The Guilford Community Church has had a relationship with the village of Kaiguchu, Kenya, since 2006 when Rev Sparrow and other members of the congregation traveled there on a Green Belt Safari. Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and founder of the Green Belt Movement (GBM), Wangari Maathai had been a friend to the church since 2000. Local youth from the GBM danced for the group and shared stories of the many, many children (3.4 million currently) in Kenya who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Upon their return to Vermont, Lise and others committed to providing funds each year to serve the orphan children in the local village, Kaiguchu, where the youth live. with their guardians (usually a grandparent). Over the years the Guilford-Kaiguchu Children’s Project has expanded to provide school uniforms for the children and, in 2015, a secondary school for the children was constructed by another organization, Crossing Thresholds, to assure the children had access to secondary level education. Rev. Sparrow and youth from the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Youth Group (BAIYG) were present when the school opened, as they had been on three previous trips, and one in 2018, learning and providing service work and connection with the children.
Eighteen travelers, of them 7 youth, along with carpenters, musicians and teachers, will travel March 8 to 19 to the village, living with host families, singing and learning with the children, building tables for the dining hall and constructing a small classroom for the smallest of the children. We are collecting children’s clothing and tools. All monetary donations will go directly to support the 140 orphaned children and for the materials needed for the building projects. We thank for your generosity.