Celebrating 20 in 20 at HopeCore!

Celebrating 20 in 20! Highlighting 20 success stories from HopeCore during the first 20 days of August leading up to our 20 year anniversary Gala.

For the first 20 days of August, we have highlighted some of the most incredible success stories from the staff and participants of our program over the last 20 years at HopeCore. We are incredibly proud of our team and our community and hope you enjoy reading their stories. Thank you for continuing to support our program!

Day One of Celebrating 20 in 20: Meet Micheal Mawira

Micheal Mawira, WASH Monitor at HopeCore

The WASH project aim is to improve community health through the delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene by providing one 1,000 litre water tanks for storage of clean drinking water and three, 70 litre tanks for hand washing in our partner schools.

The WASH team also works with schools through health clubs whose main function is to provide an avenue where students can learn from each other and from their health teacher and practice what they have learned using the Children Hygiene and Sanitation Training (CHAST) model which emphasizes on learning through practice. The health clubs are run by two, Village HopeCore trained School-based Youth Peer Providers and the teacher health champion.

Micheal Mawira joined the WASH program in 2016 as the WASH monitor. He was in charge of the program and has seen it grow from the initial 180 schools to the current 211. He makes sure the schools maintain the tanks well and that the hand washing tanks have soap. Through the promotion of hand washing with soap and drinking treated water, water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea have significantly reduced.

During the COVID19 pandemic HopeCore, through the WASH program installed 11 hand-washing stations in busy bus stations and 31 hand-washing stations in health centers. Micheal visits the stations daily to monitor the tanks, distribute soap, and educate the community on the importance of hand hygiene and correct hand washing technique.

Day Two of 20 in 20:

Annislacia Nkinga started community work in 2008 with the aim of reducing the common diseases in the community. In 2018 she joined the HopeCore CHV program. Since then she has delivered health interventions including nutrition, maternal health, birth and newborn care preparedness, and promotion of breastfeeding.

She is also involved in community mobilization, home visits, support of the professional health workforce, surveillance, and referral of patients to health facilities.

Her greatest achievement is that she has helped to eradicate jiggers which were a menace in the community. Many people were affected including the boy and the lady in the above pictures, it took vigorous education on proper hygiene and many followups. She also got insecticide from HopeCore which helped to get rid of them.
Her kindness goes beyond measure and the community members are very proud of her.

Day 3 of Celebrating 20 in 20:

Janet Kenya

⁠Janet Kanyua is a thirty-five-year-old lady that resides in a small village in Chogoria, Maara Sub-County in Tharaka Nithi County. Having dropped out of school she sought employment as a house help where she got a monthly income of KES 2500 (USD 25). After getting married, Janet had resulted to washing clothes for others as a way of trying to get a little income to put food on the table where she got KES 4800 (USD 48) on a monthly basis.⁠

She joined Olive Self-Help Group at HopeCore, then they registered as an associate group in 2013 and having already set up their table banking and Merry-Go-Round, they were given a soft loan of KES 30,000(USD 300) to boost their table banking.⁠

The group qualified for normal loan funding and Janet received KES 60,000 (USD 600). Janet started a dairy farming business by purchasing a dairy cow. She was overjoyed since she had now cut down the expense of purchasing milk on a daily basis for her children. From her dairy cow, she could now get a monthly income of KES 8,640(USD 86.4). ⁠

She currently has one dairy cow, one heifer, and one bull. Gradually, she was able to install electricity in her home and do a few renovations in her home that were needed. ⁠

Her breakthrough finally came when she received her second loan of KES 60,000 (USD 600). Janet took the loan and added to some of her existing savings and together with her husband, fulfilled their dream of having their own carpentry business by opening up a workshop and showroom. The business was soon doing well since the market was conducive and they produced quality products. She earns approximately KES 30,000(USD 300) every month. ⁠

With her increased income, she has installed electricity, installed piped water, expanded her house, and has also leased a piece of land which she plants Napier grass for the cows; all which she couldn’t afford before. ⁠

Day 4 of 20 in 20!

Monica Wanja

Meet Monica!

Community health project officer Monica Wanja has been working at HopeCore for the last four years. Her previous experience of working as a community health volunteer has allowed her to interact with the community more effectively.

She educates mothers during the mother and child health clinics and performs growth monitoring to children under five years.

Her greatest achievement is when she helped a young boy from Ngaani village in Maara sub-county who was 3 years old but could not walk. The boy was severely malnourished. Monica advised his mother on good nutrition and provided her with supplements. After two months the boy was walking normally. We are proud of Monica and lucky to have her on our team! #HopeCore2020

Day 5 of Celebrating 20 in 20!

Meet Faith!

Faith’s story is one of inspiration. As a young woman, Faith experienced many family hardships. Despite these challenges, she has become a shining inspiration to many struggling women out there. She is a group leader and a jovial person to be around.

In 2014, she joined Karia 2 Self-Help Group where she found a group of like-minded individuals who were eager to grow their income. The group registered with Village HopeCore International where they were funded with a soft loan to boost their table banking and this helped the members to save and borrow and grow their small investments. Faith bought a piglet.

She then received her first loan of KES 30,000 (USD 300) which she used to buy a dairy cow. She was able to earn some income from the milk. The group successfully repaid their first loan and qualified for the second round of funding. Faith was funded with KES 30,000 which she bought an additional dairy cow. With the increased income, she started to make strides in the right direction. She made renovations to her house, and constructed a house for one of her sons.

After repaying the loan, she received KES 60,000 (USD 600). Faith used the funds to lease 1600 tea bushes. From her tea farming business, she gets a monthly income of KES 5733 (USD 57.33) and an annual bonus of KES 133,300 (USD 1330). She has over 4,300 tea bushes currently which she plans on expanding in the future.
From her dairy farming business, she gets up to 26 liters of milk monthly and a monthly income of KES 24,960 (USD 249.60). She has two dairy cows with one of the cows currently in-calf.

With the increased and diversified source of income, Faith was now able to educate her son all the way to the University level and her daughter to college level. She has been able to expand and renovate her house, add to household items such as seats that she couldn’t afford before, install solar power as opposed to using paraffin, construct a zero-grazing unit, start a goat rearing business and purchase one sheep.

The group has successfully repaid their third cycle loan and will be funded with a fourth cycle loan in the coming month.

Day 6 of 20 in 20!

Dinah Murage

Meet Dinah!

HopeCore Microenterprise program’s main aim is to eradicate poverty and promote development by the distribution of loans, implementation of small savings schemes, agricultural and livestock management advice.

Dinah Murage is the field officer at the department. She has been at Village HopeCore for the last two years with her main responsibilities being group assessment, table banking training, group leaders training, and business planning and training. Her fear of poverty drove her to join HopeCore after being an intern for three months. she hopes to make an impact in the community by helping in to transform people’s lives through business education and training

Day 7 of 20 in 20

Meet Kevin:

Kevin Kirimi is an accounting assistant in the finance department. While in high school Kevin used to visit the youth center and was very impressed by the good work Village HopeCore was doing to the community. After completing school, he decided to join the organization as a volunteer in 2016. He was handed his first contract after three months which happened to be his birthday, this goes down as one his best moments life.
His main responsibilities are bank reconciliation, analyzing donor funds, and processing bill payments. While at HopeCore he was able to register with ICPAK a professional body for certified public accountants (CPAs) in Kenya.

Kevin awarded as the employee of the year last year!

Kevin Kirimi

Day 8 of 20 in 20

Meet Sylvia!

Sylvia Kaari started doing community work by mobilizing members of her community to donate blood in 2013. She has been doing community work until last year when she joined the HopeCore community health volunteer (CHV) program and she is also the leader of the rest of the CHVs of Kiraro community unit. 

Her dedication and passion have been of great help in the community. Especially her determination to make sure all the households have handwashing stations. This has been of great importance during the COVID19 pandemic because she had already educated people on the importance of washing their hands regularly.

The one-week training she attended in January organized by Village HopeCore has empowered her in giving the correct information when doing health education during her household visits. Last year she organized a youth seminar for the unemployed youths where they were trained on agribusiness ventures like tomato, banana, and chicken farming.

Sylvia has an initiative of educating the community on the need of having kitchen gardens where they can grow vegetables. She is also giving free vegetable seedlings for the people to grow in their kitchen gardens.

She finds satisfaction in working with the community to better their lives economically and having good health.

Sylvia receiving certificate of completion from Dr. KK, HopeCore’s Founder

Day 9 of 20 in 20

Meet James!

James Mutuku works as a microenterprise field officer, he joined HopeCore in March 2019. James joined the organization with two major goals: first to get an opportunity to participate in programs for transforming the lives of the rural communities, which is the core business of the village HopeCore international, and had a desire to actualize his career dream of working for a non-governmental organization.

His best moment at the organization was when he participated in the Hopecore Poverty Eradication Impact Assessment survey in May 2019 led by a team from the Knowledge Resource Centre. The survey, as he notes, gave him a rare chance to learn very useful and practical data collection techniques that are rarely taught in class! It was also an opportunity for him to network and build lasting relationships with the research team leader.

His greatest achievement while working at Hopecore is when he took part in the process of designing and developing the integrated micro-enterprise business training curriculum. The curriculum has already been approved for use in training the business and farmers’ groups that are enrolled in the micro-enterprise program.

His source of motivation comes when he sees how once resource-poor clients who can’t qualify for bank loans get a chance to be funded by HopeCore and eventually end up running their own successful businesses. They end up owning productive assets such as motorbikes and land that they never had before. Through this kind of funding, many beneficiaries finally get transformed socially, economically, and start leading more decent lives together with their families. It’s quite encouraging. He plans to continue with his postgraduate studies in project monitoring & evaluation and ultimately become a guru in that field.

James with a Micro Enterprise client

Day 10 of 20 in 20

Meet Casty!

Casty Kanini is a thirty-nine-year-old lady; married and blessed with three children. Casty resides in Ntumu Village in Maara Sub-County, Tharaka Nithi County. Casty pursued her education up to the secondary level. She enrolled for a hairdressing course which she completed successfully. She then sought employment in a salon where she got a monthly income of KES 2,500 ($25 USD) per month. She was employed for one year and she saved up and managed to open her salon. The business continued to grow but her income was still not sufficient to cover her growing expenses as she had children to support.

Casty joined Murathimi Self-Help Group in 2018. After registering with HopeCore, the group was funded with a soft loan of KES 30,000 (300USD), which they used for table banking.

The group was funded and Casty was funded with KES 60,000 ($600 USD) which she used to purchase a dairy cow. She was now able to get up to 26 litres of milk on a monthly basis. Her struggles started to dwindle away as she was now able to pay school fees using the milk. The business was doing so well that she was able to make double loan payments and was able to repay her loan within the first ten months. She was able to enjoy a loan within a loan and she was funded with another loan interest-free of KES 60,000 (USD 600). She used this second loan to start a cosmetics resale business. This was a huge supplementary business that supported her existing salon business.
With the increased income, she has been able to finance her kid’s education, start a new business, start a chicken rearing business, purchase a chaff cutter, construct a zero-grazing unit and expand the salon business.

Meet Casty with her dairy cows that she purchased with HopeCore’s loans!

Day 11 of 20 in 20!

Meet Stella!
Community health project officer Stella Kagendo is one of the longest-serving members of the staff. This is her 9th year at up HopeCore. She is motivated, humble, dedicated, and accountable. Mentoring most of her team members who joined after the program was expanded.
Stella has been of great help in the community with a vast experience in community health. She currently does health education and growth monitoring during the mother and child health clinics and training of community health volunteers.

In the last two years, Stella and other officers have educated over 18,822 mothers and trained all the 200 community health volunteers supported by HopeCore.

Stella (middle) performing growth monitoring at one of the child maternal health clinics

Day 12 of 20 in 20

Meet Nancy!
Community Health Volunteers are worth their weight in gold for the work they do in the community. They share their time and talents without expecting any compensation, so its good to acknowledge their contribution and let them know they are valued.
Nancy Mukwanjeru is a CHV from Kiroo community unity. She has been doing community work since 2012. Nancy joined the HopeCore CHV program in 2018. She has undergone various trainings including the week long training this past January with HopeCore.

Through the years she has helped to reduce the number of communicable disease infections through health education especially hygiene and sanitation. All the households in her village have usable pit latrines and handwashing stations with soap and water.
During the COVID19 pandemic, she has been providing soap for free to the vulnerable members of the community, who had resulted to using ash as an alternative.
She has also donated a portion of her land to a youth group that is making trees and flower nurseries. By doing this they are earning an income and are able to stay busy, hence having no time to engage in drug and substance abuse.

Nancy, conduction COVID-19 Home Visits in her community

Day 13 of 20 in 20

Meet Jane!
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Jane Kainyu’s dream was to make a difference in the community. So it was a dream come true when she joined Village HopeCore in 2016 as a public health field officer. It was not a new challenge because she had previously worked as a community health volunteer.

She is involved in training CHVs and supporting them in their household visits. Jane also is involved in educating mothers during Mother and child health clinics with topics including family planning, hygiene, and sanitation, breastfeeding, and nutrition.
Through health education there has been a significant reduction in the number of people seeking health services with hygiene-related diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and chorela.

Jane measuring a child’s height at one of the mobile children’s clinics

Day 14 of 20 in 20

Meet Alice.

Alice Wanjohi is a 38-year old lady, married and blessed with two children. Alice pursued her education and managed to enter the Secondary School level but had to drop out before she could complete school due to financial constraints in the family. A kind-hearted relative offered to take her for a hairdressing course which she worked diligently in and completed successfully.

She sought employment in a Salon where she received a monthly income of KES 2500 (USD 25), where she worked for one year. She soon decided to start her salon with some of her savings. She worked hard and her business grew steadily. Unfortunately, in 2015 she was involved in a terrible road accident that fractured her hand badly. This meant that she couldn’t continue with her salon business.

In 2017, she decided to join Karia 4 Self-Help Group; which consisted of some of her neighbors and friends who all had one goal in common- which is to improve their lives. They brought their savings together and were able to practice table banking. The group registered with Village HopeCore in 2017 and were funded with a soft loan which acted as a strong boost for their existing table banking. The group did well and were funded with a normal loan where Alice received KES 60,000 (USD 600)

She used this loan to purchase a dairy cow. She confesses that this was the turning point for her and her family. She was now able to get up to seventeen liters of milk per day. She now has a stable source of income from milk approximately KES 16,320 (USD 1,632). The increased income enabled her to restart her Sand Selling business and start a chicken rearing business hence diversifying her income streams. Alice has plans of expanding her dairy farming by purchasing a chaff cutter and additional dairy cows. She is also planning on starting a fueling station near her home and has already started the establishment process Alice has achieved so much in such a short duration and she is bound to achieve so much more in days to come and we will continue to support her in her endeavors..

Meet Alice and all her entrepreneurial endeavors

Day 15 of 20 in 20

Meet Sylvia

Sylvia Kaari started doing community work by mobilizing members of her community to donate blood in 2013. She has been doing community work until last year when she joined the HopeCore community health volunteer program and also she is the leader of the rest of the CHVs of Kiraro community unit. Her dedication and passion have been of great help in the community. Especially her determination to make sure all the households have handwashing stations. This has been of great importance during the COVID19 pandemic because she had already educated people on the importance of washing their hands regularly.

The one-week training she attended in January organized by Village HopeCore has empowered her in giving the correct information when doing health education during her household visits. last year she organized a youth seminar for the unemployed youths where they were trained on agribusiness ventures like tomato, banana, and chicken farming.

Sylvia has an initiative of educating the community on the need of having kitchen gardens where they can grow vegetables. She is also giving free vegetable seedlings for the people to grow in their kitchen gardens. She finds satisfaction in working with the community to better their lives economically and having good health.

Sylvia performing home visits during COVID

Day 16 of 20 in 20

Meet Franklin

Franklin Mutwiri Ngaruthi is an enthusiastic young man and a beneficiary of the Micro-Enterprise Program. ⁠ In 2019, he joined Kiangua Youth Self-Help Group where he met a group of young people who were visionary and dedicated to economic empowerment. The group attended a one-week business training which was organized by Hope Core where they were equipped with new knowledge and skills on Agriculture, livestock management, business planning, record keeping, health-related topics, and savings advice.⁠

⁠ The training gave him an open mind in terms of investment opportunities. Soon after the training, Franklin was funded with a normal loan of KES 60,000 (USD 600). He used his loan to start a fish rearing business by constructing a fish pond and purchasing 1500 fish. After a few months, he was soon reaping the fruits of his hard work. Currently, he gets a monthly Income of KES 15,000 (USD 1500).⁠ Franklin is now able to get a monthly income of KES 6720 (USD 67) from his dairy cow, KES 7000 (USD 70) from his hotel business.⁠

⁠ ⁠With the increased income, Franklin has been able to repay his loan in ten months. He has also purchased a Heifer, expanded his hotel business. He has also begun arrangements to start constructing a stone house. ⁠ Franklin has made such good progress in a very short duration of time. He dreams of being the lead supplier of fish in the region a dream which he is working very hard towards. ⁠ ⁠

Franklin catching some of his fish

Day 17 of 20 in 20

Meet Irene

Irene Mokua is the clinical coordinator at Village HopeCore. When Irene was in the second year in nursing school she heard about the youth peer providers program at HopeCore. Her passion to work with the youth drove her to apply as a volunteer. During her experience as a YPP she would join community health nurse Winjoy in the field and assist in treating the sick in the community.⁠

⁠ After school, she got a chance to work at Nairobi West but she always felt she had unfinished business at HopeCore because of her desire to work in the community.⁠ ⁠ In 2016 she joined as a community nurse and later she was promoted to clinical coordinator.⁠ As the clinical coordinator, she trains, supports, and supervises the community health nurses to ensure they provide quality service in the office clinic, maternal and child health clinics, mobile clinics, and the community. Irene also reviews all health education materials and ensure that the staff delivering the right information in education.⁠

⁠ Irene was able to co-facilitate on the school-based ypp training, trained 200 community health volunteers in January, trained staff on occupation safety, and trained the teacher health champions.⁠ ⁠ Her best moment is when she got a chance to go for a trip with the MedTreks nurses at Samburu national park for three days. It was a good experience because she was able to learn more about community health in their country and she picked some new ways of doing things from them.⁠ ⁠ Her future plans are to have the program expanded and corporate services like immunization in the clinic, have village-based MCH, and ensure that villages visited after every 6 months so that all the under 5 children get to be supplemented with vitamin A and dewormers.⁠ ⁠

Meet Irene, HopeCore’s nurse and clinic coordinator

Day 18 of 20 in 20

Meet Lilian

Lilian Achieng is ambitious and always finds ways to better and improve the lives of others. She joined the HopeCore CHV program in 2018. Her major challenge as she was starting out was poor hygiene and sanitation as many of the households in her area had no usable latrines. With vigorous follow-ups and health education during her household visits, she is so proud that all the households now have usable latrines with hand washing stations.

Lilian realized that community members are bearing the burden of trying to clear hospital bills for any member of the community who would be hospitalized. The turning point came when they had to hold numerous Harambees (fundraisers) to raise funds for one of the community members who had been detained in the hospital for several months. She realized that most of the people in her community had no medical coverage even though most of them could afford it.

She embarked on a mission to educate them on the importance of having the national hospital insurance fund cover. The community was elated by her actions and requested her to help them get registered. They formed a group where they would meet regularly to discuss health issues in the community and raise some money to help those that could not afford it. Last month 6 people got their cards and 20 more have filled forms which she will take to the Huduma center in Chuka. Lilian’s dream is to make sure that all the people in Kiroo community unity have a medical insurance cover.

Lilian providing education to her community during home visits

Day 19 of 20 in 20

Meet Okumu.

Sylvanus Okumu’s desire to help vulnerable members of the community made him join Village HopeCore in 2016 as a community health worker and later in 2017 he became a health educator. His dedication and leadership skills allowed him to be promoted to his current position which is the fundraising officer. Having created a good relationship with donors with timely reporting, he was able to secure a grant from merieux foundation which helped set up a community laboratory in the office clinic.

Meet Okumu (middle) during patient triage at one of the mobile medical clinics

Day 20 of 20 in 20

Meet Echesa

Walter Echesa joined Village HopeCore in 2018 as a Community Health Nurse. He was attracted by the opportunity to educate, treat, and prevent diseases at the community level. Whereas healthcare workers in hospitals wait for patients to come to them, those at the community concentrate on health promotion through prevention measures and treatment of emerging diseases at an early stage. Providing these services for free in the community was an added incentive.

Walter also served as Grants and Fundraising committee chairperson. The committee helps in identifying potential donors and preparing organizational capacity statements for use by the Resource Mobilization and Fundraising Officer.

After one year, Echesa was promoted to his current position where he is serving as the programs manager for public health department. He is in charge of designing different programs to suit community needs, evaluate the impact of different programs, and improve the quality of service provision to the community.

As the head of the public health department, he is excited by the prospects of increasing HopeCore’s reach and increase the impact on more people by taking the program to Chuka and Igamba Ng’ombe sub-counties from the month of August.
Every single day is a day of making an impact and improving what we did yesterday!

Echesa, HopeCore nurse and public health programs manager

A huge thank you to our marketing and media team for collecting, organizing, editing and distributing these amazing stories!!

Melavin (left) and Vincent (right)

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