The following letter was published in the Almanac's Jan. 10 print edition:
Congratulations on the excellent and timely article on local efforts to assist in the construction of a high school for girls in Naivasha, Kenya.
The article highlights the selfless efforts of Margo McAuliffe of Menlo Park, whom I know, to assist Father Daniel Kiriti in Naivasha. I had the pleasure of meeting Father Kiriti two years ago, thanks to Ms. McAuliffe.
Simultaneous with this article came international media reports on the opening of a magnificent high school for girls in South Africa, underwritten by Oprah Winfrey.
What a contrast of macro and micro efforts by McAuliffe and Winfrey, dollar-wise: A fundraising goal of $300,000 by McAuliffe; a personal commitment of $40 million by Winfrey. Yet, underlying their independent efforts is the common recognition of the necessity of educating young African women.
These efforts should not be viewed as missionary work, but as a substantive investment in the future of the continent. I fear some readers may conclude from Winfrey's commitment: "Well, she has taken care of that." Africa is a huge continent. Winfrey's school is in South Africa. The school McAuliffe is assisting is a half-continent away.
Here is an opportunity for individuals locally to be engaged in a global mandate. I urge those with an interest to contact McAuliffe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Euclid Avenue, Menlo Park