Happy New Year! This is a message being written on Dec 31, 2016 from Sue Levine, the USA Outreach Coordinator for the HIP Africa organization, Bungoma County, western Kenya. There is an urgent need at HIP–we are trying to save the HIP Academy primary school. The Open World Cause 501c3 has graciously partnered with us in this “Take a Step to Help a Friend” campaign. Please take the first step by learning more about the dire situation impacting our friends in Kenya.
Many blessings, Sue Levine, Teacher-Librarian, Atlanta, GA USA
If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer them via e-mail. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Take a Step to Help a Friend?
This is an urgent call to action to help our friend and Skype master teacher Livingstone Kegode @lkegode save HIP Academy, the school he founded as part of the HIP Africa organization in the spring of 2015.. Many impoverished children have come to rely on the HIP Academy for their physical, emotional, and educational sustenance. The HIP students come from very poor families. Some are orphans, others are being raised by surviving relatives, and the majority of the students would go hungry if they were not getting two meals each day at school. HIP plays an important role in helping 68 local children to survive and thrive.
Why does the school need to be saved/why do they need funds?
The school building regulations have been updated in Kenya and HIP has been notified by the education department that the classrooms which were constructed for the HIP Academy in the spring of 2015 are no longer allowed to be used, as these structures do not meet the current standards. Three new classroom structures need to be built. In addition, two new washrooms and fencing are required. The cost of these campus updates is $14,000 To reiterate, the school is prohibited from operating in the existing school building structures. This is an emergency situation as it impacts the lives of nearly 70 children.
What is HIP Africa?
HIP (Hope Initiative Programs) Africa is a registered “community based organization” (CBO) in Bungoma County Kenya, founded by friend and connected educator, Livingstone Kegode in May 2015. The goal of HIP Africa is to improve the educational, social, vocational, and medical needs of the local community through its programs.
The first program Livingstone started was the HIP Academy, a primary school serving children from approximately 5-11 in age. Many of these pupils had never been to a school until attending the HIP Academy. Since most of the children come from impoverished homes, they are unable to pay tuition to cover the operating costs of the school. HIP has been getting by month to month with their strong faith and a sharp focus on providing for the children using whatever resources they have at the time. They have no reserve fund or operating fund in which to draw for this unexpected critical need.
To help feed the students, HIP Farms was the second program started under the HIP Africa umbrella. Students are taught about growing, rotating, and harvesting crops. Their successful harvests help them to learn about sustainability and self-sufficiency. However, HIP does not have harvest enough crops to be completely self sustaining and therefore they still contend with food insufficiency challenges.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you are an educator, group leader, or are involved with any organization that would be interested in making a difference in the lives of the young people of HIP, you can involve your students (or school) in a student empowerment project. Your student group can use their critical thinking skills to problem solve in order to figure out the best way to raise awareness and funds for HIP! For a few quick ideas your students might suggest, check out this smore flyer: https://www.smore.com/02thx.
If you decide to start a campaign you can find support materials (information letter, graphics etc) here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-LoOoysRDh8T1ZId05jdWZMZ2c?usp=sharing.
***Please have your students plan their campaigns to take place in January and February 2017. Since the situation is desperate, we are eager for students to complete their fundraising by the end of February 2017.
If you are an individual and want to make a one time, or recurring donation to this project you are invited to participate to the extent that you are able. Donations are processed through paypal using the “donate” icon on this page. If you prefer to mail a check, the address is on the website. Kindly send an email to email@example.com to let them know you sent a check so that they can be on the lookout for it.
If you are in Colorado or Kansas, you can participate in a shoe drive. The fundraiser pays for gently used or new shoes: (https://funds2orgs.com/how-does-this-work) Ben Honeycutt’s students at Monument Academy are helping to head this up-deadline is Jan 22nd for the shoe donations. https://openworldcause.org/shoe-collection-campaign/ The fundraising goal for this campaign is $2,000.
A T shirt fundraiser has been set up with Booster. https://www.booster.com/takeastep The goal is to sell at least 100 shirts For a profit of about $1200- $1400. This campaign will not be allowed to run past the third week of January due to Booster rules. We would very much appreciate it if you would consider purchasing a T Shirt and when it arrives, please post your picture on the HIP Facebook page to show the children how much you love them. https://www.facebook.com/HIPinAfrica. Thank you so much to those who have already ordered their shirts!
You can be a cheerleader! Show your support by sharing and following the progress of the HIP Academy and its rise to the top on the following social networks:
If you would like to take a peek at the students and teachers, enjoy this quick video that gives a glimpse into the careers chosen by last year’s students in the first HIP “graduation” ceremony. This 1 min video was created by 5th graders in an Atlanta area public school who spent time learning the career aspirations of the young kenyan students. https://youtu.be/NTikE9xWKyw
This situation is devastating for the students of the HIP Academy. Children will go hungry without being able to attend school. Many educators have come to know and love Livingstone, his teaching team, and his students through their Skype calls and other social media communication. He is an honest, hard-working, forward thinking visionary who has done so much with so little for so long without any complaint and now his students need our help. Please take a step for a friend!
If you have any questions about this campaign, please email: Sue Levine firstname.lastname@example.org or the team at Open World Cause email@example.com.