Events: Our 3 Year Anniversary

Events: Our 3 Year Anniversary

Jambo sana!

It was three years ago this month that we left for back to back expeditions in Kenya with 26 people on the two teams. Looking back on that, we were definitely crazy! We really didn’t know what we were doing, but got on that plane with faith that it would all work out.

And, it did.

Here we are, three years later, about to leave on the 13th expedition to Kenya for 100 Humanitarians. By the end of this trip, we will have taken 180 people to Kenya. About 20% have come more than once, and Melodee will have come 5 times!

Over those three years, we have worked with 50+ families, teaching them gardening skills, and providing goats, chickens, and cows for self-reliance and economic development. Our team has worked in 9 different communities, providing Days for Girls kits to over 4000 women and girls in schools and rescue centers. We have sponsored 30 kids in school, with 4 graduates and two more at the end of 2019. We have built two training centers in Bomet and Nkareta, to provide a central area for the families in our communities to learn to read and write, along with skills such as thermal cooking, first aid, and basic mending. We have started and helped develop two sewing centers that employ over a dozen families. We have held 5 big fundraising events, monthly sew-a-thons to make underwear, t-shirt dresses, and t-shirt bags, and have organized 6 Savers for School fees FUNDrives to raise money to help students in Kenya.

What’s Next

Our next team heads to Kenya in a few weeks, and we have some big projects to do!

1. Planting 50,000 trees, combining SeedballsKenya and seedlings.
2. Building a chicken coop at our mentoring center to provide chickens and eggs to local families.
3. Distributing 200 Days for Girls reusable feminine hygiene kits in two schools.
4. Providing School Fees for 25 students for their 3rd term in school for 2019.
5. Planting 20 garden towers for families to provide vegetables and nutrition for ten families.
6. Building a water storage system at our training center to provide clean water and capture rainwater.
7. Provide goats for milk for ten families.

If you would like to contribute to this fundraiser, you can do so on Facebook, or on our website.

Save the Date: HumaniJam 2019

We will be hosting HumaniJam 2019 on Monday, September 30th to wrap up our September of Service initiative. Save the date! We can’t tell you yet who will be performing this year, but you are definitely going to want to be there! Details will be announced soon!

Upcoming Projects: 50,000 Trees

It is getting drier every year in Kenya, and we are working with other organizations to plant millions of trees over the next 5 years. We can do this by throwing Kenya Seedballs on our expeditions, that are indigenous trees that will grow quickly. Our goal is 50,000 trees per expedition. We have four expeditions a year, so in 5 years, that is one million trees!

Current Fundraiser: $5 Friday on Facebook

Our May $5 Friday Fundraiser is for all of the projects that we are working on in June on our expedition! See our list above. We are fundraising $10,000 and are 20% funded right now. 100% of your donations will go to these projects!

Savers FUNDrive: August 2019

We had a successful April FUNDrive, and now have begun gathering items for our August 2019 drive! If you are having a yard sale this summer, instead of taking your leftovers to D.I. or Savers, bring them to us!

100 Humanitarians International would not be possible without you. We are an all volunteer team, and we don’t pay salaries (not even in Kenya!) so all of our fundraising can go towards the self-reliance and economic development projects we focus on. We are so grateful for every dollar donated, every bag of clothing, every event that you participate in, and every prayer. Asante sana, rafikis!

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The $5 Friday Fundraisers on Facebook

The $5 Friday Fundraisers on Facebook

What is a $5 Friday Fundraiser on Facebook?

$5 Friday Fundraisers on Facebook began back in July 2015 when we decided to start 100 Humanitarians International. We were able to fundraise for 25 desks for Tenkes School, and later we added a new kitchen to cook for 300 kids daily, because their mud kitchen had fallen down in a rainstorm. After that, we would just sporadically run a $5 Friday Fundraiser, until Facebook created the capability for us to do it on their platform. Game-changer! Suddenly we could reach more people, and since we are a non-profit, 100% of the fees were waived, therefore 100% of donations could go towards a project. Brilliant!

Our first Facebook $5 Friday Fundraiser was in July of 2018. We decided we wanted to raise the money to build 100 Garden Towers in Kenya for Families on our expeditions. The goal was $1000. Thanks to generous donations, we were able to fundraise $1300, allowing us to start a vegetable seedling garden to use for the garden towers. We will begin with 20 families on our Fall expedition! We got the idea last June from Jacob, our community director for Nkareta, and were able to build 8 garden towers. four were at a school in Nkareta, and then we planted two garden towers for two families that we have worked with over the past year.

We have also built raised garden beds with families, but have found these to be easier, more portable, and more cost effective. We can pile up the jeeps with bags and take them to multiple locations easily! We are really grateful for the ability to get more done and help more families with this innovation.

 

 

 

Our August $5 Friday Fundraiser was also unbelievably successful, and we were able to finish our commitment to provide 1000 reusable feminine hygiene kits to women and girls in Kenya. They were distributed to three schools in Nairobi, Nkareta, and Bomet, as well as women in the slums who were in the Kenyan news about not having access to sanitary pads.

We were able to raise $3000 in August for the Zariel Days for Girls Enterprise and Christine took kits to the street women featured in this news segment. On each expedition, our team takes kits to schools and rescue centers, providing 3 years of dignity for women and girls who don’t have access to the sanitary pads. Our commitment is 1000 kits per year, and ALL of the kits are made by the Zariel or Bomet Days for Girls Enterprises in Kenya, so that we keep the economy there, and also help families with self-reliance and economic development.

The Enterprises that we support, employ families to sew and distribute the kits, which allows those families to pay for food and school fees for their children. Along with the 25 children we support in school directly in Kenya, at least 12 additional students are supported in school because we fundraise here for the reusable femining hygiene kits, and allow the families in Kenya to make them. It keeps our focus on economic development and self-reliance in families.

Our goal for 2019 will be 1000 kits (or more) as well, so watch for that $5 Friday Fundraiser!

 

Our September $5 Friday Fundraiser was in partnership with HopeSaC International, which is run by Cindy Miller. Our goal was to raise the funds to take 20 HopeSaCs to Kenya on our Fall expedition to teach families how to cook with thermal cooking. We were able to reach our goal! We will also be working with the sewing centers in Kenya to teach them how to make and sell the HopeSaCs, saving time and fuel costs, and providing hot meals without spending hours cooking over a fire.

And finally, our October/November $5 Friday Fundraiser is for School Fees for 25 kids in Kenya. These kids come from families we are working with, and range in age from Kindergarten to Vincent, who is graduating this year after 3 years in our Youth Education Program. We met Vincent when he was a Sophomore, and have had the chance to support him in school and watch his family really thrive from it. Mercy, his mother who is in this video, was a recipient of our Business Box for Families, and now has a vegetable stand where she sells vegetables. We have had the opportunity to visit her twice this year, and her smile says it all. She is very happy.

If you would like to help contribute to the $5 Friday Fundraiser to raise the $6000 needed for school fees in 2019, click here!

 

 

 

Serve Locally, Give Globally – Quarters for Kids

Serve Locally, Give Globally – Quarters for Kids

Serve Locally, Give Globally. In early April, Lori Hildebrand and I did an assembly at Rose Creek Elementary in Riverton, Utah, sharing with them our experiences in Kenya. Lori and her sons are joining 100 Humanitarians International for our June expedition to serve kids in Kenya, and wanted to do a fundraiser to help pay for school fees and trees that we are planting on our trip. Lori went to Kenya twice, in 2013 and 2014, and knew that when her sons, Max and Henry, were old enough, she would take them.

Lori approached her sons’ school, and asked if they would be willing to let us do an assembly, and then launch a Quarters for Kids in Kenya campaign for ten days. The school loved the idea, and set a goal to raise $1000, or 4 quarters per child.

The Rules:

  1. Go out into the neighborhood/community and ask people if they have any opportunities to do service in exchange for quarters. Projects could include weeding, lawn mowing, dusting, anything!
  2. Gather quarters and put them in your classroom “Quarters for Kenya Kids” box.
  3. Each day, the teacher turns the boxes into the office to be put in a bigger jar for counting.
  4. Do this for ten days, and then we count.

In ten days, Rose Creek Elementary kids were able to raise $1521.21! They beat their goal by $500. The best part? They want to make this an annual fundraiser and be a part of helping educate these kids in Kenya.

Quarters for Kids in Kenya

Where Do the Funds Go?

100 Humanitarians International is currently sponsoring 25 children in Kenya in school. Eleven are in Primary School, and this fundraiser will keep them all in school for the remainder of the year. $1000 will go towards those school fees. On our June expedition, we will be planting trees with children at schools as well, so the additional $500 will go towards purchasing trees for our team to plant, as part of a reforestation project that we are working on.

Reforestation in Kenya

Would you like to host a “Serve Locally, Give Globally” fundraising campaign at your school? You can choose from a variety of projects:

  1. Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits for Girls
  2. Educational School Fees ($150/year for Primary Students, $750/year for Secondary Students)
  3. Garden Boxes, Goats, Cows, Trees, and Clean Water for Families and Communities
  4. Building projects for Educational Centers that teach Self-reliance and economic development

Contact us for more information. info@100humanitarians.org

Every Good Idea Starts in the Shower

Every Good Idea Starts in the Shower

Every good idea starts in the shower.

When people ask me why I went to Kenya in the first place I smile and say, “Peer pressure.” Before I got on the plane in March of 2015, I had no desire to go to anywhere in Africa. In fact, there was a list of about 50 countries that I planned to visit BEFORE ever setting foot on the continent. However, I had a group of friends who had been to Kenya a couple of times and after listening to them ramble on about it for about two years, I decided it might make a fun girls trip.

I had absolutely no idea what I was in for.

I remember the first day in Western Kenya when we went to visit families after attending an Anglican church on the property of the guest house where we were staying. The music had pierced me to the core, so I was already in a reflective and contemplative mood. Walking down the road I said to my friend, “I just…I don’t even know how to explain what I am feeling about all of this.” She said, “I know. They don’t need us. We need them.”

That phrase has stuck with me ever since, and is often said in different variations by the people who have since gone to Kenya with me. When I returned from Kenya with my DNA completely rearranged, I made it a matter of intense prayer and reflection and kept asking, “What am I supposed to do now?”

Then one Sunday a few months later I was getting ready for church and literally a voice that I can still remember today said, “Go start a group on Facebook called 100 Humanitarians. I’ll let you know why later.” So I did. Right then, on my phone, with no clear picture of what it was supposed to be. I invited some friends who I thought might sort of be interested in it. Turns out that it wasn’t my friends who were interested, but strangers. By the end of 2016 I will have taken over 50 people to Kenya, and I only knew 6 of them prior to all of this starting.

The voice has never come back, but inspiration and direction and nudges have replaced it. When the ideas come, they come fast and furious, and are always bigger than I could possibly imagine. Each trip has a completely different feel, and it’s never like I am learning something for the first time, but more like I am remembering that it is what I am here to do. Many people who have come with me feel the same way. It’s like we are finding each other and combining efforts. Some people have come and gone. Some have taken on the projects that have called to them in Kenya and are running with them at the same rapid pace. The collaboration has brought unbelievable miracles.

Every. Single. Day.

Now, we have over 1300 people in the 100 Humanitarians Facebook group. We have a list of over 100 people who are already planning on going to Kenya with us, and more contact me daily. We have built out a core program that we call “Business Boxes for Families” that provide a cow, a goat, 5 chickens, 3 garden boxes, 10 trees, Days for Girls reusable hygiene kits, and mentoring and education on how to turn it all into a sustainable business.

We are in the process of building the Emparnat Cultural Center on the Maasai Mara with guest houses to provide opportunities for people around world to be a part of our Families Mentoring Families program, where we teach what we know, and learn what the Maasai know, to build a bridge between the cultures.

But most of all, we have built a culture around 100 Humanitarians that is rooted in Love, Trust, and Voluntary Cooperation. Everyone who is a part of what we are doing is there because they choose in and find what it is that calls to them, whether they are on the team in the U.S. or in Kenya.

As 100 Humanitarians expands, we focus as much as possible on two things: mentoring and sustainable economic development. It’s about people, not projects. It’s about connection, not coercion. And it’s working.

The Story of 100 Humanitarians International
by Heidi Totten

Edith Njapit’s Maasai Housewarming Party

Edith Njapit’s Maasai Housewarming Party

Edith Njapit’s Maasai Housewarming Party

I remember how I felt, after 40 hours of flying and 5 hours of driving to the Maasai Mara. I felt like I had been run over by a safari jeep, and I didn’t look much better. And yet, I was so happy, when we drove up to this scene. A whole group of Maasai celebrating my friend Edith’s housewarming party. It was a few days later that I dubbed the tree in this picture Edith’s “Wisdom Tree” and it has become a symbol of home in Kenya for me over the past few years.

100 Humanitarians - Mama HelenMeeting Mama Helen

It was also where I met Mama Helen, who is my Maasai Mum. Actually, I had met her on my first trip, but it was briefly. It’s amazing all of the things that are so meaningful for me now that were launched on that day. We ate, celebrated, and I was able to hug friends I had met six months earlier.

100 Humanitarians - David KupaiDavid Kupai

This was my “scouting trip” after starting 100 Humanitarians in July 2015. At the time, I just wanted to see what was possible to create. I decided to spend two weeks just immersed in the tribe and the culture while waiting for insight and direction. Little did I know how important this tribe would become in my life.

100 Humanitarians - Masois100 Humanitarians - MasoisThe Masois

So many tender moments came out of that day. I also met my Maasai Dad, who I had the blessing of knowing for a year and a half before he passed away in June 2017. He didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Maasai, but whenever I saw him he held my hand and hugged me, and sometimes that is all it takes to create a bond.

How do I even put into words my experiences in Kenya? It has been my refiner’s fire. It has changed me to the core. My ability to share my heart and the miracles I have experienced will be limited, but it is my honor to serve alongside the people of Kenya, and I will do my best to honor them.

– Heidi Totten, Executive Director of 100 Humanitarians International