"I did the best I could at the time and when I knew better, I did better." - Maya Angelou.

In 2004, like any good liberal arts student, Leila traveled to Kenya to volunteer her time to teach orphans in the slums of Nairobi.   She never found her orphans.  In their place were children - bright, eager students who so badly wanted a chance to fight their own way out of poverty. Her suitcase full of second-hand textbooks was part of the problem, not the solution.  It didn't take long for her to realize that children who sleep on the street and rely on volunteer-teachers often become teenagers who aren't able to carve out positive lives and build productive communities.

Inspired by a growing movement to provide a preferential option for the poor, the Flying Kites team set out to buy farmland in Kenya's Aberdares Mountains and build a preparatory school that could provide an exemplary education to some of the world's poorest children. Today, Flying Kites has a strong Kenyan leadership team and Leila serves as Executive Director, splitting her time between Boston and Njabini.   Contact her at: Leila@flyingkites.org