In August of 2000 I stepped off an airplane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. As I took my first breath of African air I will never forget thinking, "So this is what it feels like to be home."
For ten years I took volunteer teams from the U.S. primarily to work with orphans in the suffocating slums of Nairobi. From.that point on I have continued to live in the U.S. part of the year, but my heart has never left my beloved Kenya.
In 2010 I met a man by the name of Jared Okello. Jared had a vision to build houses for his people, the Luo's, at a cost of only $400 each. Many in the Luo tribe had been displaced from their homes due to the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. We decided to partner together to construct these homes, and established Houses with Hope in 2011. Since that time almost 2,000 homes have been built in Western Kenya.
But what I eventually discovered was that even though many people were enjoying the benefits of having a home they still didn't have enough food, clean water, ability to pay for their children's school fees, or go to the doctor when they got sick. Here's the hard question I had to ask myself:
What's a house without hope?
In 2018 Houses with Hope rolled out a project called The Hope Initiative which will help provide water and agricultural solutions to Western Kenya. This in turn will produce enough food for consumption and open the doors to vibrant commerce throughout the region. People will then have the opportunity to make money so they can educate their children, obtain health care and take care of the basic necessities of life.
Our goal is to help communities become sustainable, and to give people the opportunity to become self sufficient.
In the end we want to work ourselves out of a job.
People need to have the opportunity to work and be able to provide for their children and grandchildren so they too can have a future filled with success, independence, and prosperity.