One Home Many Hopes Breaking Ground

Editorial credit: Caroline Coppel

A private U Street-area home was an apt setting for a dinner for One Home Many Hopes, a non-profit dedicated to housing and educating children in Kenya. The event, which kicked off OHMH’s nearly month-long fundraising drive, had the feel of a house party, except everyone arrived on time and was very well behaved.

 

Guests brought homemade appetizers and desserts, and chatted politely before a brief presentation and Q & A session with the organization’s founders, Thomas Keown and Anthony Mulongo.  Keown said that the goal of this year’s drive, called “Breaking Ground 2011: Beyond the Classroom,” was to raise just under $300,000 to finish a school in the coastal Kilifi region of Kenya.  Last year, OHMH built 24 of the school’s classrooms; this year, they hope to add amenities such as a library, computer lab, kitchen and medical center.

 

Mulongo said the school would provide children with an education that was significantly different from the kind typically offered around the nation. The school’s curriculum will focus on teaching concepts and skills, rather than teaching to an exam.  This method of teaching, he said, was the key to solving Kenya’s systemic, pervasive poverty.

 

“If we take the children, be patient with them, give them the education they need, then in 15 years they will be able to do something about it,” he said. “We will empower them to sort it out themselves and bring lasting change.”

 

Mulongo, a former journalist who started OHMH in 2007, also discussed a possible mentoring program, which would connect Kenyan students with other children around the world.

 

Currently, OHMH runs a home for girls that was completed in February 2011. The organization plans to open the school in January 2013, and expand it in the following 4-5 years.

 

The presentation ended not with calls for donations, but requests for people’s time.  Keown said that OHMH wanted to increase its network of volunteers, as a team effort made fundraising simpler and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Find out how to get involved with the Breaking Ground campaign here: http://www.breakinggroundkenya.org/.

Visit www.onehomemanyhopes.org for more information and volunteer opportunities, or email their DC rep, Jen Hopcroft, at jenhopcroft@onehomemanyhopes.org.

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Breaking Ground Kick-Off for One Home Many Hopes

Time: Tuesday, October 11 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm

 

Location: Private home near U Street Corridor; please RSVP to ohmhdc@gmail.com for more info.

 

This years’ Breaking Ground campaign begins October 17 and ends November 20. Our hope is to go beyond the classroom to affect even greater change.

 

We hope you will partner with us again this year. We are launching our KICK OFF Breaking Ground Event on October 11th at 7pm! Light appetizers, desserts and vino will be served. Our founder, Anthony Mulongo will be visiting from Kenya, so bring your friends and lets have fun kicking off Breaking Ground in style!

 

Please R.S.V.P. to ohmhdc@gmail.com if you plan to attend, and we’ll send you more info on the location.

 

One Home, Many Hopes annual reception

Editorial credit: Caroline Coppel

The DC chapter of One Home, Many Hopes celebrated its Kenya director’s U.S. visit last Thursday, hosting “Small Things with Great Love: An Evening with Anthony Mulongo” in his honor. The reception and presentation highlighted the mission of the humanitarian group, which rescues, houses and educates abandoned children in Kenya.

 

The DC chapter has grown rapidly over the past year, as this event clearly showed. It was held in a sleek downtown office building near Judiciary Square, and featured an open bar, hors d’ oeuvres and a drawing to win a $50 certificate to Founding Farmers.

 

That’s not to say that the evening was focused on self-indulgent partying, far from it. Throughout his presentation, Mulongo emphasized the need for people to think of others and give what they can to improve the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.

 

“Here’s what’s happening everywhere: need,” he said, when asked about what he saw in his day-to-day operations for OHMH. “Even in the U.S., there is need.”

 

Mulongo left his job as a journalist to combat the grinding poverty he saw around him in Kenya; he founded OHMH in 2007.  The group works with children in order to break the cycle of desperation and destitution into which they are born. By providing them with a home and education, OHMH hopes to raise a generation of intelligent, passionate individuals who will pass on the opportunities given to them.

 

As an example of the group’s success, Mulongo told the story of Gift, one of the girls OHMH has rescued. Gift’s mother died when she was four; left to take care of her infant brother, she began begging in the streets. Mulongo heard about the girl and organized a group of people to find her. She is now a teenager soon to graduate high school; she hopes to become a doctor.

 

Mulongo discussed current projects as well. The group recently opened a girls’ home, which houses 60 on four floors. It is also building a school, and is working with local courts to prevent what Mulongo called “child criminalization for being poor.”

 

“We are giving these children an identity, so that they cannot be arrested and imprisoned over and over again,” he said.

 

Additionally, OHMH is working on expanding its donor base while simultaneously developing other streams of income. Besides DC, there are now chapters in San Francisco, New York City, Boston, London and Belfast; Mulongo said that they recently started a fish farm, which they would sell to local businesses in Kenya.

 

Yet, Mulongo believes the one element essential to OHMH’s sustainability is patience.

 

“Programs like this usually run for one or two years,” he said. “We need to give them time to focus on the new generation.”

 

There should be some local OHMH events in the next few months; visit http://www.onehomemanyhopes.org/ for details.

 

Vagina Dentata becomes a reality in South Africa

Dr. Sonnet Ehlers shows a spiked female condom, whose hooks she says stick on a man during rape.

From CNN:

“South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.

“She looked at me and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there,'” recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. “I promised her I’d do something to help people like her one day.”

Forty years later, Rape-aXe was born.

Ehlers is distributing the female condoms in the various South African cities where the World Cup soccer games are taking place.

The woman inserts the latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man’s penis during penetration, Ehlers said.

Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it — a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

“It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it’s on,” she said. “If he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter… however, it doesn’t break the skin, and there’s no danger of fluid exposure.””

This guy is an absolute genius. I can’t wait to see how this will revolutionize cinematography for the music video for Lady Gaga’s “Teeth.”