Alumni Day 2019: Reconnect, Rediscover and Rejuvenate​

Mugumango Traditional Dancers Celebrating Alumni Day with HopeCore!

Written by Esther Nyaga

On 28th August 2019, The Micro Enterprise department held an amazing alumni day that sought to reconnect the Micro Enterprise beneficiaries.  

William Butler Yeats says that “there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.” True to this sentiment, eighteen years ago, the group that congregated on this day were strangers back then and now had formed such a strong bond based on respect, accountability, and love. 

Mugumango Traditional Dancers Perform at Alumni Day

Looking back at the amazing journey that started in 2001 with one man’s dream of changing the world, we can say for sure as a program, we not only created a circle of clients and beneficiaries but also in them we found friends and family that are a manifestation of this dream. Making reference to the impact assessment recently conducted on the program beneficiaries, of the 47% of program beneficiaries that were living below the poverty line at the program inception, only 23% were still below the poverty level eighteen years later indicating a 29% positive change. The report also indicated the beneficiaries satisfactory Index stood at 95% implying the great extent to which has impacted the lives of many. 

The event was attended by graduated Clients, Kenyan Board Members, Stakeholders – Ministry of Agriculture, Mugumango Traditional Dancers, and HopeCore staff. 

HopeCore Staff gather together to celebrate Alumni Day

The day began on a high note as our clients flocked in, overjoyed at a wonderful opportunity to meet again after so many years. A vibrant introduction led by our Director of Operations, allowed our former clients who were representing various Self-Help Groups in attendance, introduce themselves starting with the pioneer group of Rwancege Women who started the program back in 2001.   

Micro Enterprise
Naomi Nyanchama, HopeCore’s Director of Operations welcoming the crowd

A wonderful entertainment session conducted by Mugumango Women Traditional Dancers followed soon after, giving all the guests an opportunity to dance to traditional songs and dig deep into the Ameru Culture. The Mugumango traditional dancers performed several traditional dances that were full of humor and a message on the good work that HopeCore is doing to the community.  The dancers, dressed in unique traditional attire, kept the event alive due to their elegant dancing styles that prompted a number of board members and some staff to jump into the dancing arena.

Mugumongo Traditional Dancers

The HopeCore model is based off the three legged African Stool with each leg representing a critical part in poverty eradication: income generation, health and education. The Micro-Enterprise program focuses on income generation through capacity building and the day would not have been complete without taking the chance to impact a few skills to our former clients.  We were thrilled to have a step by step demonstration on yogurt making conducted by an officer from the Ministry of Agriculture which sought to remind them of the importance of innovation when it comes to having a sustainable income-generating project. Since most of our old clients are dairy farmers, this training was very crucial as it would help them have a competitive advantage in the market by providing a unique dairy product. The clients were additionally trained on Money Management and the importance of planning for now and for the future. 

Madam Rose Kubai, Ministry of Agriculture Educates on Yogurt Making

A session of speeches crowned the day. Different clients stood to narrate how their journey had been, the challenges and the progress made as a result of the intervention programs by Village HopeCore and how one man’s dream had changed their lives.  One of our Kenyan Board Members; Mrs. Miriti crowned the day with a marvelous speech. She talked to our clients about how to take care of their families and navigate through family problems that may arise. She emphasized the value of adopting good money management practices.  She also challenged the clients to appreciate the idea of starting small and growing gradually especially in the world of entrepreneurship.    Further, she encouraged the clients to not only educate their children but also to be the encouraging voice in their lives and fan their abilities and talents. Other speakers emphasized much on healthy living and expansion of enterprises in order to raise sufficient incomes to support family needs.

Dr. KK Mugambi, HopeCore’s Founder talking about his dream

Dr. KK Mugambi, CEO/Founder; the man behind the Village HopeCore dream talked to the clients narrating to them with nostalgia how the dream that was now a reality came to be.  Dr. KK Mugambi thanked the clients for their attendance and being HopeCore beneficiaries. The clients listened so attentively so glad to have an opportunity to tap into such great wisdom. He shared intuitive words of wisdom and encouraged the clients to stay focused like the “pregnant deer” that despite being faced with huge danger during labor, it stayed focused on giving birth. It finally delivered successfully.

HopeCore Board Members at the Alumni Day

Finally, an interactive session was how to end the day as the former clients were given an opportunity to give feedback, suggestions and ask questions they had. This was a huge learning point for the program implementers on how we can best improve and modify to suit arising needs.

Delicious Lunch at the Event

The happy day had to come to an end as with all good things. The attendees all went home happy having learned many things.

A successful and very special celebration.

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