SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - By the time they get down to study they’re tired and hungry after walking several hours through scorching heat or heavy rains, barefoot. But despite the hurdles for an education the students of Michogomene in Kenya continue to succeed in their studies, according to Logan Palmer.
“It’s such a change from our life here on P.E.I. We live in a sheltered world where everything is done for us. Our parents drive us to school, we take busses, and never really have to work too hard. But their life is so much tougher,” said the Grade 12 student of Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside.
“They have no shoes, just walking on the side of a dirt road, and yet they still do great and take similar classes to us.”
Palmer was with fellow TOSH student Marcus Gauthier handing out cups of water to runners swooping past on Saturday morning for the 9th annual Farmers Helping Farmers Run.
Farmers Helping Farmers is a P.E.I. organization that’s been making a difference in East Africa for 35 years.
“All the funds and donations we get from participants, including registrations go to our twin school in Kenya,” said Gauthier. “We’ve been supporting this school for the last three years, and we correspond in a log book with the students.”
Although they are oceans apart, the students are helping to bridge the gap by sharing pictures, talking about their day-to-day activities and raising questions through the correspondence of a log book.
“They never heard of P.E.I. until we were connected but are very thankful for our help, and that’s a good feeling for us,” said Gauthier.
Once a week, 12 students from TOSH meet to discuss different ways to support their twin school, as well as those in their own community.
“In October we do a Halloween event called ‘We Scare Hunger,’ where we go door-to-door in Summerside and ask for bottles, cans and other donations for the food drive. We volunteer and support Relay for Life, we are involved in the community, and fundraise for other local events,” said Gauthier.
“It’s a big part of the school. Only students are involved, with the exception of two teachers that help assist in events.”
The run that was held by the students kicked-off at the CTEC-trades building beside TOSH. From there runners navigated down MacEwen and onto Victoria Road, continued through Heather Moyse Park, joining a trail behind Staples that crossed onto the Summerside boardwalk.
For those running the full 10-miles, the route continued to the end of the boardwalk on MacKenzie drive. Participants doing the five-miles turned around at Sharky’s Restaurant and made their way back to the CTEC building.