CHAMPAIGN COUNTY- A man will get the Merit Award from the University of Illinois for helping thousands of people overseas.
Carl Burkybile has helped thousands of people get clean water and food for their families in Africa. Before that, he spent 26 years as a teacher at Rantoul Township High School, four years at Armstrong Township High School, and two years at Paxton High School.
When he was in Rantoul, he met a man from Kenya who changed his life. The man worked in the Kenya Air Force. After Burkybile built a relationship with the man at Chanute Air Force Base, the man invited him to Kenya. That’s when Burkybile took his first plane ride of his life. It only took one visit for him to see the need in the area and want to help.
“We say we help one person at a time, one village at a time, but it’s easy to become overhwlmeed when you see all the problems and come home and be thankful for how we’re blessed” said Burkybile.
Now Burkybile has taken more than 20 trips to Africa. When he’s there, he teaches people how to raise their own food. It includes composting, raising planting beds and using drip irrigation. He even has a walter filter that he gives families that removes 99.9% of bacteria and parasites.
Burkybile has also helped to drill 7 wells for communities, which has brought clean water to 46 thousand people and 20 thousand animals. He will be going back to Kenya July to do more work.
If you would like to help, Burkybile asks that you donate to Healing Hands International. A $25 feeds a family for life. Burkybile helps give a two day survival workshop. A family member is trained and then given a drip irrigation system to take home to their families.
Burkybile will be given his Merit award on April 8th. He said he’s “humbled and honored”.