by Jerry Kallman ’54
Although I received my M.S. in Secondary School Administration in 1954, I never got to put those skills to practical advantage, choosing rather to pursue a career first in journalism and then in public relations, leading to a successful 53-year run as an organizer and manager of international exhibitions and trade fairs.
More recently I have devoted myself to a project initiated when I was president of the Rotary Club of Ridgewood, NJ in 2008: supporting the Kishermoruak Primary School in the Maasai Mara Reserve in southern Kenya. Working with a very progressive Head Teacher I recommend and implement various programs, such as the hot lunch project, providing each of the 440 students with a hot, nutritious midday meal each school day. This past summer, while on our annual visit to the school, my wife and I with the assistance of two former Middle School principals from New Jersey introduced what I consider our finest contribution to the student body, or more correctly, to the girls at this struggling rural school.
It is a reality among the Maasai that when girls reach puberty and begin their monthly periods, they stay home and miss a week or more of school. We learned that there is absolutely no awareness of feminine hygiene or hygiene products. We came upon “Afri-Pads”, a kit that provides protection that now allows the girls to attend class during this monthly occurrence. Now the young women receive 100 per cent of their classroom instruction rather than just 75 per cent.
Having provided six new classrooms, a deep-water well, (making a school garden possible), offices and a school library, we now focus on introducing solar power with all the opportunities that will unleash for improved instruction and audio-visual learning.
For further information on the Kenya School Project, contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.