For the past five years Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts (ASIA) North Poplar elementary has been partnered with a primary school in Kenya, East Africa.
It is one of 32 schools that surround the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is a 90,000-acre not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary near the foothills of Mount Kenya.
Project Kenya Sister Schools and the conservancy work together to connect Canadian and Kenyan schools. Once North Poplar was selected by the Conservancy Trust to partner with Uaso Nyiro Primary School, the process of relationship building and fundraising was begun.
The school sold Christmas cards with the artwork of Kenyan students, as well as ornaments, necklaces and keychains made by Maasai mothers. The school has hosted popcorn sales, movie days, coin drives, spelling bees, bottle drives, raffles and most recently students sent friend-o-grams which included heart soapstones or leather bracelets made by Kenyan artisans.
On March 31, at the ASIA North Poplar African Art Gala hosted at The Reach Gallery and Museum from 7 to 9 p.m., a silent auction will be held with all proceeds going to support the education on Kenyan children.
Students of North Poplar and Uaso Nyiro communicate through letters, art work and disposable cameras.
In July, four teachers from North Poplar will be travelling to the sister schools to visit the classrooms and work with the students and teachers.
In May, all students in the school will be performing the musical, The Lion King, after a year-long integrated study of Africa.