Sister School in Kenya
D28 Sister School in Kenya
Northbrook Donations Improve the Lives of Kenyan Children
Northbrook District 28 has sponsored a sister school in Kenya, Africa, since 2007. Fifth-grade classes last wrote letters in 2019 to students at the Spurgeon’s Academy, a school located the Kibera slum of Nairobi.
In July 2019, Joli, Ruben and Maya Fridman of Northbrook visited the places and met the children who have been the subject of the district PTO Council fundraisers all these years.
Maya served the porridge to the school children. The porridge may be the students’ only meal, which they are served only if they bring their own bowl. Ruben helped unpack and set up Chromebook computers that were donated by Glenbrook North seniors. Joli met the high school girls who have been given a chance to learn a career thanks to the Northbrook donations that are sponsoring them.
The Fridmans began their trip by visiting Spurgeon’s Academy, the school started by Fred Outa, a member of Parliament who grew up in the same slum and has made it his life’s work to find funding for the school. District 28 raises funds through the Family Fun Day and previously through the Concert For Africa event.
When the Fridmans visited, they brought four suitcases stuffed with clothing, school supplies and sports equipment that was donated by District 28 families. Glenbrook North seniors donated their used Chromebooks.
The Fridmans also visited the building originally intended to be a high school but now serves its countryside community as a preschool and child care center for working adults. There is also well that was installed that provides clean water for all who live near it.
The family also visited with three high school girls, who would be married and probably mothers by now without the sponsorship to attend high school.
“This trip has made me more committed than ever to help these students any way I can,” Joli said.
A highlight -- and biggest surprise – of the trip was the recognition the family received at Parliament. They were recognized in front of the country’s government on national television for the contributions Northbrook has made to the children of the Kibera slum.
The relationship with Fred Outa began when Sue Vaickauski, a former Westmoor School administrative assistant, met Mr. Outa in 2007 during a trip to Kenya. She came home and started the Concert for Africa, which raised $100,000 over ten years. The Fridmans and the Svoboda family have taken the reins of the effort the past two years. The Svoboda family visited the school in 2015.