After a year of planning and eight months of fundraising, Lord Byng Secondary School is pleased to announce that students raised over $28,000 towards the building of a boy's dormitory for the Mully Children's Family (MCF), an orphanage in Ndalani, Kenya.
Mary Smith, a school counsellor at Byng, organized a trip of 40 students to present the funds and volunteer in Kenya with MCF during Spring Break.
"Byng students want to make a difference in the lives of others, both in their immediate community and elsewhere in the world", said Smith. "They are very aware of global issues and want to take action. We were particularly excited about this volunteer trip because MCF is an excellent example of Kenyans helping Kenyans become self-sufficient and self-sustaining."
Georgia Pappajohn is a Grade 10 student who went on the trip and had an experience of a lifetime.
"When you come back, nothing looks the same anymore," says Pappajohn. "I think a lot of us now have a different mindset about the needs of third world countries and what we can do about it."
Byng's donation will fully fund the building of a new boy's dormitory scheduled for completion in three months. The facility in Ndalani provides homes for 690 rescued street children ranging from one week old to 24 years old and facilities elsewhere in Kenya provide homes for the remainder of the MCF family.
"This trip was a significant, life-changing learning experience for the students involved," said Annette Vey-Chilton, Principal at Lord Byng. "Its impact can be felt throughout the school community, encouraging even more students to take action on issues of concern to them!"
Lord Byng has been interested in helping Kenyan children for several years through their school club, "Helping Hands". By working with Free the Children and Me to We, "Helping Hands" has helped fund the building of one room schools in Kenya and raised public awareness for childrens' education needs locally and globally.
Students who participated in this year's Kenya trip have great plans for the future. They will be creating a new school "MCF" club, spreading awareness about MCF in the community and attending a special ceremony at Vancouver City Hall in early July with members from MCF Kenya. The ceremony will kick-off a cycling trip from Vancouver to Halifax by Canadian cycling philanthropist, Arvid Loewen who is riding to raise funds for MCF while attempting to break his own Guinness World Record for the fastest cycling time across Canada.
Photo courtesy of Mully Children's Family