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Kogelo, Kenya, Residents Hope for Visit From Obama

Kogelo, Kenya, Residents Hope for Visit From Obama
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Ten years ago, when Barack Obama became a United States senator, this remote rural village in western Kenya -- the birthplace of Obama's father -- came under the spotlight.

Now, this once-sleepy little village has electricity, paved roads and schools, including the Senator Barack Obama Primary School.

Since then, the village has grown and many parents have enrolled their children in the school, which was named before Obama became president.

Part of this school sits on Obama family ancestral land.

Here there is a strong sense of hope among the children, said Manasseh Oyucho, the school's head teacher. He said students believe that given a chance, they can achieve something.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

“The children are interested in learning up to university and becoming leaders and they believe they will become leaders in various areas. The children are convinced that education is power," Oyucho said.

More students

In this school alone, the number of children has doubled in the past decade.

Wesley Onyango Obama said development sparked by the Obama name, including roads, has opened up the village to the rest of the region.

“If I have anything to sell now, I either take it to Kisumu, Ndori or Luanda K’otieno. I can take it with ease, but before it [was] a nightmare," said Obama, a neighbor of the U.S. president's family in Kogelo.

Carpenter George Ogolla of Kogelo said the village has seen visitors from all over the world.

“There is an increase in the number of people visiting here, because this is where the president is from. This is one of the things that makes people from here happy, and everything that happens here people like it," Ogolla said.

While President Obama is not officially scheduled to visit Kogelo while in Kenya, village resident say they hope he will find time.