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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

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.

amazon smiles logo

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

Wafula was sponsored at the end of last year's mission.  Although he was the brightest student of his 8th grade class, he had no way of proceeding to high school.  Today, Wafula attends one of Kenya's leading boarding high schools and holds much promise for a bright future.  As he puts it, "I am a future star, not a scar".

HOLIDAY OF HOPE

Dear Friends,

There are so many reasons to thank you! Hundreds of Matanya’s Hope students are eagerly awaiting their new academic year. Countless young lives have been forever changed through your sponsorships and love. Just last year, Wafula (pictured above) was sponsored. His life of hunger and despair was changed through hope; he was granted the gift of a continuing education. Today, Wafula is a top performing student. His motto is “I am a future star, not a scar.” He is focused on becoming a doctor. He told me, “I want to be in a position to help others in life.” Wafula’s story is a reflection of your heartfelt donations! It’s because of you, our sponsors and donors, that he now attends school!

As you may know, for 13 years we have been reaching out in a wide variety of ways to those in need. We are personally seeing the incredible impact our support has made in their lives. We know that there is still much more to do.

This is Sabina Nyaguthi.  She dreams of going to school like the other children, but fees often prevent her from attending class.  Your sponsorship can change the world for this little girl !

This is Sabina Nyaguthi. She dreams of going to school like the other children, but fees often prevent her from attending class. Your sponsorship can change the world for this little girl !

In 2007, we humbly started Matanya’s Hope when 4 children were sponsored. Who knew that this one small act of kindness would soon translate to hundreds of students gaining an education and forever changing their lives. Today, Matanya’s Hope highlights university graduates in law, nursing, pharmacy, teaching, culinary arts and so much more! And our programs are ongoing. We currently have 250 students ranging from primary through university, who continue to embrace education through your sponsorships.

This is Lawrence, a Matanya's Hope graduate.  Today he is working in IT and passing the gift of hope to our current students and to many who are still waiting for their chance.

This is Lawrence, a Matanya’s Hope graduate. Today he is working in IT and passing the gift of hope to our current students and to many who are still waiting for their chance.

In the USA, the annual (or even a semester’s) cost of student books is often higher than the cost of a full academic year of education in Kenya! $125 per month can send a student to school for an entire year and this also includes uniform, supplies, transport, life changing conferences, minor medical & counseling, room & board, academic support and so much more!

It is so easy to donate!  Thousands of students have received school supplies through your generosity!

It is so easy to donate! Thousands of students have received school supplies through your generosity!

Your special gift to Matanya’s Hope can help a child go back to school. Invest in the gift of hope through education.

Students at Matanya Primary School are excited to thank their donors for the daily porridge and safe drinking water.

Students at Matanya Primary School are excited to thank their donors for the daily porridge and safe drinking water.

We could not do this without you. As my father says, “If a single day goes by where someone else doesn’t benefit from your being alive, you’ve wasted your day.” He got that from his grandfather, Harry Berman. It’s powerful stuff… I invite you to stand with me as we continue learning and growing… making this world a better place for all.

Happy Holidays!!!!
Michelle Stark
Founder, Matanya’s Hope

Mission 2017 – Meet Vincent

Vincent Murithi, Matanya's Hope University student, expresses his joy for the gift of clothing and education.

Vincent Murithi, Matanya’s Hope University student, expresses his joy for the gift of clothing and education.

Landing in Kenya was bitter sweet. I missed my family and I knew all too well that leaving the USA meant leaving the comforts of my high speed internet. It meant headaches – such as an hour and a half to open ONE email successfully.
But, that is the technical side of mission and technicalities are far from the heart of what this mission is all about.

We are about giving the gift of hope to some of the most precious people who might otherwise never have had the chance to go to school beyond 8th grade.

3 days into the mission, our vehicle transcended from Nairobi’s tarmac to the dusty dirt and rock roads of Nanyuki. Henry and Vincent had been busy offloading the donations throughout the night and our rented home was ready for occupation.

None of this could have happened without the tireless dedication of one young man who balanced his pending exams with the leadership of Matanya’s Hope in Kenya. Thank you Patrick for emulating the heart of giving service beyond self.

As the mission begins, I have the honor to spend our beginning days with a current University Economics student, Vincent Murithi. Sometimes, when I only have my own vantage point to reflect upon, I can’t see the fullness of the impact that Matanya’s Hope has on those we reach out to.

This morning, Vincent shared: “It has been an incredible journey as I sit here and reflect way back, 10 years ago. I am overwhelmed regarding what Matanya’s Hope has done unto my life. It has been a long way coming and I am grateful for this opportunity. I am scheduled to graduate next year and I want to appeal to other Matanya’s Hope students to take this opportunity that you are given and to utilize it well, knowing that one day someone else will look upon them. It is about giving back to society. You can only do that when we have a clear plan or vision of what you want to do – of where you want to see yourself in coming years. It keeps you on track. At this age, we should stop dreaming and start working on those dreams. It is a way to becoming responsible and dependable.
I have a plan, in 3 or 4 years to come, to sponsor kids throughout their school life, throughout their education, just as Matanya’s Hope has done for me. It is quite fulfilling experience when you can give back to others in need. I can never forget where I came from.

To everyone who is a sponsor, I want to thank you for what you are doing. I promise you, your gift of hope will not go in vain. To each sponsor and mission participant who I met, thank you for being a part of my life. Jonah, Quincy, Ariel, Ann…. the list is endless. You have all impacted my life and helped me to believe in my dreams.
To my sponsor, Brogan, thank you so much for being my brother and my dear friend. You have walked by my side since I was 12 years old. No words can possibly express all I feel.

Today, I received gifts of clothing and shoes from Matanya’s Hope. I humbly thank each of you who made these much needed items possible.”
Vincent Murithi

DSC01180 resized for blog

Joyce “A Story of Hope”

I can just now look back to that day when I first met with Michelle with a smile on my face. This day changed my life.

July 2008:
I first saw her in my old school “Chuma Primary School”, where she and Mr. Mugo came to interview the top performing, humble pupils. I was very glad when I was chosen among the six pupils to be interviewed. I was wearing a green, tattered dress which was no longer the school uniform, but it was all I had. My toes peeped out of the shoes but none of this killed my determination or ambitions. I followed my mother’s advice to believe that “God will always have a way.”

These were the shoes I wore before Matanya's Hope.

These were the shoes I wore before Matanya’s Hope.

LIFE:
Most of the time, my mother falls sick and is unable to work, but when able, she works at a neighbor’s farm to provide food on our table. We don’t have our own home. We reside in a place owned by a good Samaritan who left his house when he moved to Nairobi. I hope I will be able to build a house for my mother.
My sister and I must wake up very early to arrive in school on time. We walk a kilometer from home to school every day. We are often hungry and have only tattered clothes. When I shared some of these problems with Matanya’s Hope, Michelle bought me a full school uniform and decided to look for a sponsor for me. I really thank her for this.

2009:
Michelle told me that I got a sponsor and I would now be able to go to a new school where I would board and would have plenty of food and water. There was a lot of competition compared to my first school, where I was always the top student. Although the students were far ahead of me, the boarding school environment gave me much more time to read. I no longer had to walk to school every day and I could attend extra studies until 11 P.M.

2010:
I sat for my KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) and I was admitted to one of the top high schools in the Central Province of Kenya. Matanya’s Hope was always there to encourage me. They gave each and every student moral support and when Michelle came to Kenya, she always spent time with me at my school. Her visits encouraged me to work hard. I set my goal on being a blessing to my family and on motivating my new Matanya’s Hope family.
My sponsor, Patsy, gave me financial support by paying my school fees, but she also encouraged me with her frequent letters, cards and gifts. I treasure them to this day! I could not forget to pray for my sponsor, Michelle and the Matanya’s Hope Board of Directors in Kenya. Mr. and Mrs. Mugo encouraged me to work hard and to remain humble before God.

Here I am working hard in class during my first year in boarding school.

Here I am working hard in class during my first year in boarding school.

In school, I was elected as the class student leader as well as the agricultural representative. This brought me close to the teachers who were of great help to me academically. They encouraged me to work hard and finally, in high school, I saw myself getting closer to my goals.

2014 to Present:
This is the year that I sat for my KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education). I scored a strong B which qualified me for University. Patsy and Matanya’s Hope gave me the encouragement and support I needed to make my dreams valid. It is hard to believe that a hungry little girl with barely a piece of cloth to cover her body can get this far! May God bless all of you. Truly, Matanya’s Hope is the light in a dark tunnel for me and for every other student they support in Kenya and in Tanzania.

Yours lovingly,

Joyce Wanjiku Ndirangu

blue spray - arms in air

Glenbrook North High School Global Citizen’s Club: COLOUR RUSH 5K

On May, 21 2016, Glenbrook North High School’s Global Citizen’s Club, a club that raises money for an international charity each school semester, hosted a “Colour Rush 5k” to raise money for Matanya’s Hope.

spraying pink

Students and their families jogged through the 5k course in the back fields of the high school as they were sprinkled, splattered, and stuffed with handfuls of vibrant colored powder. Despite the challenge of the run, each flying burst of color kept the mood of the race energetic, even when the participants were a few miles in. Smiles decorated the faces of each panted runner as they dodged, embraced and ran through the powder. Runners raised their arms like they were finishing a marathon as volunteers smattered powder all over them, tye-dyeing the runners’ white shirts. Pop-music and shouts of excitement followed while a light breeze cooled off the runners and the heat of the day. It carried extra powder particles, making the waves and whirls of its path visible.

Lindsey and friends show off their new color after running the 5 K to benefit Matanya's Hope

Lindsey and friends show off their new color after running the 5 K to benefit Matanya’s Hope

To and girls

Students came out of the course resembling something closer to a smurf or Shrek than themselves; powder color coating adorned their faces and clothes! As runners took photographs, grabbed a banana to eat, and socialized after the race, their camaraderie seemed to idealize the meaning that the different colors were meant to represent.

All different types of people came together and cultivated new friendships built on the common goal of supporting Matanya’s Hope, just as the different colors came together and created their own masterpiece.

Sponsor Lindsey Masterman and friend from Glenbrook North after running the 5K

Sponsor Lindsey Masterman and friend from Glenbrook North after running the 5K

-Lindsey