Fourteen CrossFit-built Kenyan schools give villagers a chance to escape poverty through education. Chris Cooper reports.
If Mombasa, Kenya, is a center of trade, tourism and industry, rural Kenya is distinctly agrarian. This agriculture, however, is not the agriculture of the Industrial Revolution but rather smallholder farming mostly absent tractors and irrigation systems. The majority of Kenyans make their living by farming small patches of Sub-Saharan Africa, and most are always but one drought away from both empty pockets and empty stomachs.
The average Kenyan man earns less than US$1.50 per day, and work is scarce even at that rate. Poverty is on a different scale than in North America: kids often wear the same clothes every day for several years, and no meal is ever certain. Whereas the poorest of North America might find clean drinking water without much effort, rural Kenyans have no such security.
CrossFit for Hope is the action arm of the CrossFit Foundation, and Hope for Kenya is the foundation’s first effort outside the United States. The initiative links the CrossFit community with Kenyan villages where the local leaders decide what projects will provide the most benefit to the area. Latrines, desks and rainwater-collection systems are priorities, as are the schools that provide the possibility of something better for students.
Education is the best way out of rural poverty in the Developing World, and the CrossFit Foundation is providing a way for children here to create a future that doesn’t involve endless days tilling the soil before succumbing to disease or malnutrition before 60.