There is nothing that parents love more in this world than their children. Parents everywhere want our children to grow up safe, healthy, and happy. We want them to have a great education and to be able to chase their dreams. We worry about the schools they attend and the quality of instruction they are receiving. My husband and I plan to become parents ourselves one day, so I’ve been thinking a lot about these things and how the parents served by the Aga Khan Foundation must worry for their children.
I was in Kenya recently to see firsthand the work of AKF and the Aga Khan Development Network, where I had the opportunity to witness our multi-input development approach in action. I was so moved by what I saw in the lives of communities there.
FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD IN HARD PLACES…
I started the trip in Nairobi visiting a daycare school in a slum called Baba Dogo. Homes in the neighborhood were constructed of simple materials including corrugated metal and dirt floors. Head teacher Elizabeth welcomed us into her school. Despite the condition of the neighborhood, it lifted my spirits to see the walls of the school were covered in beautiful, bright colors: with children’s art, alphabets, numbers, fruits and vegetables, and cartoon characters. Elizabeth’s smile beamed and she quickly started to express her gratitude to AKF for all it has done for her school.
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Karim Merchant is Director of Development and Volunteer Engagement for Aga Khan Foundation USA.