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 Patrick's Story...

  This is Patrick's Story...

 Patrick is 11 years old; the second oldest in a family of four very
 close brothers. Home for Patrick and his siblings is a simple hut with a
 tin roof and mud walls and floors. Patrick shares a small bed with the
 other two eldest. For someone so young, Patrickís life is full of
 responsibility. Even before he joins his friends to walk through the
 village to school, Patrick will have taken his familyís goats out to fresh
 fresh grassland, helped his mother prepare breakfast and helped
 organize his younger brother who attends nursery school.
 For Patrick and his school friends, the school day offers the
 opportunity to escape from the harsh reality of their everyday lives,
 the opportunity to be children again, the opportunity to have dreams. 
 Some dream of being soccer stars; of lifting the World Cup. Others
 dream of NBA stardom; of being worshipped by millions across the
 globe; of being the next Shaquille OíNeal.
 But Patrick is bright and ambitious. His dream is to be a doctor. Itís a
 more realistic dream than that of his classmates. Itís a dream, in fact,
 that he should be able to make a reality. But he wonít. He canít. For

 the simple reason that he goes to a primary school in rural Kenya.


 Everyday at school, Patrick shares a hot, dusty
 and dirty classroom with 40 classmates; a rotting
 broken desk with three of them; a tattered and
 torn textbook with two. All he has to call his own
 is his pencil. Yet even that is broken.
 Patrick loves to read. But he's read all the books
 at school. There are only a handful of them. They
 too are tattered and torn.
 His younger brother has it worse. He is four. He has just started at
 nursery school. He learns to count from some numbers scribbled on
 a scrap of cardboard. To write, with his finger in the hot dust outside.
 Patrick and his brother have one comfort: that they are not alone.
 There are many more children like them. For this is not the story of
 one school and two children in Kenya: it is the story of many.


  See Patrick's story come to life in photos at our flickr page...





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