Kenya hear stories at Camana Bay?

Books & Books is using its popular Story Time series to help raise awareness and money for local nonprofit organisation Thousand Little Pairs of Shoes. Families with youngsters up to age 8 are invited to a morning of stories, crafts and charity on Saturday, 30 June from 10.30am at Books & Books in Camana Bay.

After enjoying some African tales, children can make a friendship bracelet and decorate a card for a Kenyan child. Breakfast snacks from Black Trumpet Gourmet Delicatessen will be available for purchase and all proceeds will benefit the organisation’s upcoming mission to Kenya.

In September 2009, local bartender Renata Kecskes signed up for a volunteer programme to teach English in a tiny village in northeast Kenya. It was her first visit to Africa and she was shocked that her little students — some as young as 3 — had to walk many miles over harsh terrain to receive an education. None wore shoes — their families could not afford them — and Renata learned that the open sores on their bare feet were prone to infection by soil-transmitted parasites, causing everything from worms and anaemia to stunted physical and cognitive development.

Upon returning to Cayman, Renata founded the charity. She began recruiting volunteers, raising money and sourcing brand new shoes from China for $1.50 per pair. During the past few years, Thousand Little Pairs of Shoes has delivered about 6,000 pairs of shoes, and with a new mission scheduled for August, Renata hopes to personally deliver another 3,000 pairs to her friends in Kenya.

Positive attitude

Jennifer Sanchez-Jagger, Books & Books operations supervisor, tells us that this is a chance to help.

“I have known Renata for some time and have always admired her positive attitude toward life, but it was only recently that she told me about Thousand Little Pairs of Shoes and their upcoming mission. Her passion was inspiring and I immediately wanted to help.

“Books & Books has always been committed to supporting children’s causes and our weekly Story Time was the perfect opportunity to help the kids of Kenya while teaching Cayman’s youth the importance of charity. I know that everyone who attends this special event will leave with a full heart, knowing that their efforts for one morning will change the journey of a little boy or girl in Kenya,” she says.