Coming Soon: The official CES Biography

November 10, 2018 2:36 pm Published by

CES has achieved a milestone that is rarely achieved by grass-roots organizations — 15 years of meeting needs and serving others. This is testament to the hard work of the many volunteers and others who have supported the goals of CES — an idea hatched over an unexpected conversation between two (at the time) strangers. That story, told two ways – from the perspective of Michael and then of Malik – is included in a book we’re developing about CES. The idea for the book comes from Michael, who thought it would be a good idea to have a record of what CES has accomplished in its first decade and a half – given that many of the founding and early leaders of the organization are looking to pass the reigns on to the next generation. So Michael approached Carl Friesen, a friend he’s known for 30 years through Kingsway Baptist Church in Toronto, who has been supporting a CES university student. As a former journalist, who has published five books under his own name and several more for his clients, Carl was interested in tackling this project.

Right from the start, Carl insisted that the book had to be told primarily through Kenyan voices – the experiences of students, teachers, principals and parents who had been impacted by CES over the years. This meant a visit to Kenya to conduct interviews with members of the CES community, which took place in September 2018. To prepare for this, people including Malik, Michael, Patricia and Sarah helped set up a series of meetings in the Kakamega area. Melvin Wafula, a Moi University student Carl has been sponsoring, insisted in getting involved to help Carl understand her community. With Malik doing the driving, Carl conducted over 30 interviews of people impacted by CES, resulting in over 25 hours of recordings. With the help of Patricia Makori, these interviews were transcribed and now form the backbone of the book. This book talks about the early years, how the organization grew, and how it has impacted lives in western Kenya.

It’s an inspiring story – many CES students come from humble and difficult backgrounds, and with the support of CES are able to grasp lives that they might not otherwise have access to. This book – we’re still working on the title – is expected to be published in early 2019. It will be partly a record of CES’ first 15 years, but it’s more than that. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, students, CES school coordinators and others who have made the idea work. We also hope it will inspire others to support the work of CES financially.  We’ll keep you informed as the book nears completion.

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