Author Archives: Michelle Stark

Craft Fair Poster

Hope for your Skin – Hope for the World

It’s hard to provide food for the hungry, clothing for the naked and shoes for the barefooted children without funds. Every year, Matanya’s Hope continues to focus on raising money for our outreach programs, including the provision of food, school supplies, blankets, hygiene items and safe drinking water systems.

Help comes in a variety of ways.

Just 6 weeks ago, my college friend and roommate introduced me to an organic, natural moisturizer which she is funding completely as a fundraiser for Matanya’s Hope. I must admit, I was a bit sceptical – but I tried it and the results were immediate softer, more hydrated skin! Best of all, this natural product can be used on your face, hands and body! It smells wonderful too – with a hint of lavender and camomile!

Poster for Moisturizer and Matanya's Hope Final

More to cheer about!

On Saturday August 3, Matanya’s Hope will be participating in a community event at the Flossmoor Community House located at: 2218 Hutchison Road Flossmoor, IL 60422. We will be introducing this organic, hand crafted moisturizer for the first time. Also featured will be Kenyan items such as: handmade leather and beaded sandals, jewelry and more!

Hand Beaded & Leather Sandals - Matanya's Hope

Sponsorship Poster Alan & Eric 2019 - DESPERATELY NEED SPONSORS

Alan and Erick

ALAN AND ERICK: FROM DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

Meeting these children jolted everything in me. They were hungry and displaced from the $3 a month rented room their single mother could not afford. While some of the siblings trekked hungry to their nearby day school, others remained home, to search for something to eat.

Eric - Kimahuri Primary

Alan  Kimahuri child

Alan and Erick are brothers. They were introduced to us last year during mission. They are the youngest of their family.

Although Matanya’s Hope only takes 1 child per family, we found sponsors for Jane, John and Ester, Alan and Erick’s three elder siblings. We hoped and prayed that Alan and Erick would benefit from the love and care they needed from mom, now that their elder siblings were in school. But, that never happened.

Alan and Erick fell prey to a hopeless despair, epidemic beyond poverty. Teachers reached out to us, begging us to “Please sponsor these bright boys. They need your help.”

Dreams start here. Let’s be the voice of hope for Alan and Erick.

These children were sponsored last year.  Among them are Erick & Alan's siblings.

These children were sponsored last year. Among them are Erick & Alan’s siblings.

As my great grandfather Harry Berman once said, “If a single day goes by where someone else doesn’t benefit from your being alive, you’ve wasted your day.”

Let’s make this day count.

Will you please help us send one or both of these boys to school?
Contact Matanya’s Hope for more information: 708-822-4673
or email Matanya’s Hope founder, Michelle Stark at [email protected]

Thank you.

Children needing clothes - Ole Tumuke

You and Our Story

Mission 2018 was a grand success and is now a part of Matanya’s Hope’s 13 year and growing history! Thank you all who sent donations, gifts and financial support. Our blog site: www.journeytohelpafrica.com and our Facebook posts bring so many beautiful stories of this year’s journey to life. Our students were visited and loved on. Plans were made for their futures. We are changing thousands of lives and together, you and I are lifting human beings from feelings of hopelessness and despair to lives filled with hope and a future.

This little girl enjoys a daily cup of porridge made possible through donations to the Matanya's Hope porridge program.  Without such donations, she may be one of countless children who go days without a single meal.

This little girl enjoys a daily cup of porridge made possible through donations to the Matanya’s Hope porridge program. Without such donations, she may be one of countless children who go days without a single meal.

From our porridge program (which feeds 2000+ students daily), to the 10,000 liter rainwater tanks which provide clean safe drinking water vs. polluted, bacteria ridden river water most are forced to drink, we are saving lives.

Young Sabina stands by a bottle of water her family recently collected from a nearby river.  Her family will drink, bath  with and cook with this water.

Young Sabina stands by a bottle of water her family recently collected from a nearby river. Her family will drink, bath with and cook with this water.

Today, Matanya’s Hope has 240+ students sponsored in boarding schools (and we just added another today!) including 49 university students who are marching to a much brighter employment future with their education. We have graduates in accounting, engineering, nursing, teaching, business, beauty, information technology, culinary arts, pharmacy and law. Together, we have accomplished all of that and more.

Just sponsored!  Nkatha, orphaned and living with her old, jobless grandmother, can now live and dream with Matanya's Hope.  Sponsorship means she will go to school, enjoy daily nutrition, have clothing, shoes, school supplies and most of all... SHE CAN HOPE.

Just sponsored! Nkatha, orphaned and living with her old, jobless grandmother, can now lvie and dream with Matanya’s Hope. Sponsorship means she will go to school, enjoy daily nutrition, have clothing, shoes, school supplies and most of all… SHE CAN HOPE.

This year our appeal is different. Matanya’s Hope must strengthen our core funding so that we may continue to provide the lifesaving food, water, counseling and other extraordinary programs we have developed – all which bring hope to our kids.

While it is essential to maintain individual student sponsorships and their needs, the need for core financial support has turned critical. This funding supports: the shipping of much needed donations, mailings, and the maintenance and gas for our vehicle during the 3-month mission in Kenya. My time in Kenya is spent gaining new introspective and serving each of our students, visiting their communities, and dispersing the donations where they are needed most. Last year over 3.5 tons of donations were shipped for a little over $13,000. That is 7000 pounds shipped for less than $2.00 lb. Operation Christmas Child does a wonderful job delivering shoe boxes of gifts to needy children and they collect $9.00 for each box. That is 4 times the cost of our delivery method. We operate on two continents and incur related costs in maintaining our position with both Kenya and the United States governments.

This little guy was thrilled to receive the gift of shoes through your donations.

This little guy was thrilled to receive the gift of shoes through your donations.

As we have grown so has the work load. We have in the past depended solely on a volunteer board and a few volunteers who have done all the paper work of financing and accounting. Matanya’s Hope runs a very streamlined budget to cover necessities, but as our impact on the region expands so does our need to have to have someone oversee the legalities of our 990s and record keeping in a non-profit world. Barring a fully versed volunteer on the regulations of non-profits, I may from time to time need to outsource a few of our critical documents for professional mandate.

Each annual mission includes volunteer participants who pay their own way. In no way do core funds support our mission volunteers.

Mission participant Emily and the team of 6 friends traveling from their USA University showered the children with faith, hope and love.  In so doing, all of us were transformed.

Mission participant Emily and the team of 6 friends traveling from their USA University showered the children with faith, hope and love. In so doing, all of us were transformed.

For our donors who specifically contribute to one of our other programs such as porridge or water tanks, thank you. We appeal to you to continue supporting our efforts by contributing to our core fund. Please help Matanya’s Hope maintain the services provided to so many in need. Our goal is to increase our core fund by $35,000; to operate effectively in the coming year. Thank you for your continued provision.

Simply put, we are asking that each of us who believe in the work Matanya’s Hope is doing to raise competent human beings out of the storms of life, donate to this need. Dig a little deeper and contribute to help Matanya’s Hope grow.

We are near the time of year when we all think of giving and I can’t imagine a better cause to help.

These children are praying over a 10,000 liter rainwater storage tank made possible through donations to MH.  Prior to the tank being place, the children suffered from dehydration and related issues including lack of ability to focus

These children are praying over a 10,000 liter rainwater storage tank made possible through donations to MH. Prior to the tank being place, the children suffered from dehydration and related issues including lack of ability to focus

This is John.  Just a few months ago, he was sleeping cold and hungry, on a dirt floor.  He was frequently subjected to homelessness; his mother could not afford $3 rent.  Today, he finds joy in writing to his sponsor and in attending school.

This is John. Just a few months ago, he was sleeping cold and hungry, on a dirt floor. He was frequently subjected to homelessness; his mother could not afford $3 rent. Today, he finds joy in writing to his sponsor and in attending school.

MH university student, Phineas Kaimenyi, is pictured here on University campus.  Only a few years ago, he thought university was a dream for others, not for him.

MH university student, Phineas Kaimenyi, is pictured here on University campus. Only a few years ago, he thought university was a dream for others, not for him.


Michelle Stark
Board President
and Ann Thomson, Board V.P.

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I Asked “Why”

We have different skin colors and different lives, but our hearts and spirits are one and nothing can ever take that away.

We have different skin colors and different lives, but our hearts and spirits are one and nothing can ever take that away.

1998, America

A child is born into comfort and ease. Her parents love her more than words can say. They sacrifice financially so no opportunity of life passes her by. They pay for her education. New uniforms every year, multiple shirts and skirts in case anything happens. Every schoolbook is bought, and her room is filled with storybooks there just for her enjoyment. Her education throughout every stage is a given, and learning is something she often takes for granted. The opportunity to go to college is a guarantee she looks forward to each passing year. The only question in her mind is which university will she attend. Her family by no means lives a lavish life according to American standards, but she has never had to question anything: food, housing, school, clothing. She does not know these as luxuries but as the basic commodities of life.

2008, Kenya

A child is born into poverty and hardship. Her parents love her more than words can say. They sacrifice financially, but still the opportunities of life pass this little girl by. They can’t always pay for her education. When they can, they can only afford a few days of school at a time and one uniform sweater. Tattered and torn, she wears it year after year even after she has long outgrown it. Her parents can barely afford her school books, if they can at all, and at night she dreams of what it would be like to have even one story book of her own. Throughout every stage of her life, her education is never a guarantee. She has no way of knowing if her parents will be able to afford sending her to school tomorrow. She dreams of attending college, but that dream is out of reach on her own. She has to question everything in her life: food, housing, school, clothing. She lives everyday not knowing if she will have the basic commodities, which to her are actual necessities, of life.

The smile adorned by this precious child almost made it difficult to imagine the hardships he faces every day.

The smile adorned by this precious child almost made it difficult to imagine the hardships he faces every day.

2018, Matanya Primary School

I am the girl in the first description, and yesterday I met countless students who fit the second. As I looked into their eyes, the thought running through my mind endlessly was why? Why was I born into the life I have; why they theirs? What have I done to deserve anything I have? And the answer is nothing. I did not choose my parents, nor did I choose where I was to be born. Everything I enjoy in my life of luxury has been provided for me. As I returned the student’s shy smiles, and held their little hands, the truth of human equality hit me like never before. The students were so smart, so gentle, so beautiful, so driven, and so joyful. We played in the dirt and laughed and danced and we were the same. We were human. We were from different sides of the world, different cultures and families, but united by our humanity. And it was the students who changed me, not I them. They touched my soul in a way words fail to describe. I hope that these came close. If you are reading this, I hope it caused you to recognize the blessings in your life. I hope you paused for a moment to consider the people to whom those blessings are not attainable. I hope you will consider this question that has now become a part of my heart: for what other reason have I been blessed than to pour out my life in service to help my fellow man?
We are all the same; we are all worthy of love.

The children are free with one and other, sharing love, friendship and joy despite their circumstances.

The children are free with one and other, sharing love, friendship and joy despite their circumstances.

Alaina Clem
Matanya’s Hope Mission Participant, 2018

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Shop Amazon and Help our Children

Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com/ch/13-4330919 and Amazon donates to Matanya’s Hope.

This is Sabina Nyaguthi.  She dreams of going to school like the other children, but fees often prevent her from attending class.

This is Sabina Nyaguthi. She dreams of going to school like the other children, but fees often prevent her from attending class.

Shop at Amazon Smiles – Matanya’s Hope. Together, we can make this world a better place… and shop too!

Purchase your:
Groceries
Summer clothes & shoes
Toys for the kids
Health food items
Household items
Beauty Care
and so much more!

Happy Mother’s Day from All of Us at Matanya’s Hope

NEED FOR HOUSE - MOTHER FEEDING CHILD

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Matanya’s Hope!
In rural East Africa, mothers love their children.
They want to see their children prosper, just like we do here. But, the challenges these children and their families face are overwhelming. Mother’s often forage in the fields for mere pennies, hoping to feed their family a single meal. Cost of a solitary pencil is often prohibitive.

Children at Matanya Primary School understand the value of education.

Children at Matanya Primary School understand the value of education.

This Mother’s Day, you can bless your mother by giving the gift of HOPE. Kenyan mothers pray for the opportunity to send their children to school.
Say YES and give a mother in Kenya reason to smile!

Educate a child and you have helped a village.

Click the DONATE button at the top of this page.
or
DONATE through VENMO. Select Matanya’s Hope.

________________________________________

MICHELLE AND SABINA NYAGUTHI

The Matanya’s Hope 2018 mission team will be building a home for this mama who is fighting all odds to provide a stable environment for her family! We thank Jennifer Oliak and Oz of Salt for raising every coin to make this gift possible!
These are the kinds of blessings that your donations to Matanya’s Hope make possible.

________________________________________
This Mother’s Day, SHOP Amazon Smile and give to mothers in need!
Choose Matanya’s Hope as your beneficiary; make an impact on our mother’s in Kenya.

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CHILDREN LAUGHING AT CCM PRIMARY SCHOOL - NANYUKI

HEARTS & HANDS OF HOPE

Hi Everyone!
In less than 30 days, Matanya’s Hope Mission 2018 will be on it’s way to Kenya!
We still need your support.

HELP by Giving a Special Gift Today

Your gift of any amount will help our team:
WATER RELIEF:
Distribute Life Saving Rainwater Storage Tanks to Locations Without Safe Water
NOURISHMENT:
Feed Thousands of Hungry Children
MEETING DAILY NEEDS:
Distribute 3.3 Tons of Clothing, Shoes, Blankets, School Supplies, Medical Supplies and Items Supporting Good Hygiene
WHERE NEEDED MOST:
Your gift will help Matanya’s Hope provide life changing support to thousands of people in need.

To give using your credit card, click the DONATE button above.
To give using VENMO, select Matanya’s Hope and choose your amount.

THANK YOU for making this mission possible.

We could not do this without you.

Michelle
MICHELLE POSTER

Matanya’s Hope Official Mission 2018 T-Shirt is Here

First Ever Opportunity to Purchase a Matanya’s Hope Official Mission Shirt

Order your official Matanya's Hope TShirt today $15 Plus $7.95 shipping - for delivery in the USA.  (No additional charge to deliver to your student in Kenya)

Order your official Matanya’s Hope TShirt today $15 Plus $7.95 shipping – for delivery in the USA. (No additional charge to deliver to your student in Kenya)


This summer, seven students from Troy University will be traveling with Matanya’s Hope during the month of June. They will be visiting with many of our sponsored students, helping us to distribute much needed clothing, shoes, school supplies, etc. This is a great opportunity for you to purchase a Matanya’s Hope t-shirt and have it gifted to your student during the mission.

The Troy students are so excited to share love and encouragement with our Kenyan family.

In an effort to help raise funds for their own trip, the Troy students are selling these wonderfully soft, cotton t-shirts. What a win win!

Place your order by April 15.
You can pay via VENMO or by sending a check to Matanya’s Hope.

PO Box 562
Homewood, IL 60430

These shirts are only $15
Sizes available: S, M, L, XL
Color: Dark Grey (as pictured)

ALSO AVAILABLE:
2X $17.50
3X $18.50

Bella & Canvas Tee