Tag Archives: women’s empowerment

Why We Do What We Do

In her words, this is the reason I do what I do for the POWER OF HOPE KIBERA:

The Reason Why

Kelly Fenson-Hood
Executive Director, Power of Hope Kibera

People often ask me why I do this work. I’m not sure why, but I never give a very straightforward answer. I guess it’s because it’s personal and it makes me feel vulnerable somehow. Well, I’ve been working with Power of Hope Kibera for three years, and I guess it’s time to share.

When I first met Eventa and Emma, they didn’t speak English. They were five years old.
I spoke basically no Swahili.
But somehow I understood Emma ask Eventa if she knew what my name was.
Eventa just shrugged.

That was six years ago.
Now their English is almost perfect.
It’s absolutely amazing.

My first research partner and I sponsor the girls to attend private school in the slum.
These are two girls that got a chance to succeed.
I empowered them to go to school.
And in front of my eyes, I watched them grow up and transform into smart, beautiful, bright girls.
But the thing is that the Power of Soap Project impacted their lives behind the scenes.
This project kept them healthy so they could attend school.

I am proud that I created a program that makes a real difference with big problems.
And to see first hand how it made a difference in the lives of these girls…
Well, there’s the answer.
I do it all for them.
For Emma and Eventa.
And for all the little ones.

 (Please click the link below to watch our video:)
YOUCARING.COM | FREE ONLINE FUNDRAISING

On My Way to Kibera!

I’m getting excited about my upcoming trip to Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, leaving September 3, 2014, to continue my work with the Power of Hope Kibera (pohk.org).  Stay tuned for more adventures in hygiene and friendship.

Just to remind myself and everyone else what it’s like there, here’s a GoPro Video I shot last February…

http://youtu.be/PsltQeO-O2s (we enter the actual slum at minute 4:15)

The soap sellers' daughters enjoying some traditional chai and chapatis (in Kibera)

The soap sellers’ daughters enjoying some traditional chai and chapatis (in Kibera)

Read more about it on Slate.com…

also, see the entire portfolio on maureenruddyburkhart.com


A Tree Falls into the Snake Pit…and OUT-TAKES from Kibera Shoots

While visiting the Nairobi National Museum and Snake House yesterday, a tree fell over, a large branch falling right into the open snake pit!  At first, when I heard the loud CRACK and CRASH, I ducked and hid behind a wall…you never know, right?  Then I shot a video and a panorama…

snake pit panorama

Thanks to my guesthouse peep, Maneesh, for suggesting the title of this post…

In closing my Africa chapter, I thought I’d post some out-takes, some images from ‘behind the scenes’…

Many thanks to Power of Hope Kibera (follow on Facebook) for this opportunity to travel to Kenya and document their wonderful project. There are many positive aspects to their work, but what really speaks to me is how it empowers the women and mothers of Kibera.  They are teaching their children and others about the importance of hygiene and then they are selling the home-made liquid soap: a win-win situation.


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