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A word from The Ndoto Project’s Founder and Executive Director, Hannah Lee Jones

Greetings, Friends!

The Ndoto story began with a journey I took to the East-African country in late 2009. While working in an orphanage with children who had been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS crisis, I encountered five college-aged Kenyan volunteers who would change my perspective. They had all grown up in tough environments, and many had lost their parents at an early age to illnesses which could have been treated. Others had succumbed to life-threatening illnesses themselves; all had experienced crushing poverty.

But as I listened to their stories, I was inspired that in spite of the many challenges which had dogged their young lives, they had not lost their spirit or their hope in a better future for themselves and for their country. They told me of the corruption which plagues their government and many other countries in Africa, and proposed their own solutions for stopping it. They expressed their concern about specific problems in their communities. Many of them followed international news closely and could rattle off the names of key global leaders.

Throughout all this, I remembered my own educational experience: the way people had quietly slipped in and out of my life, giving me the help that I so badly needed as I made my way in the world; the mentors who had come onto my stage in those earlier years and served as guiding lights to help me realize my potential, and had encouraged me to finish college.

Out of my experience in Kenya, a commitment was born, which I now share with many others – a commitment to the success of these young people who reminded me of my own self many years ago, and to the conviction that these young men and women should be in school, learning. An organization sprouted — the word “Ndoto” in Swahili means “dream” — with the dream being a simple one, of helping these students fulfill their dreams…and perhaps, most importantly, of helping them reach for their dreams in their own ways, with the gifts and talents that are unique to them in all the world, for a better world.

The money you raise will make this possible, and not through charity, but empowerment: mentorship, training in life skills as well as business skills, and educational scholarships for Kenyan youth who hold the talent and potential for a future of engaged and compassionate leadership on behalf of a healthy and thriving Africa.

I want to thank you for your support of the Ndoto Project.

With gratitude,
Hannah Lee Jones

Learn more at The Ndoto Project