The Kenyan school system works differently from the US one in that each student is expected to purchase their own books. This is great for text book companies, but not so great for families (or orphans) who are often struggling just to survive. Some of the obstacles include AIDS, which has claimed one or both parents of 4 out of 10 children in Kenya, and droughts, which have decimated harvests for the last 4 years.

On January 9th, there will be an auction to raise funds to buy books for the Mathiwa Primary School outside of Kisumu in Western Kenya. The community there will contribute 25% of the cost of buying enough books for the school. This school is part of a network connected with the Center for International Voluntary Service. (look under "medium and long-term projects" in the "Volunteer" section of the web page).

Many people and businesses in New York have supported this project by donating an item for the auction. Some examples include:

A family membership to the Studio Museum in Harlem
A one-hour massage
Dinner for two at Colors restaurant
3 make overs and hair cuts

The event will be fun, and all donations will be tax deductible. Additionally, there will be a cash bar to help you get into the pre-Valentine's day spirit. So, step out of that post-holiday lull, bring your check books and come to:

Central Bar (upstairs)
9th St. between 3rd and 4th Avenues

Tuesday, Jan. 9th

$5 suggested donation at the door