Do what you love, love what you do.

A friend asked me last week what my days look like here, so I thought I’d share a little about the work I am doing for New Hope Initiative. I must admit, I am enjoying the work – it’s both challenging and fulfilling.

In Nairobi, New Hope has several projects serving one community in Kibera, a large slum in the middle of the city. New Hope funds a primary school with over 350 students (New Hope Academy), a business co-op for women to earn wages making handicrafts (Project Biashara) and a high school scholarship program to send students from the primary school to local and boarding high schools (Penda Project).

Last week, the Principal of the school and I began working on strategic planning for New Hope Academy. The Principal has big dreams for the academy and its students and wants to see all the students complete high school and post-secondary education. He had already started the strategic planning process before I arrived, so I am coaching him to complete his strategic plan and implement it. This week, we work on values and goals.

Project Biashara has almost 70 women participating in the project. The women make beautiful jewelry, bags and home goods. I quickly realized that one of my first objectives with this project was to help the Project Director set up a payroll system to ensure the ladies get paid accurately and in a timely matter. This is still a work in progress, but we made great strides this past week.

For Penda Project, one of the biggest needs is to find mentors for the high school students. I am working to help identify these mentors and train them to guide and care for our students as they navigate the teenage years and face many challenges unique to living in Kibera.

Here are some photos from last week:

Upper students at New Hope Academy receive health education training.

Upper students at New Hope Academy receive health education training.

Project Biashara women hard at work on cascade necklaces.

Project Biashara women hard at work on cascade necklaces.

 

Our new chicken coop. Chickens coming soon…

Our new chicken coop. Chickens coming soon…

And one of my favorite moments of the week. Walking into my office (which doubles as the medical clinic) and watching one student take care of a bad cut on another student’s foot. I think this kid is going to be a daktari.

And one of my favorite moments of the week. Walking into my office (which doubles as the medical clinic) and watching one student take care of a bad cut on another student’s foot. I think this kid is going to be a daktari.

Photo Highlights from the Week

View from New Hope Centre

View from New Hope Centre

This week was a busy week and very productive. Here are a few highlights from my work with New Hope Initiative.

New Hope Centre

New Hope Centre

New Hope Primary School Academic Award Ceremony

New Hope Primary School Academic Award Ceremony

Penda Students Becoming Entrepreneurs

Penda Students Becoming Entrepreneurs

Meeting with Women from Project Biashara

Meeting with Women from Project Biashara

 

The Eagle Has Landed

Thankfully, I arrived Nairobi on Saturday evening on time and with all my luggage! I am starting to get settled and thought I would share a few of the things that I have noticed will make life in Nairobi very nice:

the weather – 70 and sunny. pretty much all the time.

tomatoes – they are so good and fresh here.

Java coffee – a necessity but also a luxury when it is this good.

Java internet – see above.

Steve – my driver and friend. And, my lifeline right now!

I am headed to Kibera tomorrow, so I’ll post a longer blog later this week. For now, just wanted everyone to know I’m here and getting settled! Thank you for your prayers!

Home for now.

Home for now.

New Hope Initiative Nairobi Office

New Hope Initiative Nairobi Office