I am thrilled to provide you with my first update from the field.
I just completed a successful two weeks in Kisumu, Kenya, where I was able to connect with five of our partners in the western part of the country. Below is a picture I took of Lake Victoria at sunset. I’ve found that the “simple things” in life here are actually quite extraordinary!
Thanks to your support I’ve been able to visit with 23 Kenyan nonprofit partners so far, located in Nairobi, Machakos, Bungoma, Muhuru Bay, Kisumu, and Kitale.
These partners work to address a variety of local challenges including poverty, gender inequality, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, insanitation, disabilities, etc.
It has been interesting to observe commonalities between many of our partners, but also unique approaches to building sustainable solutions to address these challenges. I’ve seen some remarkable empowerment and capacity-building programs across the country. Here are some of my favourites:
Poverty Eradication Network (Machakos, Kenya) - This organization is really making waves for the community located in the arid region of Makueni. They've supplied a local school with clean water tanks and built a borehole for the greater community to tap into. They've also trained the locals on how to build sand dams - a low cost technology that retains rainwater.
Nyanza Initiative for Girls Empowerment & Education (Kisumu, Kenya) - This organization is on a mission to return high potential girls to school, who've dropped out due to early pregnancy. They tap into community resources to support girls' education and training as a foundation for self-reliance.
Transforming Young Stars of Africa (Kitale, Kenya) - This organization hosts an annual Children's Voices Festival which brings together hundreds of children living in challenging contexts to engage in activities with meaninful life lessons attached to them. They are mobilizing the power and leadershop potential of local youth and providing them with a platform to lead the transformation of their communities.
Rahul Kotak Foundation (Kisumu, Kenya) - This organization is empowering local communities to lead their own development by implementing literacy and technology programs in local schools which are in part funded by children's parents.
Throughout my journey I’ve been particularly inspired by the youth beneficiaries I’ve had the privilege of connecting with in the country’s slums. Many of them have faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but have chosen to take the initiative to rise above their circumstances to achieve their dreams.
I thought it important to amplify their voices and give them a more global platform to share and celebrate their inspiring success stories. You can learn more about two of these superstars here:
Since entering the field, I’ve also had the opportunity to host two Online Fundraising Workshops to educate prospective nonprofit partners and two GlobalGiving Partner Meet-ups to bring together our existing partners to network, share success strategies, and learn from one another.
I have 12 site visits left to complete! I am currently visiting with our partner, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, whose focused on using solar energy to support Rhino conservation. Next stop is Expand Opportunities in Nakuru.
You’ve helped me to provide consultations to very remote partners of ours, and based on feedback received, they have been significant, important and transformative visits. Many thanks for your support!
I look forwarding to sharing another update next month!