University of Portland
07-25-2011
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland student Kurt Berning, co-founder of Global ADE, raises nearly $1,500 to install electricity at rural Kenyan school

University of Portland senior Kurt Berning, who is volunteering in Kenya through the University’s Moreau Center for Service and Leadership East Africa Internship program, has raised nearly $1,500 and has successfully installed electricity at the Friends Secondary School in Lusui, a rural Kenyan village.

Berning aimed to raise $1,250 from July 8 to July 15 for the four-year-old school that serves 220 students in rural Western Kenya. Berning surpassed his goal by raising $1,490, and purchased 50 new books for the school with the additional donations. Electricity was installed at the school last week.

Berning is also the co-creator of the Global Alliance for Developing Education (Global ADE), an innovative non-profit that is dedicated to building education in developing countries. Global ADE helped fund the electricity installation project.

For a first-hand account of the installation, complete with photos, visit Berning’s blog entry at: http://kurtberning.blogspot.com/2011/07/hope-for-disillusioned-world-changer.html.

According to Berning, the addition of lights, wiring, and electrical outlets will dramatically expand the reading and academic culture of the school by giving students a place to study in the early morning and late evening, and allow teachers to use more effective teaching aides. Few of the surrounding homes have electricity, and many of the students are orphans who are affected by HIV/AIDS.

Berning worked with the Foundation for Sustainable Development on this project.

The Moreau Center for Service and Leadership’s East Africa Internship program, launched in 2009, sends up to three students to East Africa for a nine-week internship program in collaboration with the Foundation for Sustainable Development. The East Africa Interns work to address local health, social, environmental, and economic issues through grassroots, community-based action.

Global ADE, which Berning co-founded with fellow student Kenny King in 2010, raised more than $20,000 at a fundraiser event in April. The nonprofit funds grassroots educational improvements spearheaded by individuals and organizations that live in the communities in which they work. Global ADE's model connects the knowledge and skills of these individuals and organizations with resources from domestic and international sources to create opportunity for students, teachers and community leaders.

For more information about Global ADE, please contact Peter Rachor at rachor@up.edu or 503-943-7769. For information on the East Africa Internship program, contact Laura Goble at goble@up.edu or 503-943-7132.

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

U.P. News Bureau • 5000 N Willamette Blvd • Portland, OR • 97203 • 503-943-7202