In case you missed it, the 2nd Annual Fashion and Phi-lan-thro-py event was a massive success! Thanks to all of our friends and supporters we were able to bring in a total of 60 new Child Sponsors which will enable us to continue providing a world-class education to the children of Flying Kites.
Click here to see photos from the event
Flying Kites co-founder and COO, Leila de Bruyne, delivered a powerful speech to the packed crowd:
It means so much to see so many of you here today. Helping children in a small rural village in Kenya might not be an obvious cause to connect with, and it requires a leap of faith to invest in our model.
Our work is also unique because we want to provide some of the world’s most desperate children with better services - to offer previously-homeless, orphaned and abused kids opportunities that will fundamentally change their options in life. We are building a world-class school that can shape the type of leaders that our world so badly needs.
When we first started thinking through this model, we were met with a lot of resistance. During this time, my cousin introduced me to a seasoned-fundraiser who had had great success at raising money for a preferential option for the poor. I shared with him my worries that it was easier to pitch “feed the hungry orphans” than, “invest in excellence in education.” Ed (kind of a spiritual guy) asked me to me to close my eyes and imagine having lunch with a child in our care — 30 years from now. I saw Moses as a man in his thirties, I imagined how he spoke, what he said, what he did for a living. When I described the man I hoped to have a hand in raising, Ed said to me, “you already know the conditions from which men like that emerge, so go build them. Go do that."
Moses has been with us for over 7 years. He has private tutoring every night, he spends his sundays working in the community with those who live on less than 2 dollars a day and anyone who knows him will tell you about his gifts and his grace. Giving Moses the type of care he needs to be the best version of himself isn’t a matter of justice, it's not simply because it's the right thing to do, -- to me, it is the only way I can envision being able to affect the massive and violent poverty that ripped apart his family.
Fanikio huzza fanikio / Success breeds success -- It's a swahili proverb that our headmaster says - and its the very core of our mission at Flying Kites. Our school was just recognized as the number one school in the district and our students -- many of whom were homeless, abused, and orphaned when they came to us, are now competitive on a national scale.
We are on an unrelenting quest to position the kids in our care for success, and in doing so we are confident that these children will one day be the agents of change in Kenya, and across the world.
So while I started by saying how touching and almost random it is that our Boston community has become so intertwined and invested in a small rural village in Kenya - I suppose it's not really..
Because ultimately it doesn't matter what moves you philanthropically - whether it is conservation, the arts, endangered animals, our oceans and forests, medical research, all of these issues will be inherited by the next generation of leaders, and we need to make sure that among them are people like Moses, those who have social justice in their bones and those who have been given the skills and tools to really impact their communities and countries and world.