Archive for the 'Our Projects' Category

The Second 2 Weeks: Kisumu

Joe Sabia and Raffy Marty visit the Mama Hope projects in Kenya and Tanzania. Here is the first hike of many with partner project OLPS Director Anastasia Juma.

Jane Kanango harvests tomatos at the Mama Rita Rose Garden in Kisumu, Kenya. The garden provides nutrition to over 800 people living in the community.

Anastasia and Paul give us a lesson in bow and arrow garden defense.

Joe makes a friend named Phien.

Raffy's impromptu travel log with Helen, a member of the Mama Hope sponsored Woman's Micro-finance Group.

Dorcas, another member of the Woman's Micro-Finance Group, shows us her sewing business in Kisumu, Kenya.

Wherever we go, children tend to follow. We're a little like the Pided Pipper.

Mullen, Program Director of OLPS, gives a tour of the Children's Rescue Center in Kisumu, Kenya. Mama Hope is currently raising funds to complete this community initiated project.

Raffy does his best to help out with the Children's Rescue Center bricks. He later admits he has no clue how the rock working crew manages it day in and out.

A Mama Hope induced stampede at Nyomonge Primary School (aka a game of Mr. Fox).

The longest congo line in the history of East Africa.

Joe teaches geography and American slang.

Raffy plays netball with the Mama Rita Rose Garden women. Netball is basically basketball without dribbling.

... and with a soccer ball.

Nyomonge community meeting. Their most pressing need: water.

Amy dancing with the women of Nyomonge (a continuing theme).

Bryce getting down at the Mama Hope house party with with OLPS and project beneficiaries on our last night in Kisumu, Kenya.

Joe and Nyla editing on the way to Moshi, Tanzania. Total bus time: 30 hours in 4 weeks.


The First 2 weeks

The First 2 Weeks: Bryce Yukio Adolphson

People wonder what we’re up to when we’re out with our project communities.   Here’s a taste…

Travel from Nairobi to Maai Mahiu: 2 hours.

Tuesday, June 28, 3:37pm: Visiting the chaos of Ngeya Primary School's 1700 student recess. It's crazy to think that the garden we fund here feeds them all daily.

Tuesday, June 28, 4:28pm: Attending the Ngeya Primary School Environmental Club meeting

Tuesday, June 28, 5:30pm: Plotting future projects with CTC youth and CTC Founder Zane Wilemon

Travel from Maai Mahiu to Isiolo: 7 hours

Friday, July 1, 3:08pm: Cell phone math with the New Jordan Women's Group in Isiolo, Kenya.

Friday, July 1, 5:48pm: Greg Mortenson got it wrong. It's 3 Cups of Fanta.

Saturday, July 2, 2:49pm: Flash mob dance off with our Kambi Garba water project community.

Travel from Isiolo to Arimet and back: 2 hours

Sunday, July 3, 3:19pm: Camel chasing with the Arimet water project.

Monday, July 4, 8:36am: Purchasing lumber at Mums Timber Sales to begin construction on the poultry project in Kambi Garba.

Monday, July 4, 11am: Tie-Dye madness with the NJWG micro-finance group.

Monday, July 4, 1:48pm: Haight Street, Kenya.

Monday, July 4, 4:45pm: Poultry project is well under way in Kambi Garba.

Monday, July 4, 5:53pm: Kambi Garba partner Sarafina Lokoel pumps iron at the USAID gym in honor of the 4th of July.

Travel from Isiolo to Kisumu: 12 hours

Thursday, July 7, 2:52pm: Corn shucking with the women of the Rita Rose Garden in Kisumu, Kenya.

Total time in Matatu buses: 23 hours in 2 weeks.

Arriving in Africa

Arriving in Africa: By Nyla Rodgers

Dancing with the women of our partner community in Kambi Garba, Kenya.

A week before leaving on this trip to Africa my best friend’s mother told me, “When all the other little girls were make believing they were princesses your were busy pretending you were in Africa.” After hearing this I started to think back and realized that I always had a fascination with Africa.  I remembered that I wrote my first grade essay about Kenya. I remember using my grandpa’s atlas to trace the outline of the country and drawing the mane of a lion like a sun with an orange crayon.  And in 1986 when I was 7 years old and Paul Simon came out with “Graceland” I would belt out the song “Under African Skies” and imagine all those stars and think “someday I will see them.”  So it was no surprise to me that 20 years later when I first stepped off the plane in Nairobi,  I felt like I had returned home.
This is my 6th trip to Africa and ever since that first trip in 2006 I continue to fall deeper in love with the culture of this incredibly beautiful continent and people.  I feel like each year my heart must expand so that it can fit all the love I receive and give as we travel to all our different partner communities.
This year I am traveling with Amy Vaninetti, Mama Hope’s Operations Director and Bryce Yukio Adolphson, Mama Hope’s Visual Journalist  and so far we are having an amazing time.  During the next two months we will be visiting all of Mama Hope’s seven partner communities across Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

Playing with the students at Ngeya Primary

This is Amy’s second trip with me  and it is so fun to be traveling with her again. She is constantly glowing and bringing warmth to everyone she meets.  She feels like I do that a part of her heart has always been here in Africa.
We are also traveling with Bryce who is on his 5th trip here documenting Mama Hope’s projects.  Everyone knows him and his camera.  His Swahili is almost perfect and when we arrive to a community immediately people are calling his name.   He will be busy documenting all of our adventures with his beautiful photos and video.

Bryce in action with partner Rocky Muuri in Maai Mahiu, Kenya.

For the next two months, each of us will take turns writing on the blog.  We are not just going to be sharing project updates we will be posting our personal stories, funny times and crazy adventures.  So stay tuned because as we’ve learned  the unexpected is always expected.

Interviewing the families of St Timothy’s

We kicked up a cloud of dust as we entered the village of New Land, just outside of Moshi, to interview the parents and students of the new St. Timothy’s School we all enabled the community to construct. Bryce (Mama Hope’s Visual Journalist), James (Director of St Timothy’s), Godfrey (New Land’s elected Street-Chair) and I ventured down a dirt road with the mighty Mt Kilimanjaro looming in the background. Our intent, find out why the community identified education as one of their most pressing concerns. Moreover, what impact the addition of St Timothy’s school would bring to the families and community.

Many residents were around doing chores here and there, while others stared at us in wonder. We trailed between mud homes, pig pens and occasional family graves. As we approached our first home to interview many thoughts whirled through my head; so this is life at the $2 a day poverty-line, what is daily life like here, if not for being born in a different country it might be strangers here interviewing me. Finally Bryce and I arrived at our first home.

Thoughts of things I heard and studied about Africa, Africans and global poverty whipped around my mind as we sat down face-to-face with student Theresia and her mother Elis. “Can you tell us about a day in your life?” we asked and James translated. Elis went into detail about how she prepared her home each day before going to work as a laborer in the neighboring maze (corn) fields until sun down. If she is able to pick enough maze that day she is paid 2,500 shillings (about $1.60) and buys dinner for the night. When we asked Theresia what she looked most forward to about starting school at St Timothy’s in January she said it was having a meal everyday.

Then we got into the more focused questions, “What difference does having St Timothy’s School in the communtiy have?” Elis response reflected that of all the families we interviewed, St Timothy’s school sought out and provided an option for the “forgotten kids.” The families made it clear that there were two options for children in their community, attend school and get an education or become a “street kid” exposed to many many dangers. Before St Timothy’s there were no other options for them.

As Bryce and I interviewed Elis and Theresia the grandmother joined us. The grandmother said she had hope that with a quality education Theresia could get a job and bring the family the support they desperately needed. We found it profound to see the hope that education could bring to three generations of family. Mother and Grandmother sought a better life for their family in Theresia’s education at St Timothy’s which had just begun.

This is just a little sample from the interviews we did. I couldn’t capture it all in a blog. I attached some picture of us interviewing the kids and from the footage we took.

St. Timothy’s School, Moshi, Tanzania

Here we have a short overview and progress update on St. Timothy’s School in Moshi, Tanzania. Construction began in September of this year and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30th, with children attending in January 2010. I can’t tell you how exciting it’s been to see this project rise from the fields of Newland village! The efficiency and care our local community partner Tanzania Children Concern has been giving this project is a shining example of how communities know best. From local knowledge of land rights, power and water to the best vendors and manufactures. Again and again, it’s made me believe that communities need to be helped to help themselves!


To read about my nonsense between work, check out my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s: What I want to be…

What started out as a Q and A about thoughts on the new school turned into a “What I want to be..” fest. It really seems to me that kids throughout the world generally have the same aspirations. Whether it’s about excitement or connecting with people, the occupations are usually somehow related with the people who take care or us. And, of course, there’s always one kid who wants to be president.


Read about my moments between the work on my personal blog at:

St. Timothy’s Students on the New School

Our plans were to ask a few of the students what they thought of the school. Thanks to their vigor we ended up with a mob of children ready to tell us how excited they were about the number of toilets. Amazing since it was mere bricks when they saw it! Afterward, James was telling us that some of them wanted to have class in it before it was even completed.  A few wanted to go live in the construction site.  Wow.


To read about my moments and people between the work, check out my personal blog at:

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