Thanks to friends like you, we are more than HALFWAY to sustaining the center! For up to the moment updates on how much we have raised, click here.
Many of you woke up super early to help us take advantage of the facebook match on Giving Tuesday. Thanks to your generosity and willingness to wake up at 5am, we were able to have $5, 148.94 matched!
Additionally, many of you have taken advantage of the $5,000 matching grant from some friends of the organization. More than half of this has already been matched in just a few days! Our friends are so encouraged by this, that they are adding an additional $2,000 to be matched!
This is a first for our organization and we encourage you to act now so your gift can be DOUBLED before the matching grants run out.
We will be able to rescue more children than ever before if our center is sustainable and we are so thankful for all of you who have taken action.
BUT we still need to raise a little more than $15K to be able to sustain the center and rescue more children.
What you can do:
1. Take advantage of the matching grants and give BEFORE midnight on Dec 31st! The sooner you give the better, so your gift can be applied towards the matching grants before they run out.
2. If you are not able to give, or have already given all that you can, please help us spread the word! Share one of our posts on facebook, text a friend who has the ability to give or forward our latest email to your contacts! These simple actions will help save the lives of children living on the streets in Lodwar.
Together we can make the center sustainable and rescue even more children! Thank you for all you do for our heroes!
This year shop not only for gifts your family and friends will love, but gifts that help save lives!
When you buy these gifts, part of the proceeds will go to provide vital things like water, light and bedding and will allow us to rescue even more children!
When you buy this bpa free glass water bottle, you will help provide water for a child in need.
Or when you buy this blanket- perfect for traveling, it helps provide bedding for a child in need.
And, right now, all these items are on sale for Christmas!
You will not only bless your loved ones with a Christmas gift, but a child in Kenya too!
So take a look and be sure to order your live saving gifts today!
We have an exciting announcement.... a friend of the organization is providing us with a $5,000 matching grant!!! That means that your donations to our Christmas campaign to #SustainTheCenter will go 2x as far!!!
Now is the time to give. Your gift will DOUBLE and have twice the impact! That means if you give $50 it becomes $100, $250 becomes $500 and $500 becomes $1,000!
When you give today, you can save twice as many lives and get us that much closer to sustaining the center! When our center is sustainable, we will be able to take our model to more countries and save even more children throughout the world!
Thank you for helping us save even more lives!
For most of us, shoes are a necessity. We need shoes for protection, warmth, and they are also a fashion statement. Before we step out into the world we are sure to throw on a pair of shoes.
Shoes in Lodwar are very expensive, because, like everything else there, they are imported into the area. The cost of providing our children with shoes is compounded by the fact that their feet grow so fast. Shoes start around $20(US) a pair, for a simple shoe or flip flop and increase from there for sneakers. Before coming to the center, our children grew accustomed to walking around in their bare feet. Their environment has changed, and they need shoes for school and to protect them from scorpion stings as the walk around the center.
Our children will always need shoes and they have been blessed through the support of people just like you. By providing support in this way you are giving our children an opportunity to experience grace and the joy of giving. We have seen our children exemplify this kind of giving heart. While we were visiting the center one year, we went on a village visit. Melvin, one of our heroes was in such a hurry to keep up with the group, that she forgot her shoes. The sand was so hot she was hopping around in pain, but determined to keep up. Areman, another one of our young heroes, took off his shoes and gave them to her. That is a true example of the heart of Christ, and that foundation can be built by something as simple a shoe. Go to our website and see how you can be a part of building this foundation in the hearts of our heroes.
Imagine living your life without ever knowing the comfort of a bed. Contemplate the feeling of lying on the ground or a straw mat every night, knowing this was your only option. Now imagine, the feeling of lying on a bed for the very first time?
Before we had beds for our kids this was their reality and it remains the reality for many street kids in Lodwar. These children are used to sleeping on the ground where scorpions and malaria ridden mosquitoes abound. Before we had funds for beds, the children preferred sleeping outdoors. Once we were blessed with the funds for beds, we found local welders and shops to make the beds and provide the mattresses and bedding. We surprised the children with the beds, once they were complete. Their reactions were priceless. They ran, screamed, and jumped all over the beds. With eyes full of excitement and pure joy, they each claimed their own bed. As they tried them out for the first time, some of them were asleep within minutes. In that moment, it became clear to some of us that these kids had never felt a mattress before, let alone slept on one. It brought tears to our eyes to see them napping so peacefully.
When you rest your head on your pillow tonight, take a moment to enjoy it as if it was your first time. Put yourself into the shoes of our children and try to capture their joy. As you do this, Imagine how wonderful it would feel to give the gift of comfort to our children, as they lay their heads down each night.
Functioning WiFi and a computer lab at the New Hope Center is a win-win.
Since the Center is in such a remote location, communication by phone and internet are difficult and rarely work. Wifi has recently been introduced to the area and although expensive up front, it has immense potential for being one of our biggest sustainable assets. Not only will we be able to communicate better and connect friends and partners here with our team and kids there, we'll be able to sell WiFi usage by the hour to locals to raise funds for the Center.
We are proud of our soon-to-be graduates, Paul, Joshua, Benson and Ramsey. As you can imagine, we have many more young people in the pipeline gearing up to be like these promising young men—productive and inspiring members of their community. In our Sustainability plan, building a computer lab will broaden the Center’s ability to put our children in the best possible position. For example, they would learn how to use computers, do homework, and take online courses to learn marketable skills like coding for future employment. With a computer lab, we would also be able to raise funds with classes we would make available to others (adult computer skill classes, for example). Another source of income would be computer/WiFi use time sold as the Center would become the technology hub for the area.
There are many opportunities that will allow this part of our vision for the Center to be a success. But our deepest hope is for our children to be the best they can for themselves, and for their dreams of giving back to their community and country through hard work and innovation. We hope you’ll join them and us in this effort.
Except for all the love and joy in the kitchen, food preparation and storage at the New Hope Center is a whole other ball game. Out here in the U.S., when you go to the grocery store, you’re typically able to return home within a short time-frame to properly refrigerate food for cooking days, weeks and even months later. Unfortunately, at our center in Lodwar, even with the influx of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, there is no refrigeration available. Everything purchased must be consumed the very same day.
Our cook, Anna, and house mom, Marianne, have a lot of work on their hands to properly cater to the little ones’ diets. Each meal takes several hours of prep work and cooking—there are no 15-minute dinners. Dried beans, rice and maize must be cleaned of pebbles, twigs and rotten pieces. This kind of work is comparable to the job of our food factory workers (and forget the machinery). And then after preparing the food, there’s the standing over a pot resting on firewood for hours and hours and hours.
The vision we have for the New Hope Center keeps the family warmth of the kitchen. For example, it keeps Anna teaching eager young ones how to make chapati, a flat bread made from fresh dough. It also sees a sustainable kitchen with a refrigerator to store the most nutritious foods, and a solar oven to ease the labor-intensive task of meal preparation.
With these changes, New Hope Children would also be able to eliminate one of its highest costs in running the Center: firewood. Firewood is scarce in the desert and needs to be collected by hand which makes it a very expensive commodity.
With your help, our vision for a sustainable kitchen will become a reality and a tremendous blessing to Anna, Marianne and all our children!
Today I woke up and brushed my teeth, refreshed my dog’s bowl, grabbed a glass of water to put my electrolytes in, showered, made a smoothie with ice… Water flowed freely from every faucet and any time I needed it I could trust there was enough and know there would always be more. Our children and their fellow community members do not have this luxury.
Our New Hope Center in Lodwar, Kenya is located in one of the most dire regions in the world. It’s also one of the hottest. Almost on top of the Equator, Lodwar reaches over 100 degrees fahrenheit more often than not. Nights are not much cooler. Ask any team member who has served with us and they will tell you the heat is dry and stifling. It is like being in a sauna 24 hours a day. A thick blanket you can’t push away. Because the region has become so arid water is difficult to find.
Water in this desert region is not only scarce, if you don’t have a bore hole (a deep well) it’s expensive. Water has to be trucked in to fill large storage towers or basins. Between daily meals, drinking water, baths, clothes washing and keeping vegetation from being thirsty (like the trees on our property) you can imagine how costly water for so many children and a center in the desert would be.
A bore hole well is essential for sustaining life at the center by making it sustainable and will not only lower our carbon footprint, it will help omit the expensive water trucking fees allowing those funds to be used to rescue more children, and it will support new life by feeding the plants and animals of our agricultural program. So much good will come out of this well! Here’s to helping the sustaining waters flow.
Our pending greenhouse project is a favorite amongst our entire team. In thinking about why, there are numerous reasons that arise, each making this an exciting venture, or the most exciting venture, for our organization.
There’s something magical about growing food in the desert. It’s reminiscent of Old Testament Israel. Making the seemingly impossible possible. Our oldest Hero, Nicodemus (Nico), is currently learning how to grow food in a desert climate at an agricultural internship through World Hunger Relief in Waco, Texas. This wonderful organization is teaching Nico skills he will bring home to teach his community how to grow their own food organically, without pesticides. He will also help us with our tents at the center. Our Hero Nico is rising to be just that - a hero to his community, and with these garden tents he will be helping to feed his foster brothers and sisters at the center - something he is extremely excited about.
Growing our own food means fewer funds go toward purchasing food and more funds go to rescuing children from the streets. Also, introducing vitamin rich fruits and vegetables into our children’s and the local community’s diet will help beat back malnutrition. Stronger bodies mean stronger minds which will improve test scores and give our children a fighting chance in school. All plusses, or A+’s if you ask me.
An equally exciting purpose for our greenhouse tents will be selling the excess food we grow to the local community to raise funds which will feed back into the center’s needs. This is all part of our goal to make the center self-sustainable. Meaning, the center will, one day, raise its own funds and provide for itself, all while providing to the community.
All of these reasons, and more, make our greenhouses something we are thoroughly excited about. We hope someday soon to report back with some beautiful pictures of the produce we grow in them!
Electricity is something most of us take for granted here in the US, and it is hard for us to imagine life without it. None of our electronics would work, for very long at least, and dinner would be eaten in the dark.
Solar energy is ideal for an area like Lodwar as it sees the sun for 365 days a year. But the panels themselves are costly, coming in at around three thousand dollars each, which is why we currently only have one solar panel at our New Hope Center in Kenya. Our glorious little panel puts off just enough power to work Dickson’s office and four small light bulbs (one in each dorm and two in the resource room). As a result the children have a difficult time reading and doing homework once it gets dark. We thought we had remedied the issue by purchasing small rechargeable solar lamps for each child to use at night, but by the time we arrived in the area again there was only one little solar lamp left. It had been guarded by Shilla who is one of the most responsible kids ever. The other lamps had either been broken, stolen at school, or given away to children who needed them more (our kids have huge hearts and never think twice before giving their material goods away).
The more we plan for sustainability at the center the more we realize the need of more electricity. More light, a refrigerator and oven, a generator and an electric water pump for our well would bring the sustainable plan to light (no pun intended). Wifi and a computer lab are also in our future and impossible to run without more power. Solar Panels are an eco answer and a foundational answer to a huge need. They would help us nourish the children, educate them, teach skills and raise funds to pour back into the center’s needs. It’s amazing how something as simple as electricity can not only help save lives, it can change lives for the better.
NHC Team Members