Going the Distance – Khris Nedham
Khris Nedham, Platinum. When Khris Nedam invited guest speakers to her classroom in Michigan, she wanted to expand the worldview of her students.
The visit from one speaker back in 1998 who told them about life for kids in war-torn Afghanistan did more than simply broaden their view … it fired them up. “They were moved and wanted to help,” Khris says. “They wanted to provide something that lasted, and decided a school would be a good idea.” While their determination was touching, Khris knew that they faced a mountain of obstacles. Khris, who had once served as a teacher in Afghanistan, worked with her guest speaker to identify a rural village that had been without formal education for 20 years.
Despite receiving permission from village leaders, political opposition remained.
“Almost everyone said no to us,” Khris says. “But the kids were determined, and I was going to do everything I could to help them succeed.”
Kids 4 Afghan Kids was born.
To help generate extra income for the adopted village, Khris became an Amway IBO and launched multiple fundraisers.
“For fundraising, we sold henna painted kits, t-shirts, books, and snacks after school,” Khris says. “We did lots of can collections with XS® Energy Drinks and soda cans. With one of our can collections, we bought 18 sheep for the village,” she says. “One sheep cost 1,200 cans. Those are projects I want them to be able to focus on.”
But they didn’t stop there. “The kids went to Rotary groups, colleges, and universities,” she says. “I would introduce our philanthropic program and my 8-yearold students would give the presentation.” With Khris organizing and overseeing, her students raised $110,000 for the school.
“We thought we’d have 150 kids starting at our school. We had 360,” she says. Today, 1,200 students attend, with a waiting list of 2,500.
After the school, the students added a health clinic, a deep well to bring clean water to the drought-stricken village, and even added a bakery. It wasn’t always easy, and there have been devastating moments along the way.
Twelve years later, the village supported by Khris and her students is a model project cited in areas throughout Afghanistan.
“We still support the village today,” Khris said. “Today my goal for my AMWAY™ business is to grow it to the point that I can completely support the operating expenses.”