Inspiration From a Child's Desk

On a recent trip to Kenya, I was inspired by the words I found scribbled and/or carved on the children’s desks at the ESS school, one of the schools we support. Most of the students there come from families with annual income at or below the global extreme poverty line. Some of these students are those who have been enrolled in our Scholarship Program. Many of them sit through class hungry. Most, if not all of them, have lost parents, siblings or extended family to AIDS or malaria. Many of them walk about an hour or so to get to school. They get the chance to express themselves on their desks, of all places, though.

Where I’m from, I’m not sure you would see inspiration or motivational reminders scribbled on desks. Maybe I’m wrong. But I recall reading vulgar phrases or four-letter words,  or even offensive images of  nude body parts drawn on desks and bathroom stalls. When I asked the head teacher if it was acceptable for the children to write on their desks, he responded: “Yes, it’s OK. They need the inspiration. As long as they don’t write anything vulgar, we’re OK with it. We support it.”

Below are a few of the things I found on the desks at the school. Keep in mind, this was not a rarity. Something meaningful and inspiring was nearly

on ALL desks.

Their message: Hope. Love. Courage. Enduring through suffering. Discipline. Experience. 

What would you write as your daily motto if faced with extreme poverty?

These children have lots to teach us.


Consider being the hope and ray of light these children are waiting patiently for. You can help by sponsoring a child from our Scholarship Program, or supporting our School Support & Construction project.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” -Nelson Mandela.




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