Human is Kind: Local resident raising funds to support girls’ education at new learning center in Kenya
A local woman is hoping the kindness of San Diego residents will help her continue to support the education of impoverished girls in Kenya.
Human is Kind, a nonprofit that Kate Pache started in Bird Rock in 2018, will hold its first Texas Hold’em poker tournament at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at Backyard Kitchen & Tap, 832 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, with proceeds funding the group’s new learning center for girls in Kisumu, Kenya.
The learning center will open Friday, April 1, in a poverty-stricken area of Kisumu called Obunga, home to about 15,000 people. The center will offer academic and health lessons, along with other skills.
Pache, who lives in Pacific Beach, founded Human is Kind with her then-husband after volunteering at a different school for girls in Kisumu in 2017. “We fell in love with the community and fell in love with the girls,” she said.
Human is Kind began raising money to support students at the school. Education in Kenya is free, but students must pay for uniforms, school supplies and lunch, Pache said.
“These families just can’t afford it, especially when they have multiple children,” Pache said. The average family income is $2 or $3 a day, and basic school supplies are priced similarly to those in the United States.
“A lot of kids drop out of school because they’re hungry,” Pache said. She added that girls are more likely to drop out because they are told to stay home when menstruating, on the idea that it makes them weaker. That causes them to fall further behind, she said.
Pache and the other Human is Kind board members, most of whom are specialists in reproductive health, brought a reproductive-health curriculum to the students along with menstrual and other health supplies.
“HIV is rampant there; the rape culture is so normalized,” Pache said. “We need to teach these girls how to protect themselves and what their rights are.”
Human is Kind eventually decided to start its own learning center, which will be open five days a week “for girls to come in when they have time available to … learn how to read, how to write ... learn math,” she said.
The girls also will have access to snacks and medical supplies at the center, along with lessons on computer use, typing and more.
The board hired a teacher and an operation director who will serve 15 girls at a time from ages 4 to 17, rotating groups through the space to accommodate 100 per month, Pache said.
“Most of the girls have family chores,” she said. “They go to the market, they’re babysitting their siblings, they’re doing all sorts of things. So if they have any free time, we want them to be able to come in and learn whatever they’re capable of learning at that time.”
Pache estimated the learning center will cost $600 to $700 per month to operate. She said Human is Kind is able to fund the first several months, but “we need to sustain this more.”
Pache hopes to raise $1,000 at the March 27 poker tournament, which will cost $75 for the first buy-in and $50 for each rebuy.
Three Human is Kind volunteers, including Pache, plan to go to Obunga in mid-April to check on progress at the center. The flights are self-funded; Pache emphasized that all donations are used for school expenses and supplies.
“My dream is to have this [learning center] grow so that we can … make it open to way more children and have more teachers,” she said.
“We’re just really proud of what we’ve been able to do so far.”
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