Tag Archives: Daraja Academy

Support Esther in the Bay To Breakers

Click here and donate now!

The annual Bay-to-Breakers Race fundraiser for The Daraja Academy is upon us. Last year, we raised $2000! This year we are aiming for $3000. If you are familiar with Daraja, then donate now.

If this is you first exposure to the school, read on:

The School:

Daraja Academy is a boarding secondary school for Kenyan girls with top academic scores and exceptional leadership skills but no means to continue their education. The academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services. Daraja Academy changes girls’ lives, but Daraja also changes the lives of the volunteers, employees and board members!  Daraja has changed my life for the better!!

For more details, watch the award winning short film by BrickDoc. Read about the school here and here. Check out the website, follow on Twitter @daraja, or like on Facebook

How you can help:

  1. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page and donate any amount you can afford at this time.
  2. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page donate and share the link to this blog post with everyone you know on Twitter and Facebook and email
  3. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page donate and share the link to this blog with everyone you know on Twitter and Facebook and email, and join The Team. Write your own post, make your own video and let’s raise some serious cash

or watch the video I created after a visit to the campus before it opened.

 


Esther:

Bio from last year: Esther has a strong will that is encompassed in sadness. She is from a single mother with 5 older brothers, and a younger sister. Esther was fortunate to attend a primary school for needy children that gave her a solid educational background and of all the new Form 1 students, she scored the second highest on her 8th grade examination. Although Esther had a great education, she was pressured and abused by the headmaster of the school.

Esther has overcome a great deal. To see her at Daraja Academy, she is smiling and there is hope in her eyes. Because of the many good people supporting her, Ether has learned to communicate her needs to others, and to take care of herself. Esther has found people who love her and support her, and she has embraced this new family from the beginning despite the hurt she has had the past.

Today at Daraja Academy:

Esther has overcome more than most people will ever have to face in their lives. A calm, confident Esther says the happiest day of her entire life was “when Mr. D told me I was a Daraja girl. I knew that without the opportunity, I would not be able to finish school. I would have had nowhere to go.” Esther had a teacher from primary school take her in, and the last time Esther went home to visit her, she had been attacked by a guard and ultimately lost her life.

“Nothing is more important than my education,” Esther said. “I overcome difficulties because that is what we must do. For me to have a future, I focus on my education.”

Esther also worked on her confidence this past year. With many public speaking assignments in her classes, she said she had to trust in herself, and believe that she could do well in front of a group of people. Esther is also a talented singer, dancer, and loves being a part of Daraja’s drama club.

Thank you so much everyone. Let’s spread the word and rai$e $ome ca$h.

 

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For Esther

If you are reading this post it could mean one of two things:

  1. I have sent you a link directly via Facebook or Twitter. You are a good friend, family, or a member of my online network
  2. A friend has shared this link with you via Facebook or Twitter or email and you have no idea who I am

Either way Team Raisdana is asking you for some help. Please watch the short clip below for some explanation. Then meet me on the other side for some context, links, and instructions.

That’s the gist of it, but as promised here are some links for those of you who have never heard of Daraja:

  1. Watch this award winning short film by BrickDoc
  2. Read some of what I have written about the school here and here
  3. Watch the video I created after a visit to the campus
  4. Check out their website, follow them on Twitter @daraja, or like  them on Facebook

How can you help with the Bay To Breakers event? Sorry for the bulleted post, but I see this post as more business If you are looking for the poetry of Daraja please read and watch the links above. Back to business. What can you do?

  1. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page and donate any amount you can afford at this time.
  2. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page donate and share the link to this blog post with everyone you know on Twitter and Facebook and email
  3. Go to Esther’s Crowdrise page donate and share the  link to this blog with everyone you know on Twitter and Facebook and email, and join The Team. Write your own post, make your own video and let’s raise some serious cash.

Esther has a strong will that is encompassed in sadness. She is from a single mother with 5 older brothers, and a younger sister. Esther was fortunate to attend a primary school for needy children that gave her a solid educational background and of all the new Form 1 students, she scored the second highest on her 8th grade examination. Although Esther had a great education, she was pressured and abused by the headmaster of the school.

Esther has overcome a great deal. To see her at Daraja Academy, she is smiling and there is hope in her eyes. Because of the many good people supporting her, Ether has learned to communicate her needs to others, and to take care of herself. Esther has found people who love her and support her, and she has embraced this new family from the beginning despite the hurt she has had the past.
We are always talking about the power of the network; let’s see if it can raise $1000 for a girl who would could use it and appreciate it more than any of us will ever know. In the next few weeks, I will be in touch with people at Daraja and try to get some video or a Skype all with Esther, but in the meantime let’s get together and raise some cash.
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Daraja is Open

I had a hard time wiping the smile off my face as I watched the video below. The smile remained there even after the fifth viewing. I hate to sound repetitive, but I am so amazed and proud of all the work that has gone into the Daraja Academy. While this video may be emotional for anyone who has been following this story from the beginning, I hope that newcomers will also connect with the project.

It feels so strange to see the school alive and active. I felt the power of the campus last December, but I can already feel the difference now that there are students there. As always, if the story of Daraja resonates with you, please learn more about the school and share these videos, pictures, and stories with as many people as you can.

Great things are starting to happen all over the world, and more is possible if you choose to share this story with the people in your community.

The Daraja Academy of Kenya opened its doors on February 26, 2009. This brief video highlights some of the energy at the beginning of this life-changing school.


Daraja Academy -Welcome to Daraja from Mark Lukach on Vimeo.
music “Energy” by The Apples in Stereo

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Twitter Search, RSS, and the Future of Connections!

The more we begin to use tools like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites as part of our regular means of conversation, communication, and connection the more creative uses for these tools each of us will find for reaching out and connecting to more and more people. Below is a brief example of something I discovered lately. (I am sure this is nothing new, but it was an “Ahh Hah!” moment for me)

My experience involves Twitter, Twitter Search and RSS! I have been actively involved in promoting and supporting my best friend’s project in Kenya, called The Daraja Academy. I have written about my connection with the school extensively here and here. Twitter has helped me meet and befriend board member Mark Lukach who Tweets @marklukach, as well spread Daraja’s story to Jenny Luca in Australia who Tweets @jennyluca. You can read Mark’s account of our connections here.

With Twitter Search gaining more and more press, I started to think about using it as a tool to connect with anyone who is tweeting abour @daraja. Right now it is mostly, Mark, Jenny, and me, but there will be more right? I noticed that there is an RSS feed on the Twitter Search page, once subscribed I would know immediately any one who mentions @daraja in real time.

I could tweet them a thank you note, or more information about the school, or just follow them and begin building a more substantial relationship. In short, an RSS feed to a Twitter search allows one to sift through countless Tweets and connect with people who are tweeting about the same things in which you are onterested, in my case The Daraja Acacdemy.

My findings showed me that there are a few people who have mentioned @daraja,  so I am now following them and have sent them a quick thank you tweet. I hope that after reading this post you will also follow the links, tweet about @daraja, so I can find you in my RSS feed search and begin building our relationship with a common goal of suporting and promoting the Daraja Academy.

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Daraja Academy- The Vision

There is not much I need and/or want to write here about my latest video, that I haven’t said before. I hope that it inspires people to take action and join the Daraja cause. I hope you share it, embed it, and bring more and more people to this amazing school.

I hope that this video expresses the essence of the Daraja Academy. This is what I saw and felt after visiting the campus:

Even without the classrooms, teachers, books or curriculum this campus is a place to reconnect with the urge to explore. A place to self-reflect and place oneself in the symphony of the Earth. A bare boned canvas with ancient stories waiting to be investigated, rethought, and expanded. These grounds carved from the soil of the Kenyan savannah are the perfect place to begin the journey that will never end.

Daraja is the opposite of the slums and poverty from which her students will come. It is beyond politics and good intentions. Daraja is the realization of a dream. Hope actualized and made real. Hands in soil, trees planted. Seeds sown. It is beyond donations and charity. Daraja is a place where regular people like you selflessly give their time, money, and energy in the hope that change begins within each of us.

Every voice that joins the chorus of Daraja adds something to its growth. For everyone who heeds her call, Daraja is an act of faith. Faith in a world built on love and peace. Daraja is the timeless dream placed in every human heart. A place built for idealists and dreamers. A fertile bed of what ifs come true.

Every voice is heard and appreciated, she begs for you to sing along, tap your foot, or just bask in her song. Please get involved. Be a part of this amazing place:

http://daraja-academy.org/blog/

I would advise the viewer to also check out this clip, which will give you a more comprehensive look at the Daraja Academy:

Thank you.

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