I leave for Kenya in two weeks to visit the Daraja Academy. It has been two years since I stepped onto the rich red soil of the secondary school campus and much has changed. The first girls I met, whose faces you saw in the Girls of Daraja film, are now seniors. There were 26 girls on campus in 2010; now there will be 104. I have not yet seen the newest dorm, the expanded garden, the medals each girl was given by the Bay to Breakers race organizers for their Lap-A-Thon and connection with Kenyan race winner, Lineth Chepkurui. Some of the girls I met now wear eyeglasses; the girls have set goals to be trustworthy, faithful, honest, respectful, self-controlled and mindful.
This time when I reach Daraja Academy, I will take a poetry project to work on with the girls. Documentary filmmaker Barbara Rick and her husband, Jim Anderson, will meet me on campus to shoot a new film about the school, and I will carry gifts and good wishes from many of you to share.
Being a part of Daraja Academy has fulfilled a goal I set when I created my non-profit, Do A Little in 2008. I sought connection with a community that serves women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness. I wanted to meet and become friends with people who were passionate about changing the lives of others because it fills their hearts with joy and purpose, and gives deeper meaning to life.
On July 14, 2012, I will hold my annual fundraiser to continue to support a free education for the girls at Daraja Academy. I will premiere the new documentary film we produce, and we will Skype with girls on campus! Please save the date to join me at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94704. We will enjoy great food, music, and each other’s company as we celebrate and support Daraja Academy once again.
I carry you in my heart,