Lizzie Porter, Beatrix Koch, and Adia Richert spent hours knitting hats, making ornaments, and creating one-of-a-kind jewellery for their recent sale efforts in Fort Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Lizzie Porter, Beatrix Koch, and Adia Richert spent hours knitting hats, making ornaments, and creating one-of-a-kind jewellery for their recent sale efforts in Fort Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

From Langley to Kenya, 3 girls helping friends from miles away

Trio of fine arts student spent holiday selling handmade items on the streets of Fort Langley

Three Langley Fine Arts School students joined hands to help their friends living miles away in Kenya.

Lizzie Porter, along with her friends, Beatrix Koch and Adia Richert – all age 10 – spent a holiday weekend selling handmade items on the streets of Fort Langley. The move was to help raise funds for Pa-Moja, a North-American charity working with Langley School District Foundation.

While the Dec. 18 sale didn’t prove to be as fruitful as expected, the girls are determined to continue putting in efforts to raise money for their friends, said Beatrix’s mother, Laura Koch, an award-winning musician and artist-in-residence at Langley Fine Arts School.

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Lizzie and her friends raised $20, which Koch said is not enough. She is hoping for an active participation from the community in the future.

“We really want to help as much as we can,” said Lizzie, who is in Grade 5 and determined to keep fundraising into the new year.

Through their partnership, Pa-Moja and Langley School District have undertaken several projects to connect students in Langley with those in Kenya. Langley School District’s website says the projects are intended to offer a global education experience.

The charity also provides scholarships to students living around the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in the Laikipia region of Kenya. The volunteer-run organization has seen students from Langley Fine Arts visit Kenya and Kenyan students visit Langley Fine Arts.

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Amber Illis, a Grade 5 teacher at Langley Fine Arts School, puts the contributions in context.

“A Kenyan student who visited [Langley] a few years ago shared that the total raised that year – $800 – would cover her entire year of college, including tuition, room and board, and all her supplies. She was amazed that Langley students so willingly brought a dollar each to help Kenyan students,” Illis shared.

Individuals and organizations in the community interested in supporting Lizzie and her efforts can connect with them through the Langley School District Foundation. For more information on Pa-Moja, people can visit pa-moja.com, and for donations, details are available at lsdf.org/pa-moja/.


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