Community Building Projects
Overcoming inequality can seem impossible from the perspective of an individual. But even the impossible can become a reality when its confronted by a strong community. The society we surround ourselves with strongly influences our choices and attitude, and over time these collective influences will lead towards incredible change . This effect rings true all over the world and is why Cross World Africa takes seriously its role in developing strong communities throughout East Africa. Each year, we task our team with drawing up a creative project to benefit these communities in uplifting ways. Past projects have included basketball tournaments between CWA volunteers and local high schools (with the Cornell University Athletic department donating basketballs to each school), conducting an honorary Kip Keino Mile to raise money for his foundation (an event that was won by Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis) and even making Ithaca, NY and Eldoret, Kenya sister cities.
For 2016, CWA's community building project focused on a local primary school perched atop the Rift Valley escarpment. Much of the student body came from the surrounding hillsides and all fell below the International Poverty Line. Our team decided to take school portraits for each student to bring homes to their parents. With the help of some expert photographers, portable printers and laminating machines, the team created a photo-studio in this rural region of Kenya to help give each family their very own school picture. For many of these children, it was the first time they had ever seen a photograph. The smiles from both the parents and kids certainly will be remembered by this community and our team for years to come.