Making a Difference

Canyon Crest Academy sophomore Shawdi Amini recently traveled to Kenya with Kids for Peace to help open an elementary school in the remote village of Mikei. Shawdi was one of about 30 people on the trip, ranging from nine-year-old children to retired schoolteachers. Before Kids for Peace was involved, most children in Mikei were not able to attend school. The existing school was usually a makeshift structure that would often change locations each year, with few supplies and inconsistent learning.


The group had already raised money for the building materials and labor so that when they arrived the building was complete. They brought one ton of supplies to fill the classrooms, including books, puzzles, art materials, sports equipment, games, dolls, blocks, and notebooks. They painted murals, built a playground, planted fruit trees, hung pictures, and stocked the classrooms and library with the supplies they had brought. They also hired four teachers and other staff to upkeep the facility. The new school is now in a permanent location with desks and plenty of supplies to support up to 200 students. “The most rewarding part of the trip was meeting all the kids in Mikei, getting to know them and their families, and learning about the Kenyan culture,” Shawdi said. “The people of Mikei were very kind and led a peaceful life. They didn’t have much but always wore a big smile on their face.”

Shawdi has been involved with Kids for Peace since she was in second grade. Kids for Peace is a global nonprofit organization that provides a platform for young people to actively engage in socially conscious leadership, community service, arts, environmental stewardship, and global friendship. Learn more at