In America, we have access to so much. We can walk into any number of stores and buy clothes, computers, fresh food and more. Compared to other parts of the world, we are rich– very rich. Think about it this way: millions of Americans dumped ice water on their head for the ice bucket challenge recently, while there are literally people dying from a lack of clean, drinkable water in many places.
I first met Dan Corrigan at a party in West Seneca. We played a game of volleyball and he was enthusiastic about it. His “everyday enthusiasm” for life was undeniable. I’m glad I became his friend.
Dan was your typical suburban guy in his twenties, with a twist. For some reason, unlike many of his contemporaries, he had a heart to empower the less fortunate. And he did something major: he gave up his comfortable suburban American life to move to Kenya, where he and his wife would/do serve the people by not just giving them things, but empowering them through “Kawelle.”
As an educator, Dan read a book called “Three Cups of Tea” which helped inspired him to set up places of learning in Africa. His wife, a dental hygienist, had done dental missionary work in Liberia and told him about their need for schools. Together they came up with the name “Kawelle,” which means “known as love” in Kpelle, a Liberian tribal language.
“Because in a broken world, people meet God through love” is the quote you’ll find on Kawelle’s website. Dan, his wife, and numerous volunteers have helped bring good things to Africa.
Perhaps the most recognizable thing that people with money from Buffalo helped build in Kenya is the “IT Center.” There, in a rural village, people can go inside a nice, new building and learn to use computers, the Internet, and other things to help them compete in our digital world. No longer do they have to travel hours just to have access to the Internet/the world.
It’s an amazing thing what someone with a clearly defined mission can accomplish. Dan had an idea and followed through. He put all his time, talent, money and energy into making life better for people– God’s love in action, you know?
To see photos and learn more about Kawelle, visit the website here.