r By Sharon Warner
In 2011, Merit Academy adopted Mtulu, a school in rural Kenya. Since then, Merit’s fundraising has built desperately needed classrooms and bathroom facilities and purchased books and supplies. Recently, however, a famine has amplified the need of these students; many are starving. Ninety miles from any urban center, Mtulu lies in the driest, poorest region of Kenya. Mtulu’s 500 students walk between four and eight miles to school, often on empty stomachs. Upon learning this, Merit’s executive chef, Sharon Warner, sprang into action. Warner now leads a team of students in a delicious fundraising campaign; before school, during lunch periods, and after school, busy hands have been preparing cinnamon rolls to sell at Merit’s performances of “Oklahoma!”
“We have partnered with Kenya Keys, an NGO devoted to the development of Kenyan schools. Their representatives leave for Mtulu June 1. One hundred percent of the money from our cinnamon rolls will be handed directly to the school. For 23 cents, we can feed a child a meal, which means every dollar we raise has major impact. It breaks my heart to think of those young people going hungry,” Warner said.
In just one week, Merit has raised more than $1,300. However, Mtulu’s need is ongoing. If you would like to join Merit’s efforts, visit www.meritacademy.org. Select “Class Fees.” Under “Misc Fees” is a donation line for Mutulu. “We must not forget our partnership with our sister school,” Warner said. “These are not Mtulu’s students we are feeding. These are our students, and this is our opportunity to help them.”