Recent Graduates Pen Hartford Courant Op-Ed about Rebuilding Orphanage in Kenya

Gaurav Toor ’14, Marissa Block ’14, Led Projects for Peace Group from Trinity

HARTFORD, CT, October 1, 2014 – This summer, a contingent of Trinity students and recent graduates spent nearly five weeks in Njoro, Kenya, rebuilding an orphanage that burned to the ground as a result of post-election violence in 2007. Reflecting on their experience, Marissa Block ’14 and Gaurav Toor ’14 wrote an op-ed, which appeared in today’s issue of The Hartford Courant.

The team – Block; Toor; Tanya Kewelramani ’14; Juan Diego Lopez ’14; Aurora Bellard ’17; and Paroma Soni ’17 – was awarded a grant of $10,000 from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace initiative. They raised a total of $26,744 to support the rebuilding effort. In the op-ed, Toor and Block wrote:

“This project was sparked by our rising global consciousness as college students. We experienced first-hand the empathy that fellow students, staff and faculty at Trinity College showed toward the project including their generous donations of time and money. It was a fitting culmination of our four years at college. Before we even headed to Kenya, our campus community demonstrated immense support for our project and we felt appreciated for our work…

“The orphans lack traditional networks of ethnic, familial and locational connections, and they are socially ostracized or socially orphaned as well. They are currently living in a leased building but their permanent home is well underway. We joined in the construction effort, putting in floors, walls and other work. The installation of showers and toilets for the girls in the coming months will complete our work in hopes of opening the building by New Year’s.”

Block and Toor are currently working to raise additional funds in order to complete construction on the toilets and kitchen by December. Donations to the orphanage can be made here.