Kenyan elementary students acquire tables through school fundraiser


Students at Maya Primary School in Kenya learn at the desks provided to them by Caitlin Chung’s ’20 work with M-Tree. Credit: Caitlin Chung/Chronicle

Tessa Augsberger

Mtree, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating innovative solutions in developing countries, delivered tables to Maya Primary School in Kenya as a result of fundraising efforts by Chronicle Photography Editor Caitlin Chung ’20.

Mtree replaced rocks and stumps with tables

During her sophomore year, Chung held a fundraiser in which she sold açaí bowls to Upper School students from RioZonas Açaí, a local store in Studio City. By the end of the fundraiser, Chung had raised $1,496 out of her goal of $1,500. M-Tree used the funds to purchase tables to replace the rocks and tree stumps students at Maya Primary School had previously used as desks and chairs.

The Kenyan government awarded Chung the Service Recognition Award for her work with Mtree. Chung said that the award shows the extent of M-Tree’s work in Kenya.

“A seemingly small impact can actually go a long way, especially in a community that hasn’t really gotten the national attention or even the local attention of the authorities there,” Chung said.

Charity event could become annual

Chung said she is currently working to organize an annual charity concert, with proceeds benefiting Mtree.

As a member of Community Council, Chung would like to create more quality-based service opportunities in the future.

“I think seeing the people who actually sacrificed their time and their lives when they’re young … devoting it to some mission that is far greater than their own interests, that really changed my perspective on service and just kind of service in general,” Chung said.

Chung said it is important for students to know that their contributions to fundraisers and community service events truly make a difference in the lives of others.

“We do a lot of fundraisers at school that are based on selling food, and a lot of people forget that a cup of açaí can actually turn into a chair and a table for a student in Kenya,” Chung said.

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