Serena Williams is in town

November 13, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 13 – Tennis superstar Serena Williams arrived in the country on Thursday evening for a three day visit.

The 27 year old icon is on a charity mission under the auspices of Build African Schools Initiative and technology firm Hewlett Packard (HP) for whom she is the Global Ambassador.

The nine grand slam winner flew in from South Africa where she took part in a similar mission Starfishgreatheart Charity in Johannesburg which helps give aid, care, and housing to kids with HIV/AIDS.

On Friday morning, Serena who is  accompanied by her mother Oracene will open the Serena Williams Secondary School in Makueni district which she helped fund together with HP who will install a computer laboratory, laptop, printers and internet connection.

The school will also give a chance to hundreds of pupils in the district to pursue their secondary education in the region.

The world number two will then pay Prime Minister Raila Odinga a courtesy call in the afternoon at Treasury and will also call on Sports Minister Professor Helen Sambili.

On Saturday, Serena will conduct a tennis clinic at Sadili Oval Sports Centre in Langata.

The programme is part of HP’s commitment to support  education in developing countries, install in each school a computer laboratory and classroom,  laptop,  printers,  the World Wide Web, and facilitate training for the teachers and students.

Patrick O’Sullivan, Founder and CEO of Build African Schools, said the objective  of  the  NGO is to build primary and secondary schools  in  marginalized  areas  to  give  chance  to  students  to access secondary school education in a bid to empower them.

“We are indeed honored to have Ms Williams visit Kenya at this momentous time  in American history when we have a new President elect who has roots in  Kenya,” said Mr Dickson Mutaiti, Kenya  Director of Projects Build African Schools.

“During her visit, Ms Williams will officially open a secondary school put up in her name, to give chance to needy primary school students who want to pursue secondary school education,” he added.

The  area  suffers  from  high  school drop out rate, and most students are orphans due to the high HIV /Aids prevalence rate in the area.

Build  African  Schools  and  HP  have  joined  together since 2004 to help children in Africa have access to education

Serena’s visit to Kenya comes on the back of a chequered season for the former World number one which included winning the United States Open, being knocked out of the Australia Open and winning the doubles gold with her sister at the Beijing Olympics.

She lost her number one ranking to Serb Jelena Jankovic after withdrawing from the Kremlin Cup due to an ankle injury.

 She also had to bow out of last week’s season ending Sony Ericsson World Championship in Doha due to a stomach injury.


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