Taryn Mason, Gr. 12 - Free The Children in Kenya with Marc & Craig Kielburger

Free the Children - July 26 to Aug 3, 2013

On July 26th, Sacred Heart Grade 12 student and Head Girl, Taryn Mason, set off for Kenya on a Board Mission with Free the Children.  Both Marc and Craig Kielburger joined her for the full week, which included two days of building a girls dormitory for a new school, walking for water with the Mama's, and learning how to do artisan beading - part of Free the Children's commitment to teaching women alternative sources of income.

There were 27 other adults and teens on the trip from across Canada and the US - including her Mom.  The week was full of learning and reflection.  Accommodations were in the form of a comfortable tent and hydro was turned on daily from 6-10pm. For Taryn, this was a week of education and appreciation for the simple basics in life that we take for granted - clean water from a tap, access to education, food in the fridge, the ability to turn on a light, plentiful food choices, and freedom of choice - particularly for women.

Each evening during dinner in the tent, Marc and Craig would ask us each to share our highlight of the day. This was particularly impactful for Taryn and each evening she was able to share a new element of what she had observed that day - a memory that will stay with her and guide her decisions and actions going forward.  On the final evening of the adventure, when Taryn stood to share her highlight, it was perhaps the most meaningful reflection since arriving.  She shared that she had come to Kenya with Free the Children to give - she was prepared to work hard on the build site and give back.  What she had learned in 7 days however, was that she was the one receiving. Taryn will tell you that this, in fact, was the greatest and most pleasant surprise from her trip.

On September 10th, Taryn will be continuing her work with Free the Children.  Marc and Craig will be back in Halifax to announce the talent line up for Atlantic's first WE Day - coming to the Metro Centre on November 27th.  Taryn will be speaking publicly twice during the day about her incredible experience and journey of discovery in Kenya.