National Geographic : 1990 Jan
JANUARY 1990 GRAPH ICA NATINAL GEOGPHC MAGAZ ROBERT CAPUTO Gifts From the Heart for a Kenyan Family In the December 1988 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Robert Caputo re counted the dream of Njoroge and Susan Munoru, who live in Kenya's Central Highlands: to see their four children through secondary school. Many share the dream. When Ca puto returned to Kenya last August, he brought the Munorus (above, at right) word that GEOGRAPHIC readers had contributed more than $1,800, which has been deposited in a Nairobi bank, to pay school fees for the Munoru chil dren. The family was overwhelmed. "Those are good people, to help us," Njoroge Munoru said. "God bless them very much. Because of those good people, our lives have changed. Now we can use the little money we make to feed our children better and make a better home to live in." The donations represent more than ten years' wages for Munoru, who aug ments the meager earnings from his coffee farm by working as a stone mason-when work is available. The bank account will pay tuition and other school fees, which average $75 a year per pupil, for several years. The local four-room, four-grade school has dirt floors, no windows or doors, and no electricity. Caputo gave the headmaster, Samuel Boro Githii, at center, a portion of the donations to install windows. He also gave the school a selection of National Geo graphic Society children's books, globes, and maps. "With maps like these, our children can know every place on earth," Githii said. EarthDay 1990: Going Global n April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, 20 million participants showed how much Americans cared about environmental issues. This April 22 organizers of Earth Day 1990 hope to show that this interest has expanded into concern for the future of the whole planet. That same concern impelled NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC to devote the December 1988 issue to the question of whether "this fragile earth" can be saved. Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day and chairman of the coalition organizing this year's activi ties, says that the past 20 years have shown that environmental issues are interrelated-on a worldwide scale. For example, he says, dealing with global warming means grappling with acid rain, deforestation, the ozone layer, Third World economies, « and similar issues. Hayes says that this year's activities will be gin with grass-roots efforts. Participants will focus on local issues: a toxic-waste dump, the loca tion of a power plant, "whatever it is that's of fundamental importance to a community." But, he adds, "we want them to tie in to the global issues as well. We want people to learn that they can understand and influence the envi ronment. If they insulate their houses or use energy-efficient appliances and cars, they can help reduce atmospheric pollution and global warming without major changes in their life-styles." Every Earth Day 1990 participant will be asked to plant a tree and care for it, as a symbol of the role trees play in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, controlling erosion, serving as windbreaks, providing fire wood, retarding desertification, and offering shade.