BY KALISHA MENDONSA
A local man is seeking to build a foundation that will promote education not only in Lacombe, but across oceans to the Ukraine and Uganda as well.
Inspired by several travel opportunities and personal growth, Warren Kreway is working to develop an organization that will provide bursaries and scholarships to children seeking post-secondary education in the Ukraine and Lacombe, and primary education in Uganda.
In June of this year, Kreway returned from a mission trip to the Ukraine through his project, Through the Eyes of the Children.
He plans to build on Through the Eyes of the Children, and establish scholarships in the name of his granddaughter – the Sawyer Emma Kreway scholarship.
“In 2014, I went to Ukraine and absolutely fell in love with my culture and the kids we worked with there. I got the vision of expanding a bridge of education between Ukraine and Canada – which has been started – but also adding in Uganda, creating a stronger bridge,” Kreway said.
During this trip to the Ukraine, he was accompanied by a Lacombe High School student, Chase Bailey, and the team worked within a school in Lviv, Ukraine and presented the class with a flag signed by Mayor Steve Christie, government officials such as MP Blaine Calkins and others.
In 2015, another group returned to Lviv and presented 70 soccer uniforms and more flags to the Ukrainian students, as well as starting a pen pal program.
The class in Lviv was impacted by the visits and gifts, and created a picture intended to be given to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Kreway himself.
“Since I’ve returned home from that trip to Ukraine, (Through the Eyes of the Children) has just grown so much and there are more things growing every day,” Kreway said, beaming.
“I want to build on this foundation because there are kids who genuinely need help financially and who are falling through the cracks of the school system. They might be struggling academically or not inclined in sports, and therefore they can fall to the wayside.”
Kreway is currently working with a lawyer to establish a sort of scholarship fund named after his granddaughter Sawyer Emma Kreway.
One of the first recipients of this scholarship will be a young boy in Uganda named Warren, after Kreway himself. Young Warren is the child of a man named Joseph in Uganda, who Kreway said is like a son to him.
“It’s overwhelming but incredibly humbling. I can’t think of a better way to give back in my retirement years,” he said.
“I drive a school bus, and work in a school with children every day. I look at the eyes of those kids, and sometimes you can see in them that they need somebody to step in and care about them.”
Kreway is hoping to continue to build what he calls a bridge of education between students in Lacombe, Uganda and the Ukraine.
The same class in Lviv that created the picture for Harper has now created one for current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Kreway described it as a custom-made, hand-painted Ukrainian flag to symbolize the journey between the Ukraine and Canada, and added he’s hoping to set up a meeting at some point between himself and Prime Minister Trudeau to deliver this precious gift.
He added that the work he does with the kids fills him with joy, and that he cannot wait for his upcoming trip to Uganda to visit with his newest family member and to continue building the bridge of education around the world.