Pen-Pal Project

We provide and facilitate a meaningful ––and yet simple–– cultural exchange between Kenyan and Canadian students from completely different backgrounds, fostering much-needed international and cultural understanding from an early age. We connect Middle-school students through a Pen-Pal project in which they get to reflect on their own identity and learn from their counterpart’s identity, resulting in an overall celebration of diversity, greater open-mindedness and tolerance, expanded intellectual curiosity, and most importantly long-lasting friendships beyond classrooms and borders.
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The Project

In an effort to bridge our differences and foster cultural understanding, we started back in 2016 a Pen-Pal project between students from Kenya and Canada, enrolled in both grades 5 and 6. We deliberately chose students from drastically different backgrounds ––economic, social and political–– so that they start a conversation that will be, without a doubt, eye-opening and very enriching to both parties.

Students in Kenya start off by writing a letter to their Pen-Pal in Canada, in which they share personal information and formulate questions to get to know their their new friends. Summer Program participants living in Canada collect the letters and subsequently deliver them at a local Middle School. Then, letters go back and forth, giving place to a meaningful cultural exchange.

This is a unique project at KULE as it is the first one to be set out of Africa and involve younger participants taking an active role. We have seen how stereotypes are constantly being challenged at the same time that a strong sense of identity is built. Moreover, this project allows students to explore their intellectual curiosity and gradually become more tolerant and open-minded about the world beyond their local setting.

My friend in Kenya best serves as a means to reach out to more schools and children in Canada for awareness, understanding and support, and seek for more young advocates or volunteers who align with our mission. It also deeply contributes to our mission of providing life-changing experiences beyond classrooms and borders.


Help KULE deliver letters from and to Africa that build friendships beyond classrooms and borders. Donate now.