Help me advocate for Kenyan Mothers

I'm going to Nairobi in November and need your support: Empowering Widowed & Single Mothers Through Job Creation & Entrepreneurship
ABOUT ME
Friends, please support me in the beginning of my journey to make the world a better place. Grandiose, I know:but it can be done. I believe a market exists for the world's 4 billion poorest, with opportunities for jobs, enterprise, creative capitalism, pride and self esteem, eventually eradicating the need for charity, or hand-outs. The power is in our hands to creatively co-produce ways for those in need to have sustainable ways to help themselves, involving them as key players in solutions to issues, creating self-reliance. My foray into this pursuit begins with further education, and six weeks in Kenya.
I am currently in my second year of pursuing a Master's degree from Pepperdine University in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. (Social entrepreneurship is like business-meets-charity: harnessing the profit motive to achieve social good - one familiar example is Tom's Shoes or Grameen Bank, the mirco-finance institution that began the micro-lending industry).
ABOUT KENYA
In November, I will be traveling to Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya is one of the world's 30 poorest nations. In Kenya,

"¢ 46% of the population lives below the poverty line, on less than $1US/day (World Bank)
"¢ More than half of the population is under the age of 15 (Unicef)
"¢ 30% of children are considered malnourished (World Bank)
"¢ More than 15 million people do not have access to safe water & sanitation facilities (Unicef)

The cycle of poverty is very powerful in the slums of Nairobi. Children born into poverty have an enormous chance of remaining in poverty throughout their lives. Many efforts have been made by the Kenyan government, international aid agencies and local NGO's to address issue of poverty, yet it persists. Investing in single mothers and their children's education in Kenya may just be the key to releasing generations of family from the cycle of poverty.

THE ORGANIZATIONS
When I travel to Kenya in November, I will be working for a social enterprise called "Jacaranda Creations", which empowers widows and single mothers (some HIV positive and some not) through the trade of sewing, while providing an income, health care and school fees for their children. More specifically, I'll be helping to establish a more sustainable business plan to maintain the 80 women and their children the organization currently supports, as well as scale the business so Jacaranda's efforts are able take on more women and children. (http://jacarandacreations.org/about-jacaranda-creations/). Time permitting, I will also be spending some time consulting another NGO that deal with giving the people of the slums a means and medium to have their voices heard through filmmaking; details on that NGO forthcoming.

Help me get there and start my journey of consulting non-profits and NGO's into becoming more sustainable, profit-and-social driven entities. Help me do this important work! Any donation, no matter how big or small, helps. I will be there for a month working without pay, including forgoing my freelance income in LA for the time I'm there. Grad school is expensive enough, and I could use your help to get me to Kenya to implement my learning in a real-time environment.

Help release these widows, single mothers, and their children from the traumatic cycle of poverty in Kenya. Donate to the campaign today!

Ways You Can Help
"¢ Donate to the campaign. Every bit helps! Even $5, seriously.
"¢ Be happy that I'm such a hippie and you've never had to pay to attend a wedding (yet) or baby shower (never) for me:and funnel those funds into my efforts to help the world instead. ;)
"¢ Donate to the organization, Jacaranda Creations, and the families benefiting from their programs
"¢ Carefully choose where you donate your money, and make certain they are a sustainable social enterprise that partners with the community they are serving to solve the social problem; for that is the only way of the future in philanthropy.
"¢ Live your life consciously, happily and with abandon:you only live once, as they say!

COST: Your Donation Will Be Used Towards
"¢ $1200 ticket to Kenya
"¢ $100 Kenyan visa (multi-entry)
"¢ $900 Accommodations (apt. rental) & Partial meals ($225/week for 4 weeks)
"¢ $700 Medical - (vaccinations, travel insurance with med. evacuation, etc)
"¢ $650 Safe Transportation/Driver/Tips
"¢ $500 Misc. Travel Expenses for a month (food, fees, translator tips, etc)
_____________________________________________________________
**Any exceeding funds raised above the goal amount will be donated directly to the organizations I will be working with while in Kenya.
**If you would like to contribute by check instead of credit card, please message me for details. It will still count towards my goal!

BLOG
Although this is highly dependent on internet accessibility, I hope to update a blog daily. To follow me through this life-changing journey in the next chapter of my existence, please save this link: http://holliestenson.blogspot.com

Thank you for walking alongside me in my journey to find meaningful work and for being a part of this campaign whether through donations, well wishes or support!

Thank you for your generous support. It means the world to me!

REFERENCES
Unicef. (2013). Kenya overview. Retrieved from: http://www.unicef.org/kenya/overview_4616.html

World Bank. (2013). Kenya overview. Retrieved from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview

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Organizer

Hollie Stenson 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA
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