KINGWOOD, TX – The New Hope Initiative (NHI) is a faith-based, non-profit organization that has a compelling desire to bring real positive change to some of the poorest communities in the world, according to their website.
The New Hope initiative promotes self-sustaining projects to break the cycle of poverty by partnering with local leadership in communities in Kenya, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and South Asia.
In addition to its projects, NHI claims two distinctives that make the organization unique.
- 100% of all designated funds go to the specific needs for which they were given. Administrative costs are met separately by other means.
- The gifts, talents, and passions of donors and volunteers are leveraged to maximize their impact on each of the organization’s projects in some of the world’s most difficult communities.
Having said that, this article focuses on just two of the remarkable projects where the Lord has blessed the efforts of Sandy and Karen Baird and their NHI teams.
Kibera is the largest slum in all of Africa, with an estimated population of about 1,500,000. Most residents have no electricity or running water. Kibera is a breeding ground for crime, diseases, and despair. Dr. Jill Biden described the slum as “the poverty of all poverties.”
It is in this massive slum that NHI funds the New Hope School and the Kibera Penda Project.
The New Hope School began as a feeding center entirely funded by a church in Houston, Texas. It is now an elementary school with more than 400 students. Feeding the children is still at the heart of the project, providing the students with two nutritious meals six days per week. The goal of the New Hope School is to prepare the students to successfully complete the exam required for them to pass on to secondary school.
The move from elementary school to secondary school is a major obstacle for children in the Kibera slum. The leading problem is that students’ parents often cannot afford secondary school tuition and expenses. This is where the Kibera Penda Project steps in. Penda is the Swahili word for love. Love came pouring in when a small group of short-term missionaries visited Kibera in 2008. The results the team is experiencing today have far exceeded their wildest dreams of a dozen years ago.
Instead of leaving the sponsored children at a point where they have the greatest need, the KPP promises to completely fund the secondary school expenses for every student who passes the required entrance exam. The secondary school scholarship covers tuition, room and board, uniforms, and supplies for each student throughout their entire secondary education.
New Hope Initiative does not operate the secondary school but works in collaboration with a faith-based boarding school several hours away. A worker from NHI monitors each student’s academic performance and character growth. There are currently more than 180 students on scholarship at the secondary level.
The best opportunities await those students who continue their studies at a college or university. Once again, KPP offers scholarships for those who successfully complete their secondary education and desire to continue their education to earn a degree. In addition, the project helps these students to find part-time jobs and internships during their schooling and follows up by assisting them in securing employment after graduation.
The New Hope Initiative is “all in” for the education of these children from the poorest of the poor families in Africa. The ministry projects are bearing fruit as program graduates escape the clutches of poverty and are able to raise a family that will continue to thrive for years to come.
- New Hope International, Official Website
- YouTube, The White House, Audio Slideshow: Dr. Biden Sees the Neighborhoods of Kenya
- Wikipedia, Kibera