2013 Challenge: “Back to School” Campaign

Our partnership with Arise Africa inspired us to create Kershaw’s Challenge. After a trip to Lusaka, Zambia in 2010, the Kershaws saw a desperate need to make a difference, and decided to join forces with Arise Africa.

Arise Africa is committed to helping individuals live a life that God desires for all mankind. This involves assisting them spiritually, physically, and economically to enable them to become responsible, independent, and self-sustaining individuals. Above all, Arise Africa strives to share the truth and love of Jesus Christ.

The past two baseball seasons, Kershaw’s Challenge raised funds to build a home for children in vulnerable and life-threatening situations in Zambia. In December of 2012, Arise Home opened its doors to the first 8 children who how call this place their home. These kids had been malnourished, under educated and abandoned. Their story is now vastly different. However, there are still so many children in that same situation who need our help.

This 2013 season, Kershaw’s Challenge will be going back to the community school and compound that was once the home of the 8 kids who are now living in Arise Home. Although we cannot provide the thousands of children living in horrible conditions with a home, we can create an enriched environment at school for them to feel safe, educated, and empowered.

Our goal this season is to partner with Destiny Community School to provide their students—who are mostly vulnerable children on the streets—with a higher level of education in a more intimate environment. Together with Arise Africa, we have identified three specific needs to help Destiny. This is our “Education Program” for 2013:

First of all, we’re excited to increase the school size with more classrooms. Currently, grades first through fourth are meeting in the same small church room. You can imagine the chaos of so many children in one small space! It is hardly the appropriate environment for fruitful education. Additional classrooms would be the first step towards great change. Our plan is to help Destiny build 4-6 new classrooms. More space will allow the different grade levels to spread out and really focus on the goal at hand: education.

Next to more space, we feel like there is a huge need to support teachers’ salaries. Part of our donation will go towards hiring faculty with higher degrees of education. We want to equip Destiny with quality teachers who will be compensated for pouring their time and attention into their students. Right now, Destiny cannot afford these teachers. So they are hiring employers who cannot read themselves to teach classes to 5th graders. Hiring quality educators will provide these students with a quality education. We are excited to help create a reserve fund of salary money so that the children of Destiny have the security of great teachers for years to come.

Finally, we want to meet a very basic need of Destiny—fresh water. The school is currently piped into the city water line, which is rarely reliable and certainly not sanitary. We want to build a water tower, complete with a well and tank—just like the one we have at Arise Home. Fresh water affects every aspect of life for these children. A water tower would be a tremendous blessing.

Here’s the breakdown of the our goal for the Education Program:

  • 4-6 Additional Classrooms (including the new buildings and electricity): $40,000-$50,000
  • Teacher Salaries (new teachers and a reserve fund for continuity): $10,000
  • Water Tower, Well and Tank: $10,000

This 2013 season is really just a continuation of what we started last year. The children of Arise Home have a new place to call home, but there are so many still left in tough situations. We want to meet them there. We want to go back and improve life in the community. We believe that education is the way of empowering kids to break the poverty cycle they have grown up in. These children have the chance to become the change their country desperately needs.