Village HopeCore International Announces 15 Year Anniversary

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Village HopeCore International's story stands apart as a successful non-profit organization that, for 15 years, has continued to offer poor women and children hope and a healthier and more dignified life in Africa.

For 15 years, Village HopeCore has continued to offer poor women and children hope and a healthier and more dignified life in Africa.

Village HopeCore International (HopeCore) is making history in Kenya. HopeCore has a mission to eradicate poverty in Africa, beginning along the slopes of Mt. Kenya, and to improve the lives of Africans through better health care and education.

In a year that has been filled by almost constant negative news of Ebola and other problems in Africa, HopeCore’s story stands apart as a successful non-profit organization that, for 15 years, has continued to offer poor women and children hope and a healthier and more dignified life in Africa. The organization began with two men, 12 poor village women and $5000. Fifteen years later, its programs affect over 100,000 Kenyans. Below is its story.

Dr. Kajira Mugambi, the founder of HopeCore, was born in the area to an extremely poor family. He traveled to the US as a self-sponsored student, arriving at about 16 years of age and with less than $100.00 in his pocket. He graduated high school, and proceeded to attend law school at UCLA. After passing the California State Bar, he decided to return to the Kenyan village of his birth to help reduce poverty, and improve the health of his fellow villagers and beyond.

Dr. Mugambi founded a village bank that would offer micro-loans to poor Africans. The program has been a stunning success. HopeCore has been able to keep the bank’s loan repayment rate at greater than 92% over the 15 years. HopeCore has so far funded a total of 75 self-help groups or about 900 micro enterprise clients over that time.

HopeCore now seeks to offer micro loans for micro business operations every year to 9-12 new groups of 12 individuals (108-144 clients), and to increase the size of its village bank to serve more people. Ongoing funding of the bank is necessary to help more people move out of poverty to become middle-income members of their communities. At an average of 6 dependents per family, this program benefits over 5000 people in terms of better nutrition, greater ability to pay school fees and health/medical related expenses, and bringing electricity and water to their homes.

Dr. Phil Rasori, a global health specialist from Healdsburg, California joined up with Dr. Mugambi 15 years ago after hearing Dr. Mugambi’s vision and visiting the first area of HopeCore’s operations. Dr. Rasori started HopeCore operations with Dr. Mugambi and became the HopeCore medical director responsible for the design and implementation of all medical programs.

HopeCore’s health programs have been extremely successful. HopeCore was honored by the Maara Sub-County Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health for making the largest contribution to the health of school children in the sub-county of any organization operating in the area.

In 2014, HopeCore made further history in Kenya by being the first organization to bring clean, treated, drinking water systems and hand washing stations to an entire sub-county, encompassing 184 primary and secondary schools benefiting about 45,000 children.

HopeCore’s school clinic program brings health education and free clinical services to 72 schools, covering 20,000 pupils. In 2014 the program dewormed 5,225 pupils. The organization’s malaria prevention program has placed 14,500 long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets in villager’s homes, another first for this area.

In the Spring 2015, HopeCore will add an innovative Child/Maternal health clinic to all of its 72 partner schools. The clinic will provide free treatment for mothers and their sick children, as well as providing educational sessions on family planning, hygiene in the home, nutrition, breastfeeding, immunizations, and malaria prevention. The clinic plans to have a free health hot line for Kenya’s poor that will allow mothers to contact HopeCore’s health workers at any time for advice on all health matters and family planning issues. This health line is another first for HopeCore.

Few non-profit organizations in Africa survive for 15 years as the failure rate is phenomenal. HopeCore attributes its success to Dr. Mugambi’s hands on involvement with all HopeCore programs, the medical oversight of Dr. Rasori, and the financial support provided by the US Board. Five international foundations help support the projects but more funding is needed to expand the base of people who can be helped with these programs.

HopeCore has been successful for many reasons. It works with the Kenyan Sub-County Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health to analyze community needs, it offers fellowships to outstanding American college graduates who then live in the Kenyan village for one to two years and help with all of HopeCore’s programs. The US operations headquartered in Stockton, California are active in fundraising for the organization.

For 15 years, HopeCore has operated in a cost efficient manner. It is unique in that for every dollar it raises, 99 cents are spent in Kenya. All HopeCore American staff are volunteers and US office space and accounting services are donated. Almost no other non-profit based in the US can make this claim.

For more information, to get a media packet or to make donations, go to
For people to interview, contact: Anne Gildea, Global Health Fellow: anne.gildea(at)villagehopecorekenya(dot)or(dot)ke

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Anne Gildea
since: 11/2014
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