunteering experience at the school here. I had two options: 1. to spend a few days with them, take pictures, put them on Instagram and go home. Option 2 was to stay and use my blog in order to raise money and help these children. Guess what option I went for. 🙂

The fundraising action was launched on my blog – link. I made a video to show everyone the real environment in which the children live and study. Video can be found at this link. The action was supported by many local Serbian media: 24 sata, Blic, RTS, Srpska Dijaspora, Alo, AdriaDaily and many others.

Campaign duration: 20 days plus 10-day implementation
Money raised 1870 euros. Plus my (nearly) 400 euros.
The campaign has been supported by 50 donors !

With the money raised I was able to :

  • Introduce a water system
  • Provide food for children for the next 6 months
  • Buy uniforms for children
  • Buy books, notebooks, stationery, additional teaching materials for the coming year
  • Provide two mattresses for future volunteers to sleep on

Girls wearing their new uniforms

thank you

Boys wearing their new uniforms

slikaSetting up a water system

Waiting in line for food

Mattresses for future volunteers

Books, posters, pencils, notebooks, etc.

If we do not act on problems in our surroundings, then who will? If I came to Rusinga Island, witnessed children suffering and just went home after, they would still remain hungry, without adequate school supplies in torn clothes and without any water. My month-long dedication has resulted in uniting more than 50 people with the goal of providing these children with better conditions for education for a relatively small amount of money. Do not wait for others to initiate changes, be the one initiating them, regardless of whther you are in Kenya, Serbia, Croatia or Sri Lanka – people are people, a problem is still a problem no matter where it is. As citizens of the planet Earth, we have a responsibility to solve the problems surrounding us. We cannot wait for aliens to do that for us.

A BIG “thank you” from 15 Kenyan children: Jacub, Arshavine, Audry, Reagan, Filgona, Mercy, Sheldon, Queenter, Jaffeth, Messy, Joanes, Emily, Vera, Vidick and Bromix!

All credit to the people who selflessly donated

Rotary E-club of District 2483 (Serbia and Montenegro), Vuk Popović (Quantox Technology), Milan Novaković, Filip Panjević, Tamara Letić, Vintage Papers, Mirjana Panjević, Sara Pejić, Dejan Dunđerski, Aleksandar Burić, Ana Petrović, Marko Mihailović, Feđa Hudina, Danica Nikolić, Ilija Mirosavić, Nemanja Drobnjak, Miloš Milovanović, Marija Kanazir, Dragana Krstić. Ivan Jovanović , Milica Šubarić, Đorđe Vanjek, Nevena Sofranić, Lazar Radosavljević, Ahmed Mohamed Maawy, Jelena Živković, Stefan Milovčević, Zoja Kukić, Jelena Kitanović, Momčilo Kovač, Ivana Tankosic, Davor Lulić, Slobodan Milanov, Jelena Grković, Branko Kovač, Uglješa Erić, Lazar Pašajlić, Goran Bujišić, Vladimir Tomić, Nikola Jovanović, Zorica Curcic, Nina Desnica, Nemanja Stefanovic, Nemanja Radojković, Milica Nastasić, Milan Tuševljak, Ana Paunović, Danijela Pejić i Nikola Ristić.


Additional information – project realization from my perspective
I found myself in Kenyan countryside with the idea of helping little children. I had Internet access on my phone that I paid a lot. I did not have any electricity, I charged my laptop on solar energy which is enough only for the light-bulb and the telephone to be charged. With limited Internet access and electricity, I was determined to help.

I made a video, a blog post and that is how I started a this campaign. It went well from the start, my efforts paid off, first donations pouring in and I was so happy. Several big media in Serbia shared my story. Suddenly, I started getting calls from Balkan diaspora. Serbs living in Greece donated, a man from Chicago also joined the campaign wanting to send clothes and school supplies to children, also, some Serbs living in Nairobi called me… I never thought that my campaign from a small Kenyan village would be noticed from Chicago all the way to Greece.

When I decided to start the implementing the campaign, I encountered a number of challenges. I had to figure out how the water system works and what parts it consists of. It’s easy to fool a white woman with money and charge her four times the actual price, and so I had to have a trustwothy person by my side, to accompany me during the negotiations. And so I found myself in a store with pipes, nails, screws and other materials in the middle of Kenya. What am I doing here? 😀

When it was time to bring water from the lake for concrete, I had to rent donkeys for transportation. Every day I would buy and prepare lunch for the workers. During the breaks, I visited bookstores and negotiated discounts for large quantity of school supplies.

The whole process was fun, I enjoyed every moment of it. This resulted in impacting these little children’s lives and I was left with a huge amount of satisfaction and gratitude for having had the opportunity experience all that and change somebody’s life along the way.

Take a look at more pictures I took during the works

IMG_20160718_110125Team spirit

Collecting wood for fire

Trying the uniforms

Implementation of water system

Grinding something similar to flour – cassava

Happy Messy with his new uniforms

Eating at school for the first time

Buying food for kids

Preparing lunch at the school

Setting up the tap

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Milica Radovic-Mandic