Meet Our New Director of Kenya Operations

My name is Augustine Mumia Wanyama. I turned 36 years and I am married to Everline Nanjala and a father to five kids. I am a third born son and child to my mother Florence who is the second wife to my father Andrew. In total, my mother gave birth to ten of us. Our rural home is in a town called Bungoma which is found in the western part of Kenya. Due to the climatic conditions, my home area is one of the poorest areas in Kenya. This, among other factors made our lives very difficult as we grew up. It was a total struggle but all in all I am where I am. Most of my brothers and sisters dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. After I graduated from high school, I managed to come to the city of Nairobi. At that time I had nothing; no high school certificate of any kind nor a national identity card, I just came. That was back in 2001. As I got used to Nairobi I came to learn a lot. Among these was the common sight of the street kids. I felt bad whenever I saw […]

We All need a Village

I recently read an article and viewed a TED talk called Everything You Know about Addiction is Wrong” by Johann Harri, in which he states, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” I found this statement so profound and interesting. There are numerous studies into why addiction happens; some say it comes from depression, others say a traumatic event is the cause and some say addiction is a disease and those who find themselves caught in the never ending cycle cannot help themselves. In fact, when we find someone who his caught up in addiction often the treatment involves isolation and detox, very contradictory to Mr. Harri’s statement. Evidence has shown how essential healthy relationships and love are for brain development. A General Theory of Love, by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, psychiatry professors at the University of California, San Francisco examines this idea more. Their findings indicated the limbic systems of our brain are deeply affected by those closest to us. Our brain development (the way we use our pre-frontal cortex in decision making) is impacted deeply by the way connections are made from relationships at a very young age and continue […]

Christmas Shopping – a gift from our child sponsors

  We celebrated Christmas with our sponsored children a little bit differently this year. Thanks to the generosity of our child sponsors, the Colorado team who visited Hope Children’s Home in November was able to take the children shopping for their own Christmas Gifts. Here is a note from Renae Loring, Light Up Hope Board Member, about her experience taking the children shopping: Kids are kids and teens are teens no matter the language, country or culture.  We saw this so strongly the day we took the kids shopping… The kids all arrived at the same time to a Wal-Mart type store called Nakumatt- “You Need it.  We’ve Got it.”  The story building had a moving walk way to get to the 2nd floor where the clothes were.  Most of the kids had never experienced one.  You could really see the kid’s personalities come out.  The adventuresome ones jumped on with smiles while holding on tight.  The timid ones needed an older hand to grab to muster the courage to step on.  But then it was all smiles!  Funny how things we don’t even think about can become part of the fun.  The kids loved picking out their own clothes!  Most of the boys took a quick […]

What inspires generosity?

What do we need to feel inspired to give?  Does a child have to suffer to make the need urgent enough to forgo our shopping lists?  Can we support children to reach for the dreams, not simply end their suffering? Can we give generously without attending a party complete with a linen tablecloth, a three course meal and a fancy dress? al·tru·ism ˈaltro͞oˌizəm/ – noun – the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Light Up Hope believes in the goodness of the human spirit. We believe altruism is alive and well.  We believe in the individual’s desire to help those who need help, and to take a swing at structural poverty by standing up and saying “I can help and therefore I Will help”.  This strong belief is why we are not holding an annual gala this year, and are instead holding a Stay at Home Gala/Annual Give.  And our founders are willing to match every gift through October 15, 2015 up to $40,000 to show we believe our supporters will donate to heal and care for orphans without needing to receive a party in return.   Are you in?

Enter the Fight for Love Challenge

Every child deserves love.  Every. Single. Child.  Children in the U.S. and children in Africa, every child around the world.  But for many children this love is taken from them. Taken by disease and tragedy, taken by abuse, taken by poverty.  Children find themselves alone in life without a family, without support for their hopes and dreams and feeling a deep hole in their hearts that should be filled with love. Every day at Light Up Hope we fight to provide love for these children.  We fight to keep families together through our LIFT program, we fight to bring healing to their fragile hearts through counseling, we fight to keep their hopes and dreams alive through education and empowerment programs.  We do this because we love them, and they deserve to know though life has taken so much love from them; we are in their corner, fighting to bring love back in. Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you ~ Loretta Young For the next four weeks we are issuing a challenge, a challenge to spread more love to the people around you.  Maybe you want to stand with us and help fuel our programs to […]