Welcome to Projects of Hope, a grassroots effort, begun in 2005, to create positive change with individuals, families, and communities affected by poverty.
Projects of Hope is a coming together of many people who care deeply about the world through providing support to international community initiatives (particularly in rural Kenya) that enhance healthy living and provide access to education.
Hope is alive in Kenya! Over 30 children are now attending school thanks to Projects of Hope and the generosity of friends. Many other worthwhile projects have been implemented including microfinance loans to start small businesses, healthcare initiatives, lunch program, and an annual home building.
Projects of Hope came about after Shanna Branciforte spent 10 transformative weeks in Kenya during the summer of 2005. People were moved to help through hearing the stories she shared about her experiences in Africa. This resulted in an outpouring of great generosity from many caring people. Together they have made a real difference in the Shikokho, Kenya region.
US Coordinator for Projects of Hope
Shanna went to Africa to participate in a social work practicum abroad while contributing her gifts, talents and education to a worthwhile community project. While in Kenya, She worked at a rural medical clinical teaching HIV/AIDS prevention among a variety of other activities. She also had the opportunity to go on home visits to meet and interview people living with HIV with the local community health worker. Meeting these courageous women and witnessing the suffering and challenges caused by disease and poverty have provided the inspiration behind Projects of Hope.
School Scholarship Program
Some of those we are helping are children of widows in Yote Yawezekana Women's Group, all the women in this group are in some way affected by HIV/AIDS. Other youth being supported are identified through the outreach efforts of Yote Yawezekana and our Project Coordinator. These students include orphans, those with disabilities, and various difficult life circumstances.
Microfinance Loan Program
Projects of Hope is committed to helping individuals living in poverty become more self sufficient. For this reason, we have provided a pilot grant of approximately $750 to Yote Yawezekana Women's Group to begin small businesses to support their families. The loans are distributed in the amount of 3,000 KSH (approximately 50 USD) and require the development of a business plan through a loan application. The loans are provided directly by the group at 2.5% flat interest rate per month with a minimum of 3,000 KSH paid within 3 months. The funds are then made available to other members in the group to develop their own small business in this revolving fund. The members are excited with the set up of the program and have nominated members to provide record keeping and assist with oversight.
Outpatient healthcare, including medication, is available to all Yote Yawezekana Women's Group members through the care of medical staff from the local community health clinic. The women struggle from the effects of HIV/AIDS, so this is a much needed support. All Projects of Hope scholarship recipients also receive healthcare when they are ill through the Shikokho Medical Clinic in Kenya. In-patient healthcare is provided for the widows with progressive AIDs symptoms/urgent care needs on a case by case basis through Mukumu Hospital.
Students from All Saints Academy in Breese, Illinois continue to reach out through writing letters to their friends in Kenya. They also raise funds to purchase school supplies for their partner classroom. The children in Kenya and in the United States love to hear from their friends and share pictures and stories.
Annual Home Building Project
Projects of Hope builds a home annually for a family in need.
Right: Bill with last year’s Project of Hope Home and Resident