Auntie Rebecca practices her tiger mom look with a cheeky Rahab

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Hannah, Auntie Rebecca, and Elias

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See Flying Kites on!

Partnership, Humility, Action: Forging change

Mark Arnoldy of Nyaya Health and Paul Farmer of Partners in Health on stage at MCC 2012

This past weekend, we had the great pleasure of attending the 2012 Millennium Campus Conference at Northeastern University, where we joined 1,200 other attendees including student leaders, development professionals, innovative social benefit organizations, and some of the world’s leading economists, to discuss progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and how to more efficiently work towards their achievement.

With a superstar line up of keynote speakers including Dr Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Peace Prize Winner, Emilia Pires, Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, and Steve Radelet, Chief Economist at USAID, there was no shortage of powerful minds and voices, urging the audience to listen closely to the populations they wish to serve, to act boldly, and act in concert with one another.

Over the course of the two day conference, more powerful speeches were given and discussions had then we could ever hope to summarize, but we would like to share a few pivotal moments with you:

  •  Akhtar Bradesh, Senior Director of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft urged the students and young leaders in attendance to:


2.)BE A LEARNER- “Listen when people say you don’t know anything.”

3.) FAIL – “You will fail- it is the only way to know success.”

4.)BE COMPASSIONATE, not just passionate.

“Compassion takes your personal work, drive, motivation and turns it into societal benefits.”

  • Dr. Paul Farmer insisted that you cannot plan ahead for every set back or defeat. He identified perseverance, humility and partnership as the key ingredients that will carry you through even the worst of disasters.
  • Steve Radelet of USAID stood in front of the packed auditorium, and boomed out, “Some people say development is failing. I am here to say they are wrong. Never before has there been so much progress… Fighting poverty is happening.”

We walked away from the 2012 MCC fired up  and excited to forge further partnerships as we strive towards better care, better education, and more widely accessible opportunity at the Flying Kites home, school, and surrounding community.

-Julianna Morrall Director, Ambassador Program

How To Teach Without Talking

An insightful, inspiring piece by our amazing friends from The Africa Yoga Project.


On Friday, I traveled with the amazing Irene to an outreach called Kambui School For the Deaf. It’s set back in the country-side of Kenya surrounded by lots of green, and many many dirt roads that both surround and lead to the campus. When you walk through the metal gates and arrive onto the campus, you are met with this beautiful silence. As you walk further down the path, it’s the same silence, and you begin to see students emerge, talking with their hands, sign language, the same facial expressions that any person using words out loud would have. Image

The class was beautiful. Laughter, it’s the same sound too. And when breaking free from a child is perhaps the sweetest, clearest sound in the world. We practiced on a cold dusty red floor that quickly warmed from our movement. We grounded down with our feet, we reached high with our…

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Flying Kites leader Francis cracks a wide smile, followed by shared laughter on a lunch outing with the other “big kids.”

Why Can’t We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?

Why Can’t We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?

What if we let charities operate like businesses?

Delighted to learn

Miriam takes her first typing class in the new computer lab. We found her joy to learn inspiring. What has inspired you today?

A Look in the Mirror

by Hannah Peterson, Flying Kites Ambassador

Mary stared intently at herself in a hand mirror, tilting it slightly to see her hairline, and then to the side to trace the lines of her ear. The playroom was set up like an art workshop with three big wooden tables cornered by benches, each with a mirror and bucket of colored pencils. For our Mlezi and Championi level sponsors, we decided to make self-portraits to send in the month of September. Orchestrating an activity for 26 energetic kids has its unique challenges, and having executed all sponsorship correspondences over the past year, I’d learned a couple key lessons to keep things going smoothly. Number one, create a lesson plan and split the kids into small groups. Number two, the kids mirror your excitement, so make it something that excites and challenges you too. And finally, number three, always, always, have dance music playing.

I set up my own table and armed myself with glue sticks for each finished picture to be set onto a glittery frame. I gave them the advice that I wished had been given to me in my first art class: draw what you perceive, not necessarily what you see. I knew it was a success when I heard laughter around the room and could look around at the tens of mirror faces revealing themselves.

In the past year, we have funneled effort into sustaining a more creative and evolved relationship between child and sponsor through a correspondence program that spans media types. From emails to holiday ornaments, to self-portraits, to video messages, our hopes are that this program has helped to reshape and enhance this relationship. The unexpected treasure though, always lies in the kids. In showing the kids how to creatively correspond with people around the globe, their own understanding of giving has evolved into a more creative and authentic outlook. It has been a meaningful journey to act as the bridge between child and sponsor, and with the growing intellectual and creative tools cultivated by the kids, I can’t wait to see where they take things next as our superstar Communications Ambassador, Adam, steps into the role.

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flying kites

Impact, updates, and inspiration. As told by the Flying Kites community.

The Esquire

An elegant and bold theme for


Empowering through the transformative power of Yoga

Impact, updates, and inspiration. As told by the Flying Kites community.

Kenya Dig It?

... an update on the happenings of Brian Jones