In early 2010, we were three college students studying abroad in Kenya. One weekend we took a weekend trip to hike Mt. Longonot. After we were dropped off on the side of the road by our bus, we just started walking towards the mountain. We heard voices coming from a small wooden shack and decided to stop and ask for directions. As we approached, children began pouring through the door and shouting greetings to us. The shack, it turned out, was a pre-primary school serving about 40 children in two small run down rooms. We were struck by how the teacher never asked us for money or any other help; she only requested we send her one of the pictures we took of her and her students.
We returned to the school several times after that to bring small materials to the school and visit the children. We soon decided we wanted to do more than simply bring a few school supplies out of our own pockets. We realized that what the school needed most was a new facility, one that was safe, child-friendly, and conducive to learning. One year after our first visit to the school, we started the Longonot Education Initiative—a non-profit organization with a mission to work with the school and to support and develop sustainable education opportunities for children in Kenya.