First Kenya Help Experience: The proposal for the SFX Girls school caught my interest. Margo’s and Fr. Kiriti’s passion just truly spoke to me. It was so RIGHT! It is pure joy to see the pictures of the girls at the school!
Why Give to Kenya Help: Education provides a young Kenyan woman the opportunity to learn, to develop self-esteem, to be confident… to be empowered. Without an education she has little choice. Girls often face a bleak future of early (frequently arranged) marriage, motherhood before their bodies are ready, and a life of hardship and poverty.
Donor’s Passion: I feel a passion to do what I can to empower women everywhere, and enable them to influence our wounded world. It is a hope for healing and peace.
Edna and Francois Jamati
First Kenya Help experience: What got us going was the fact that we personally knew Fr Kiriti and Margo thus could trust that our few dollars would be used to the max for the infinitely worthwhile cause of education. Kiriti personally asked us to help a specific girl, the eldest of a family whose parents had died from AIDS. He said if we could educate her, then she in turn could support and educate her family, so we put her through high school and nursing school.
Why Give to Kenya Help: We give small amounts to many charities but Kenya Help is in amazing hands our small gifts do not get lost in seas of management and fund raising schemes, every cent is used for the purpose for which it has been requested in a very personal way.
Donors’ Passion: We give out of a sense of extreme gratitude for what life has afforded us, our children and grandchildren as a result of being educated, what a privilege to be able to give back in some small measure, hopefully sowing a few seeds that will transform the lives of others.
Supporter Since: 2009
First Kenya Help experience: A colleague who knew Margo arranged for her to give a short presentation about Kenya Help at work. Afterward, the same colleague and I decided to support a girl together. Later, we got others in our workplace to also donate, especially during Christmas time, so we were able to support two girls.
Why I give to Kenya Help: There are three reasons. First, Kenya Help is a grassroots organization started by Margo, so it doesn’t have a lot of bureaucracy. The vast majority of the money gets to the girls. Second, I spent about six months in Kenya. I have very fond memories of people that I met there and the countryside, so I have that kind of connection. Third, I preferred having a connection with one particular girl. Having a girl know that she had the commitment of someone for four years at school was more rewarding than simply sending money somewhere.
Donor’s Passion: Most of the things I contribute and donate to are particularly for education, and especially girls’ education, because I am an educator. I would like to go as visitors and see the school (after 4 years) to meet some of the girls we have supported.
Supporter Ssince: The beginning
First experiences with Kenya: Many connections led me to get involved with education for girls in Kenya. I knew Fr. Kiriti from when he was studying for his master’s at Santa Clara University and my wife and I had travelled to Kenya to visit him multiple times. After my wife and I retired, my wife volunteered with Catholic Charities to teach survival English to refugees. There, we befriended a young Kenyan woman who had been “trafficked.” Our friendships with this woman and with Fr. Kiriti, our experiences with refugee resettlement, and our trips to Kenya convicted us of the value of an education for girls.
Why I joined the Board of Directors at Kenya Help: I’ve known about Margo’s intentions and Kenya Help from the very beginning. Having considerable experience with non-profits in the area, including serving on the board of a couple, I was keenly aware of the work involved to keep the organization functioning. We attended a Kenya Help event in 2009 and, while talking to Margo, I realized I could do, HAD to do more than be a donor and cheerleader on the sidelines. I asked if she needed help and she jumped at the offer.
Why I give to Kenya Help: For me, Kenya Help put names and faces on the need. It isn’t something abstract. We know exactly where and how our donations are being spent.
Board Member’s Passion: I’ve concluded that nothing has a greater return on investment than educating girls. An educated girl is a better wife, mother, and member of her village, advocating for her family and involving herself in village affairs. She’ll have fewer children, have them later, and is better equipped to raise them to be contributors to society.