November 9, 2004: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Return to our Country of Service - Kenya: Bennington Banner: A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Ed Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kenya: Peace Corps Kenya : The Peace Corps in Kenya: November 9, 2004: Headlines: COS - Kenya: Return to our Country of Service - Kenya: Bennington Banner: A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Ed Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-36-89.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.36.89) on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 9:18 pm: Edit Post

A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Ed Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Ed Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Ed Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

Local books go to Kenya

By CHRIS PARKER
Staff Writer

SUNDERLAND -- Ed Toth knew he couldn't do much about the sanitation issues inside a mud-walled elementary school in a Nairobi, Africa slum during his visit there last spring.

The Sunderland resident also knew he couldn't find a solution to the crippling AIDS epidemic that had orphaned many students in the region over the years.

But when Toth saw the worn, barely legible books elementary students were using as learning materials, and found out about the lack of a library at a northern Kenya high school, he said felt he could make a difference.

When he returned to Vermont, Toth started "Books for Kenya" and contacted local schools and libraries to see if they could donate some books. Since English is the official language in Kenya, he figured he'd have an easy time wrestling together at least some books.

"It was just a feeling I could make a little bit of a difference in this world," he said. "And the response was just very positive."

Toth, a retired wildlife biologist, said his garage soon filled up quickly with an array of books.

Now, thanks to the $525 donation from the Catamount and Manchester Rotary Clubs, and the help of the Manchester Post Office and the Martha Canfield, Fisher Elementary and Mark Skinner libraries, 375 pounds of educational materials are on a ship bound for East Africa.

The shipment, which includes more than 500 textbooks and children's books, should be in the hands of the Kenyan schoolchildren by Christmas. Once additional books are collected for the ongoing project, they will be sent as well.

A volunteer 30 years ago with the Peace Corps, Toth went to Kenya in March to reunite with a former colleague and close friend, Abduliah Abdi. Together, they traveled to sites where they had worked in 1974.

While in Nairobi, Abdi, the chief executive of a major development organization, introduced Toth to national representatives for the World Conference of Religions for Peace. The organization operates a Kenya-based HIV/AIDS interfaith taskforce, which carries out AIDS-related community-based projects throughout the country.

Toth toured the region with WCRP officials and learned they were funding the construction of a pit toilet at the elementary school, the buildng's only sanitary facility. When they came to the high school, which Abdi paid for out of his own pocket, Toth discovered the students didn't have a library.

Toth said thousands of good textbooks and children's books end up in landfills each year in Vermont and that he thought "Books for Kenya" would be a worthwhile endeavor.

While he hasn't collected any books for a second round, Toth said people can make donations by contacting him at 802-375-9762. He said he has a little money saved from the first shipment to pay for a second, but is waiting to hear from Abdi to make sure the books make it to Kenya.

"So once I get a feel everything's in place, I'll send another shipment," he said.





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Story Source: Bennington Banner

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kenya; Return to our Country of Service - Kenya

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