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

The Start of Self-Reliance

The Start of Self-Reliance

The jeeps rumbled up the mountain, winding on bumpy dirt roads. Out the windows were fields of green interrupted by rectangular dung huts baked hard in the African sun, several of them with brightly colored cloth drying on a fence.

Everything was so new to us. Life is slower there, taken at the same pace as the plants growing in the fields. As always in Suswa, every time we passed someone, they would smile and wave.

It was the Mau. We were on our way to church.

The church stands atop a green hill, surrounded by farms. The building itself is made of wood and corrugated metal. As we entered, we were met by hugs leaning to the left, then to the right, and greetings of “Supa oleng.” We were invited to sit in pastel plastic chairs, and services began in song. Immediately we are invited to take part in dancing with the congregation. Music is a universal language and soon we are a part of a writhing mass of worshipers. We learn the steps quickly and wind around the church.

When the song was over, we sat in our chairs again, a part of something new and different, but ancient. We were introduced one by one and sang for the congregation.

After services, Pastor Ben invited us to walk to the home of a woman with three children. “She has been ill,” he tells us. “She wasn’t at church today.”

We met Emily and her three children outside her dung hut, surrounded by fields of corn. The roof of her home was a sheet of clear plastic held in place by stones and logs. Her children’s faces were surrounded by flies. The children without shoes. Emily with a slight limp.

The depth of what we are trying to do struck us. After the upbeat, faith filled church service, this was a crash back to reality. I think the whole team had the same question, “What are we going to do for this family? How can we teach self-reliance in the face of such poverty?”

We asked Emily if we could enter her home. Three of us stepped into the shadows and had to turn on the flashlights of our phones to see. Smoke hung in the air from the cooking fire in the tiny kitchen. It nearly choked us. Everything was a deep black color from the soot. There was no ventilation.

Heidi turned to me, “Living like this is as bad as smoking.”

Through interpretation from Pastor Ben and Moses, we learned that Emily has access to water. She has experience growing corn, and can use that experience to grow other vegetables. Our decision was that a garden box would be a good start for her.

The weight of this work seems too much to bear sometimes. Self-reliance and success seems so far away for some of the families. So much needs to be done and all we can do is a small part. Our efforts are a drop in the bucket of the need we see as we travel up and down the rough roads of Kenya.

The walk back to the jeeps was far quieter than it had been on the way to Emily’s. All of us lost in the vastness of need.

In my two trips to Kenya, I have learned much about the power of “the start.” I’ve learned to have faith in the waiting and watching of these families. Emily will get a garden box. And like the planting of a seed, through the garden box, we will watch her begin to grow what she can.

Chapati and Cultural Immersion

Chapati and Cultural Immersion

After finishing up the garden at Joyce’s house she invited us to learn how to make chapati, something sort of like naan bread. This was just one of the experiences of cultural immersion on the November Trip.

She pulled a table out into her yard and gathered all the ingredients flour, water, salt and oil. Then, started a fire in a small stove to heat a pan.

She showed us how to make the dough, stirring it with her hands. Muneria came to help as well.

Like mothers all over the world, she reminded her child to wash his hands before preparing food, which he did in a large blue bowl sitting next to the table. A special plate served as a platform to roll the chapati into perfect circles. He worked quickly, handing the rolled out flat bread to his mother who cooked them. She turned them with her bare hands, using no instrument to protect them from the heat.

Muneria then offered us a chance to roll out the chapati. We took turns, none of ours turning out as round as his. We laughed, feeling the warmth of home with this family who lives a different culture half a world away.

Sarah’s turn came up. She rolled the dough one way getting it stuck to the plate and stretching the dough as she freed it. She used more flour and rolled it some more. “That’s too big.” Joyce laughed, handing her more dough. “Try again.”

She started again, this time paying careful attention to the size, but not the shape. When she finished, it looked like a map of the United States. She handed it to Joyce with a shrug. Joyce shook her head and it was put onto the pan with a little oil to cook.

When David was finished with the water storage system, he came around the house to join us. We invited him to take his turn rolling chapati.

“Fine.” He said. “But mine is going to be round. Not corner, corner, corner, like Sarah’s.” This was met with kind hearted laughter from our group. Joyce pointed to the bowl of wash water. He obeyed.

Then, while rolling out the dough, David told us about how there are times in their culture when men and women separate and make their own food. He showed us how to roll it out to make it round. “See? Like this. You roll, and then turn it.” He pat the dough down. “Roll. And then turn again.”

He handed the dough to Joyce who watched us all with love, curiosity, and a little disbelief at how nutty this group of Americans is.

We dined together on our unifying chapati, rice, and carrots. It was the end of a full day of work, service, mentoring, and unconditional love.

When I say we experience cultural immersion, these are the types of things I am talking about. We get to be in the homes of the families. We learn from them and love them. We put our hands in their soil, climb onto their roof to put up rain gutters, collect water in rivers, dine with them, and hear their stories from their own lips.

By the time we leave, we have a new name, an expanded family, people who pray for us, and a home to come to when we return.

If you would like to join us for an expedition, learn more here.

Volunteer in Kenya with 100 Humanitarians

Volunteer in Kenya with 100 Humanitarians

What is the Power of 100 People? Volunteer in Kenya

I have always loved to volunteer for anything and everything. In high school I volunteered to create posters in the shape of Monopoly cards for every high school in Arizona that included all of their stats, so that we could hang them on the walls at the Arizona State Student Council Convention. My high school was hosting it that year. There were hundreds of schools. To this day I can probably tell you some of their mascots and colors without thinking too hard about it.

In college I continued my poster painting skills and volunteered to be the Publicity Coordinator on my dorm’s activity council. I became really good at giant posters advertising dances and movie nights. In fact, our director told me that I really should go into Marketing or Public Relations, because I really loved to talk. Nonstop. To anyone. About everything.

I was born this way.

After the shower scene, I got to work. I started the Facebook group 100 Humanitarians, and started inviting people to join it. That was back when people didn’t yell at you for adding them to a group. I didn’t really care, though, because most of the people I added are world-changers, and I was definitely out to change the world. Or at least volunteer in a very small area of Kenya. I kept asking the question, “Why 100 Humanitarians?” Finally the ultimate question that drives me daily came into my mind.

What is the power of 100 people working together on any project in the world to create positive change? 

Now, that was a question I could really sink my teeth (and life) into. This was about mid-July 2015. I knew that I needed to go back to Kenya to do a scouting trip and see if I could figure out what to work on, so I tentatively started planning one for November. I emailed Moses, and let him know that I was hoping to do more work in Kenya, and that my goal was to bring families and work with families. He began giving me a few ideas, but said that we could scout out some places. At that point, I really had no idea who would even come with me to volunteer, but I decided if I at least planned out something interesting, that people would show up. They definitely showed up.

The following month, in early August, I was asked to speak at a homeschool conference run by Tom and Tresta Neil. I spent some time with Tresta talking about Kenya, and she connected me with Stephen and Amy Story, two friends of hers who had a nonprofit that they weren’t actively working on. It turned out that what I was feeling led to do aligned with their nonprofit’s mission, so 100 Humanitarians launched as a DBA under the 7 Pillars Foundation. The 7 Pillars Foundation had a training program to help people shift from focusing on the negative to focusing on the positive. I was able to train in the 7 Pillars, with a goal of teaching it in Kenya. Stephen and Amy were hugely supportive of 100 Humanitarians, and it was a relief to be able to allow people to make tax-deductible donations, just in time for the event that came to my mind as a fun launch event.