The Kenya Urithi Education Fund will host a father-daugther Valentine’s Dance to raise funds to build a well for the Kithoka Amani Children’s
The Kenya Urithi Education Fund will host a father-daugther Valentine's Dance to raise funds to build a well for the Kithoka Amani Children's Home, above. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Solum)
Fathers share special relationships with their daughters and there is nothing like a daddy-daughter dance on Valentine's Day — especially if the dance is a fundraiser for orphans who live in Kenya.

On Friday, Feb. 14, the Kenya Urithi Education Fund, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with Kenyan communities to develop and grow projects that enrich and enhance education, will host a Father Daughter Valentine's Day dance at the Park City Community Church from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Admission is a donation of $10 per couple. The money will be used to build a water well at the Kithoka Amani Children's Home (KACH), an orphanage in Meru, Kenya.

More than 58 percent of the children have lost one or both of their parents in the village, said dance organizer Andrea Solum.

"The home really needs a well," said Solum, a first-grade teacher at Trailside Elementary and volunteer for the Kenyan Urithi Education Fund. "When we visited there last fall, we were two days without water."

Since then, orphanage staffers have attempted to collect water by installing rain gutters, but the results have been disappointing.

"They try to plant crops and grow their own vegetables, but the problem is they don't have enough water for drinking and watering, so the plants die," Solum said. "So they have tried to recycle the water they use after they clean, wash the dishes and cook."

Of course, it is mandatory to have clean water for drinking.

"There are two kids who are HIV positive who live at KACH and they have to have safe water so they don't get sick," Solum said.


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A few months ago, Beth Miller, the founder of the Kenya Urithi Education Fund, organized a group to come up with ways to raise money for projects such as this.

Solum was in the group and remembered a dance her daughter attended a few years ago at McPolin Elementary School.

"She had a great time and I thought it was such a wonderful idea," she said. "So I thought it would be fun to do the same sort of thing.

"We'll do the Limbo and all those cheesy wedding songs like the Chicken Dance and the Macarena," Solum said. "We're also going to do some cookie decorating and provide some some snacks."

The event is open to the public, and the suggested grades of the daughters are kindergarten through fifth grade, Solum said.

"Fathers or grandfathers can bring their daughters, but it doesn't have to stop there," she explained. "If a girl doesn't have a father available, a family friend or uncle can bring them."

No reservations are necessary.

The Kenya Urithi Education Fund will host a Valentine's Day Father-Daughter Dance at the Park City Community Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224, on Friday, Feb. 14, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Admission is a $10 donation that will help build a well at Kithoka Amani Children's Home, an orphanage in Meru, Kenya. For more information, call Andrea Solum at 435-659-1848 .