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Kenyan-born woman uses Canadian education to build school for students in her home country

ABOVE: Samara Visram is a remarkable young woman determined to use her Canadian education to combat poverty, force marriage and child trafficking in her native Kenya. Susan Hay has the story.

A remarkable, young woman born in Kenya is using her Canadian education to combat tough issues faced by students in her native country.

Samara Visram graduated from the University of British Columbia in May with a bachelor’s degree in environmental design. She has been working hard to design and build a high school for her home country, Kenya.

“I have always wanted to come to Canada to study just because I thought having this education, and having all the experiences that I would gain here, would help me in achieving my goal,” explained Visram, who’s also the founder of CARM Schools Kenya.

READ MORE: ‘They want to give back’: Montreal students fundraise to build school in Kenya

Her mission for the school is to empower Kenyan students, from Grade 9 to 12, with a level of education that will encourage them to become change-makers.

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“For me the real vision behind the school is that it acts as a hub for development for the entire community,” Visram said.

Having seen poverty first hand and the struggles young people faced in Kikambala, Kenya, Visram have been dreaming to build a school since she was a teenager.

“When I realized that education wasn’t provided to the country, I knew that I had to build a school and that became my dream,” she recalled.

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Visram received all the necessary certifications and approvals from the community and country of Kenya, and has partnered with the local Catholic church, who generously donated the land towards the project.

Since fundraising efforts began less than a month ago in Canada, Visram has received $35,000 in donations. It’s enough to get her started, but she still requires more.

PL3Y Education helping kids in B.C. and Kenya
PL3Y Education helping kids in B.C. and Kenya

“I am hoping to get $70,000 which is three classrooms,” she said. “As soon as I have that, I will start building.”

Visram’s late mother worked hard to fight child trafficking and poverty in the village of Kikambala, Kenya. She spent her last couple of years giving her all to the issue.

“This is my way of connecting with my mom, fighting for her and working to beat poverty, as I truly believe education is the way to do so.”

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