I just received the loveliest card from Kate, one of the Founders of Ajiri Tea and Ajiri Foundation. As many of you know, Experience Tea makes an annual donation to Ajiri in an amount equal to the number of boxes we sell each year of this wonderful Kenyan Black Tea. This year’s donation was $144.
Here is the content of the letter Kate wrote:
Dear Roberta [and all Experience Tea Customers],
A huge thank you for your generous donation! Sara and I just got back from Kenya where we are sponsoring an additional 9 students this year. 100% of your donation goes directly to these students. I wish you could meet these students to see how incredibly amazing and strong they all are. One of our new students, Sheila, is a smart and strong-willed young adult. Her father died about three years ago leaving only her mother. They were then chased away from the father’s land and destitute, not even having enough to eat. Despite all of this, Sheila scored very high on her national exams and just last week was admitted into one of Kenya’s best high schools! With your help, Sheila is starting school next week.
But your donation goes way beyond the paying of books and school fees. To these students, your donation is a tangible sign that you believe they are capable of doing well. For many of our students who don’t have a family, you in essence become their family through your donation. Many of our students refer to themselves as part of “The Ajiri Family.”
In late November our first three students graduated from high school. All three have the intention (and grades!) to go on to university. It is incredible to see what capable, intelligent, and above all, caring individuals they have become. One of these students, Winston, offered to help tutor some of our younger students. So every weekend (he is studying for the SATs during the week) he goes to their house to help. It is this cycle of giving that shows Ajiri’s success. So thank you Roberta [and all Experience Tea Customers], for being part of this cycle. And whether you like it or not, welcome to “The Ajiri Family.”