On a recent visit to Kisii, Kenya, we asked several of our students what they were most proud of. Some said they were proud of their families. Others said they were proud of a recent soccer match, award, or test score. But almost all the students we asked said that they were proud to be an Ajiri student.
We work hard to give our students an education. We sell tea and coffee to provide our students with school fees, books and uniforms. But what we can’t buy our students is a sense of self-worth. That alone comes through kindness. It comes with community. It comes with love.
Here in the U.S. we have all of you—our customers—behind us. We have customers send us e-mails telling us how delicious the tea is. We have customers telling us how beautiful the boxes are. We have people sending notes to tell us that what we are doing is worthwhile and something we should be proud of. And that sense of pride, of self-worth, and of purpose gets carried all the way to Kenya.
As our students have grown up, a remarkable thing has happened. When asked what unites them on the recent student-mentoring trip, our students didn’t say that they were all orphans. Instead, Shilla answered confidently, “We are all part of the Ajiri family.”
Going back to school for our students isn’t just about joining a new grade, but about joining a whole new community.
Thank you for the love, for the comments on our Facebook page, for the nice notes. Thank you all for creating such a wonderful community in which our business and our kids can grow and thrive.
Kate, Sara, Regina, and Duncan