Serving with Love

Dear Friends,

Over our 12+ years, Daylight has had the most amazing, caring and giving board members. Some serve for a few years, and others have been on the board since Daylight School started. We are so grateful for all of them and know that Daylight would not be the wonderful school it is without their time, dedication and love of our students. Here we highlight a few more of our current board members.

We would also like to thank our past board members for all their hard work and ongoing support:

Curt Squires, Gary May, Tom Gillaspy, Gina Schulz, Lauren Vetsch, Tyler LeClear Vachta, Laurie Vandendriessche, Dr. Lenny Snellman, Matt Horn, Cecka Parks, Steve Spark, Jessi LeClear Vachta, Brianna Menning, Andrew Ulasich, Joyce Schwartz, Ben Krupnick, William Obaga, David Maus, Johnson Yopo, Angelina Kuo, Ben Domongole, Fridah Kamoi, James Chilakol, John Bosco, Karen Cheptoo, Sharon Cheru and all the others that have provided help and support over the years.

Rachel Arneson, Board Member

Rachel Arneson is a fifth-generation crop farmer in Minnesota. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology, and wrote her thesis about the Pokot people of northwestern Kenya. Rachel served on the first established U.S. Board for Daylight in 2010, and eventually as Daylight’s first U.S. Director of Operations prior to returning to her family’s farm. Her love for Daylight has never faded, and she is happy to be serving Daylight on the board once again.

Why I am involved with Daylight School:

Before Daylight, I had no idea that children in some parts of the world had to pay to attend public school. Growing up, I had the privilege of receiving an education, experiencing other cultures, being exposed to other ideas. I understood that the cycle of warfare in rural Kenya could be stifled if a new generation of leaders from those communities had a chance for their world to be broadened by education. Daylight was co-founded by a boy from rural Kenya, who received an education and who wanted to give that same opportunity to more children. It was an easy decision to support and serve Daylight from the very beginning..

Rachel visiting Daylight School in its early years (note the uniforms have changed to green now)

Travis Collins, Board Member

Travis lives in Minneapolis, MN where he has worked in Special Education for 13 years. He studied English Literature and Theology in Dublin, Ireland. He has a passion for teaching and giving back to those who are so often left behind in our institutions. As a young man, he spent a summer living in Tanzania working alongside doctors and nurses, helping them build a new clinic in a remote area of the country. He was introduced to Daylight through the former US Director Nathan Roberts. 

Why I am involved with Daylight School:

My experiences in East Africa and my passion for education drew me to being apart of Daylight. My work with students in Minneapolis also has taught me to continually self-reflect on my own racial biases and to work for racial equity. My hope is that I can continue this work at Daylight by focusing on empowering our Kenyan leaders. 

Travis and his mother on one of his visits to Daylight School

Rebecca Erickson, Board Member

Rebecca Erickson has been a member of the Daylight US Board since 2016. She has worked at various fun and creative jobs, with her last one being in conference planning. Since retiring, she has taken on many volunteer opportunities, one of the most meaningful being in group and in-home respite for people with dementia. As a member of First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, she occasionally plays piano for worship, plays the bass bells in the handbell ensemble, and sometimes sings in the vocal choir. She has helped plan many retreats for the women’s group. She lives in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Why I am involved with Daylight School:

This school is special. It’s a boarding school for about half of the students who attend Daylight. The boarders have been orphaned due to tribal violence, but it is so much more than a boarding school. The children are educated and fed and have a safe place to sleep, but they also experience the love of family from the incredible teachers and staff. The teachers aren’t just teaching academics. They are giving the children the family they’ve lost. The school’s amazing test results are a testament to the wonderful experience the children have. It’s an amazing combination. The teachers and all of the financial supporters of

Daylight School is helping the students achieve their dreams of being engineers, teachers, doctors, musicians and shopkeepers. I’m proud of the work I’ve done while being on the Daylight US Board.

Rebecca teaching music to some of our Daylight students.

Thanks to all our supporters for making the dream of an education a reality for so many amazing students and future leaders! Please continue to keep the students and staff in your thoughts and prayers. 

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Water Filtration Project

Recently our 3rd graders participated in a water filtration project at Daylight School. Safe drinking water is so important for all of us, but many people in Kenya don’t have access to it, which can cause people, especially children, to get very sick and can even cause death. It is a focus of Daylight School to make sure that the students understand how important water purification is and even participate in the process.

Below Teacher Mr. John shows the students a borehole, which every student had to design.

The students went on a hike to go out and identify sources of water in their surroundings.

Students walk to the nearby river.

Then visit the dam.

The 3rd graders also took their National Exams, and did their practical examination under the theme “Safe Water for Good Health”, it entailed identifying different sources of water, water storage and how to make it safe for consumption.

Water is ready for boiling.

Students, below, practicing water filtration.

Below, one of our amazing 3rd grade students with his 3D modeling of a borehole.

Thank you for your continued support of the education and safety of students and staff at Daylight School. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Good Luck and Farewell 8th Graders!

On Monday, March 22nd, our 8th grade students will be taking their National Exams. These yearly exams, taken by all 8th grade students, were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The exams are usually given in the fall.

Daylight School’s 8th Grade Class – We are so proud of all our students!

The staff held a party to say farewell and wish them luck on their exams and we hope that you will keep them in your thoughts as well.

8th Graders gather for a Farewell Party. Many will move on to high school soon!

The National Exams in Kenya are very important. They are educational exams that test core competencies in Math, Science, Reading, and English.

Students’ test scores qualify them for high school scholarships and determine what caliber of high school they will attend!

Social Distancing study time – our 8th graders spend months preparing for the exam.

It also determines Daylight School’s district ranking. We are currently the only top performing school in West Pokot County that accepts so many students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our students and staff are very proud of this!

Our school manager Reuben and our school secretary Mercy with two of our amazing 8th grade students!

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1 Minute Update: Birthday Celebration!

Dear Friends,

Today our students celebrated the 10th birthday for two of our 3rd grade students and twins, Clare and Clara! The staff at Daylight loves celebrating with the students and who doesn’t love a party at school on a Friday! Here the students, let by their teacher, Winnie, celebrated by singing and dancing together.

Each of the girls had a beautiful pink cake with their name on it, and there was a banner on the chalkboard in the classroom to make the party even more festive.

Beautiful cake and yummy candy to enjoy!

In Kenya some pour water on the birthday celebrants as a symbol of their birth. You can see in the photo below that Clara and Clare are each getting their turn.

We here at Daylight hope you are able to celebrate with your friends and family, even if it is from a distance these days. We celebrate all of you and the tremendous difference you are making in the lives of our students and future leaders!

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1 Minute Update: Making a Difference

Dear Friends,

It is a new school year at Daylight and there are happy voices and the campus is once again a flurry of activity! We look forward to sharing more stories and highlights of our students. Below, some of our younger students were doing some painting recently. They are all very happy to be back at school again with their friends!

We would also like to introduce you to a couple more of our US Board Members. Daylight wouldn’t be the amazing school it is without the help of both our Kenyan and U.S. Board of Directors! Over the past twelve years many friends of Daylight have served for two or more years on the U.S. Board and every one of them has helped make a lasting impact for our students.  Our U.S. Board members have all gained a better understanding of how Daylight School functions and has become even more. 

Merv Miller, Board Chair

Merv is a Minnesota native and Realtor with Edina Realty. Merv has always had a passion for serving the less fortunate.  That passion has led him to lead several faith based mission trips to Haiti and rural Belize with the goal of empowering local communities in regards to health and food sustainability while serving the vision for those goals through indigenous leadership. 

Merv lives in Maplewood with his wife Lisa. Together they love hanging out with their 3 adult children and two grandchildren, enjoying the walking and biking paths in the area and travel to their favorite destination, southeastern Idaho. 

Why I am involved with Daylight School:

I learned about Daylight when I read the book Poor Millionaires about 7 years ago and had the opportunity to meet the Co-founder Michael Kimpur. My wife and I became sustaining supporters of Daylight because it met all the giving criteria that we value. It was justice driven, seeking to provide education and hope to one of Kenya’s poorest areas. Providing a home for orphaned children and playing a role in the betterment of the entire community. When I visited Daylight in January of 2020 I found the leadership to exceed my expectations. It is a working farm with full time gardeners and herdsman. The staff and volunteers work hard to make the most of every donation coming from the US. I feel that my gifts to Daylight are contributing to the bending of the moral arc of the universe toward justice.

Merv with students on his visit to Daylight School in Kenya in January of 2020

Lori Hart, Vice Chair

Lori Hart, a  US Daylight Center and School board member since 2018, is a Family Nurse Practitioner living in Minneapolis Minnesota.   Her areas of specialty are Pediatrics and International Travel and Tropical Medicine. Throughout her career she has enjoyed opportunities to practice in a variety of healthcare settings including volunteer work in Mexico, Haiti, Peru and Nepal. She has developed a passion for caring for and learning from her culturally diverse patients in the US and abroad.

Through her neighborhood church, Linden Hills United Church of Christ, Lori and her 2 daughters were introduced to Daylight Center and School in Kenya.  They saved spare change and donated towards bunkbeds for the school’s dorms. 

Eventually, in the summer of 2018, Lori and her daughters joined a team from LHUCC on a service trip to Daylight School. During the trip, Lori assessed and treated each of the 300 students plus many community members and school staff during a pop-up medical clinic located on the school campus. 

Lori with one of the students at the pop-up medical clinic.

Why I am involved with Daylight School:

I feel honored to serve on the Daylight Board.  I am very passionate about supporting and promoting the physical, mental and spiritual health of the students and the environment at Daylight so the children can reach their imagined potential. 

I am so grateful for the gifts from donors who help realize the goals of Daylight School and the dreams of each and every Daylight student. 

Thanks to all our supporters and Board Members over the past twelve years for making the dream of an education a reality for so many amazing students and future leaders! Please continue to keep the students and staff in your thoughts and prayers. 

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