Transformational Ventures 1010 Kenya

From Guest Blogger, Kaitlyn Lyle, Transformational Ventures 1010 Kenya

Children all over the world go to school, do their chores, and play with friends just like we do in the United States. In Nairobi, Kenya, Humble Hearts School for the Deaf provides schooling for over 200 students (about 40 of whom cannot hear) and a safe place to live so kids can have the opportunity to learn, grow, and just be kids. Beatrice Anunda, director of Humble Hearts, has made it her life’s work to fight against poverty and to advocate for the rights and the needs of the children she serves. In order to support the children and school, Beatrice has begun two different income-generating activities; a poultry project and a greenhouse!

            The poultry project, which raises chickens in order to be sold, has been successfully running since 2011. It has been a source of revenue for Humble Hearts and a learning experience for the children. The kids have the opportunity to learn how to care for the chickens. Have you ever visited a farm? Lots of hard work goes into taking care of the animals! In fact, because of the cooler winter months (yes, in Kenya it gets cool at night during their winter – which is our summer!), they are in need of more heaters to keep the chickens warm.

            They also have a greenhouse in Kakamega, Kenya, Beatrice’s hometown.  This greenhouse will provide produce to both feed the children and to be sold to generate income for the school. They recently finished digging the borehole to ensure a proper and sufficient water source. They are growing tomatoes and kale as they sell nicely together.  There is a high demand for tomatoes because they are difficult to grow in the region.  On their summer breaks, the students will receive training in the greenhouse.  Do you have a community garden? Community gardens are a great way to learn about growing fruits and vegetables, and to give food back to your community!

            Humble Hearts School for the Deaf continues to thrive in the community with such exciting income-generating projects! Thank you for your support of The 1010 Project – Kenya which provides a network of support for the leaders of more than 10 schools like Humble Hearts!



Raising Helping Hands

This article from Your Family has great tips on how to raise philanthropic children! Some of the biggest are families that lead by example, and letting the child choose how and when they give their time, talent or treasure.  Take a look. 


What's In A Name? 

Everything, especially when those names are being misused.  Two articles have come to my attention recently, both supposedly being about service learning.  Unfortunately, a Vice Principal at a high school and the Philanthropy News Digest have failed to distinguish between service learning and community service, making serious claims against service learning as an effective way to create compassionate citizens and leaders in our community capable of thinking on their own, researching root causes of issues, and taking action. 

Both articles maintain that 'service learning' as they call it is not effective, and when required by the schools actually leads students to stop volunteering and participating in their schools later in life.  While this in itself is concerning, it becomes clear to those of us who actually participate in Service Learning, that both authors have confused the pedagogy of true service learning with after school and extra curricular community service, often completed by youth for required hours. 

Many people confuse the two.  In fact, I just collaborated with Girl Scouts in a workshop last weekend to teach the difference between a community service project and service learning.  Community service is most often a one time (or even regular) volunteer event such as a food drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or picking up litter in a park. 

Service learning is long term, researching the root cause(s) of an issue, working with a community rather than for them, working for a sustainable solution with a long term rather than short term impact.  An example project that has come out of our service learning program Penny Harvest is a school researching nutrition in their school, researching gardening, collecting pennies to fund a school garden, planting as a school community, and harvesting the garden for their school cafeteria and local community.

In another example, students were talking about homelessness and discovered that homeless kids in their community did not have a place to go to do their homework after school or hang out and be kids.  The kids researched the issue, worked with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and ended up creating a library in one of their shelters.  The kids organized a book drive in their school, and used their Penny Harvest funds for other supplies.  They also worked with the local senior citizen center to establish an after school tutoring and literacy program.  The project was so successful, they duplicated the model in a second shelter the following year. 

While community service projects are still great ways to introduce youth to giving back to their community, and very valuable shown here in Youth Service America's collection of reports, Service Learning is a very different opportunity for learning to give back.  In fact, #6 in YSA's top ten reasons for giving back states that: HIGH QUALITY SERVICE-LEARNING LEADS TO INCREASED ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT & SUCCESS.

While I understand what the authors of those articles were trying to say,it is so important that they realize the difference between community service and the true value of quality service learning. 




Beer and Bingo a Huge Success! 

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Beer and Bingo last night at the Handlebar Tavern! We raised over $500 for our programs, and Project CURE said they'd never received so many donated items for their kits from an event before! And, we had a LOT of fun!

This was not your grandma's bingo night.  The bingo games turned out to be music bingo! Our cards had artists and song names rather than numbers, and we had to cross off the songs we heard as the caller played them.  We were rocking out and singing along in our seats (thank goodness it was loud enough we couldn't hear each other very well), and itching to call Bingo for restaurant gift certificates!

The raffle prizes were fantastic too! Comedy Works tickets, gift Certificates to Pizza Republica, Opus, Sexy Pizza, Butterfly Pavillion and more!

The Handlebar Tavern turned out to be a great venue.  I've found my hub for ski-ball and shuffleboard!

I was too busy having too much fun to take pictures, but will be posting all the pics So Rewarding took as soon as I get those.  Thank you to all who came and made this first Young Philanthropists Game night fantastic!!


Kids Have the Best Ideas!

I never would have thought to collect left over school supplies at the END of the school year, but these brilliant kids did just that and ended up with 6 SUV's full of supplies to take to a new DPS school.  I am about to meet one of these brilliant young minds as our newest Youth Advisory Board Member this year, and I am really looking forward to it! Read all about their project and organization here!