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 Janice's Blog

Beacon of Hope, Ongata Rongai, Kenya Feb 2010

Feb 20

Written by:
2/20/2010 2:00 PM  RssIcon

Beacon of Hope (BOH) is a successful center that is transforming the community of Ongata The center has gone from a small warehouse to a large facility with a school for young children, a weaving production unit, and a clinic that can distribute HIV/Aids drugs.

Jane Wathome, the director, pictured here with some of the scarves their production unit has woven, follows her vision daily, often on the faith that it will succeed more than on money promised. She believes that the transformation in the community really begins with the children, so she has always incorporated a Christian based educational facility for the youngest children in the area, 300 at the present time. From the beginning, Jane was concerned with this upcoming generation of children who were often left to fend for themselves at an early age. She believes that one must tackle the problems of society at its origins, not just when the problems are seen through deaths from HIV/Aids and in prostitution. So, along with the education and care of the youngest, there are programs that deal with adult problems. The counseling center, home based care program where people from the community go back out in the community, and the clinic deal directly with health issues in Ongata Rongai. The weaving and sewing training centers, once in cramped quarters, (blog sites previous to this) have been expanded with the positive response by the community and by the outside demand for items produced at BOH. BOH now is home to a production building as well as a tailoring/weaving training building.

It is wonderful to see this facility run under its own management with its own vision and with skilled people. BOH has the capacity to produce larger orders. The rug, kikoy and tailoring units continue to produce quality goods as well as train new people. Eva Wakio, their designer, oversees the production units and teaches screen printing. For the weaving teachers, it is still early in the year and the student numbers usually increase by the beginning of March. Janet Steve has 4 trainees in the rug department now and supervises 15 and can tap into 5 more when there is a need. David Muchemi currently has 4 students and ten in production, but can tap into 20 if the orders are high. Michael Oywayah is the tailoring instructor and has his hands full with 20 students. My involvement now is very minimal. Occasionally I consult with David on designing a piece or two, but really, they generate enough ideas and products on their own.

Beacon of Hope is a wonderful success story.

Copyright ©2010 Janice Knausenberger


3 comment(s) so far...


First,congratulations for the wonderful job you are undertaking to transform the Rongai community and Kenya at large.It is a
plausible way to make a difference in the people's lives and touch them with hope to live life more!
Secondly,i am a First year Medical Student at the University of Nairobi and i have huge interests in volunteer work
towards community service and giving back to the community.I have worked before as a Volunteer Administrative Assistant
with a charity organization,Starfish Africa, dealing with high school sponsorships,leadership development,community service
and religious growth during school holiday camps.I am on long vacation for three months until January and wish to dedicate
that period serving.How can i get involved? You can contact me on the above email address or call me on 0711426294.
Lastly,may the Almighty continue to bless you abundantly as seek to serve Him through His people.

By John Kaumba Nzioka on   10/1/2010 8:31 AM

I don't know how to put it,but allow me to extend my gratitude wholesomely for the superb tasks you are shouldering.God will definetly reward you for your affable and affection you are rending to our society indeed it's God saying I love you and care for you who are feeble,wretch and the disadvantaged via Beacon of hope.I can feel your touch been brought up in intricate environ,you never understand one's tears unless you have cried your own.a good heart is beyond every norm,I 'av yearn to extend my love to children even though my odds are low,am a K.C.S.E CERTIFICATE holder with a C+,and I would love it much to volunteer in any area as I believe it will be my strong foundation as I prepare to join college next year.Kindly how can i get involved?contact me via the email address above,once again my the almighty God who sees through our heart and deeds shower his benediction onto you and give you strength to carry on in this journey of a good heart.

By STEPHEN GICHERU on   11/25/2010 2:18 AM

I am so happy to hear what is going on in the center. Congratulation for reaching out to the people and giving them hope to continue living. I am so glad that you obeyed the call in your life because if it was not for the obedience a lot of people in the community would be in problems and not know who to turn to. I would love to team up with you in reaching out to the needy in the society by volunteering in your center. I am a second year student in the University of Nairobi pursuing Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology. Currently am on holiday and will be resuming on March 14. Kindly direct me on how to get involved through the above email or call me on 0725312940. I live in Ongata Rongai and love to reach out to others.
May the almighty God bless you mightily in all areas and may He give you divine ideas and inspiration in all you do and on the way forward.

By Grace Kabucho on   2/2/2011 11:01 AM

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