Freedom for Girls heads to Kilifi County!!

FFG Kilifi01

The FFG Field Office provides a health education session.

When the Kilifi Rotary Club President first contacted us last year regarding the FFG sanitary towel project, the breathless anticipation of a new partnership was undeniable!

Working with the Rotary Club of Aylsham – UK, the Rotary Club of Kilifi joined forces with HEART’s FFG to launch the project in Matsangoi Primary School on 31 January, distributing 140 packets of sanitary towels to the girls.

Attended by dignitaries from the Kilifi Ministry of Education, as well as Kenyan, American and British Rotarians, the event was an outstanding success. Following a great health education session from the FFG Field Officer – Ms. Lydiah Njoroge, the girls (aged 9-15) were really excited that they are now able to stay in school during “that time of the month”. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

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About Kilifi County…

Kilifi is located north and northeast of Mombasa. There are 160 primary school serving 154,484 pupils. 68% of population lives below poverty line and as a result many parents are unable to meet the expense of sanitary towels for their girls.



HIV Positive: Voiceless and Empowered

HEART LogoThis is a special guest post by Africa HEART, a Segal Family Foundation partner, for World AIDS Day.


“Good Morning,” I said to my children. They stared back at me blankly with no response. I wondered if they could not hear me. They were sitting there like statues, again I said “Good Morning.” I then realized that I couldn’t even hear her own voice! I thought, “this cannot be happening to me.”

After being voiceless for three days, I went the hospital and was diagnosed with a common cold. I was immediately put on medication, but my condition deteriorated. I decided to go back to hospital and I was referred to Kenyatta hospital (the National referral hospital in Kenya).

Tests revealed my worst nightmare: throat cancer… and HIV. I felt my world crumbling down right before my eyes. I did not know what to do. 

After learning of my HIV status, my husband and family members abandoned me, leaving me helpless and weak. I still had three children to take care of and I had no income and no skill. I felt like my life was not worth living anymore.

After 14 months of medical treatment, 7 surgeries and 1 month in ICU, I had to get my voice box removed and I discovered that I was also pregnant. I was discharged to recuperate at home. It was after this tough period that I lost my 10 month old twins daughter because the medicine was too strong for the babies and I had no proper medical care and not enough food or income to sustain my family.

Fortunately, I met a lady named Mary Wanderi who introduced me to Africa HEART’s Women Equality and Empowerment project (WEEP) program that supports women living with HIV/AIDS who are abandoned and helpless. I was a bit skeptical about the idea, but later found out that the women in WEEP had gone through the similar experiences to me (or even worse), but they were still holding on to hope. It was while at WEEP that I met Vickie Winkler, founder of HEART.2014-12-01-DSC_0643Dorcus showcasing a sample of her coffee bags, a source of income for her through the WEEP program.

I found new hope through HEART! WEEP catered for my food, paid the school fees for my children, paid for rent and medication and began to teach me how to provide for my children. It was like a dream after all I had been through!I am so thankful to God for this program. HEART gave me emotional and financial support at my lowest point and has helped me build my skills and take care of my family. I have gained tailoring skills, graduated from the program and now own my business. I have now employed four people. I can now pay some of the school fees for my children and provide for their needs.

When speaking, I use an electro larynx to amplify my voice. I am HIV positive, raising my three children all by myself and earning an income through my growing business. Read More

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Jambo – Kenya

P1000048Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Pope Francis: “Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to ‘God’s surprises’?”
Everyone wants to know about my recent trip to Kenya.Did you contract ebola? What was the highlight of the trip?  Did you feel safe? What was the food like? the weather? Did you go on a safari? Did you see any wild animals? It’s natural for friends and family to be curious about my 10,000 mile excursion.
A good friend asked me to describe the Kenyan mission in one word. Without much thought, I replied, surprise. Surprise after surprise after surprise. I was surprised by the waves of destitute Kenyans roaming the streets 24/7. I was surprised by the overwhelming smells of diesel, human waste, sweat, and garbage. I was surprised by the graciousness and humility of the Kenyan people. I was surprised by the singing and dancing of women who slept on mud floors in 10×10 ft. rooms with their children. I was surprised by my own CRS (caucasian rhythm syndrome) dancing. I hutwas surprised by the tearful testimonies of once infected HIV women who are now thriving because of the compassion and care of H.E.A.R.T volunteers and staff. I was surprised by the joy of wallowing in mud and packing that same mud into makeshift walls. I am surprised by how much I miss Kenya. I am surprised how easy it is to transition back into the passive Christian life of squandering time.
Henri Nouwen writes, each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. I need not be 10,000 miles away in a foreign country to receive God’s surprises. Surprise me today, O Lord. Amen.

119 girls graduate in Alternative Rite of Passage in Oldonyonyokie


119 girls graduate in Alternative Rite of Passage in Oldonyonyokie

On August 29th 2014, HEART was invited to participate in the graduation ceremony of 119 girls aged between 9-14 years old at Oldonyonyokie primary school. These girls were at risk of female genital cut (FGC) as it is the custom in the Maasai culture. They graduated from a three day Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) training that is geared to renounce this custom. In the Maasai community, a girl who is not “cut” is unable to take up her traditional role as a mother and wife.

In the Maasai community, a girl who is not “cut” is unable to take up her traditional role as a mother and wife.

The cultural roots of female genital cutting are so embedded in the Maasai community that parents believe it is the best thing for their girls. This auspicious event was organized by the Oldonyonyokie local leaders in collaboration with African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF Kenya). The organizers chose Oldonyonyokie primary school as the suitable venue because of the dormitory that was built by county council of Ol Kejuado and was fully furnished by Women Leaders in Action (WLA) through Rotarians for Fighting Aids (RFFA) and HEART.

Oldonyonyokie 6

Oldonyonyokie 7Circumcision in Maasai culture marks the transition from girlhood to womanhood. In this regard girls are often obligated to be circumcised so that they will be fully accepted in their culture. However, in this event the community elders and the parents of the young girls came together to renounce this tradition in order to encourage people to move away from female genital cutting.

HEART was represented by Rtn. Vickie Winkler – the Executive Director and Founder, Colleen Fischer- assistant professor university Minnesota and Ms. Lydiah Njoroge FFG Field Officer. The event started with the girls singing and dancing to songs declaring that they have renounced the female genital cutting in their community. During the event the Moran’s (young men in the Maasai community) made a declaration that they will not marry girls who are circumcised but they will only marry girls who are smart and have gone to school. The girls assured their parents that they would work hard and bring joy to their families. The guest of honour was Chief Mary Kashinka from Namelok, Loitoktok location (the first woman chief) urged parents to educate the girls and highlighted that the constitution prohibits such practices and if anyone is caught in act of circumcising the girls, the law will deal with them.

Oldonyonyokie 1

Africa HEART Newsletter

Africa HEART June 2014

Social Media

“The Future of Africa Lies In the hands of Its Children. Let’s give them the best education.”


Follow HEART on Twitter and Facebook:

FFG in Action

Girls help carry sanitary towels to the storage in their school in Murang’a. Notice their beautiful smiles…because they are assured of staying in school!


Distribution of sanitary towels at Ngelani Ranch Primary School donated by Ellen Bowman (3rdfrom Right) as female teachers in the school look on.


Freedom for Girls Field Officer Lydiah Njoroge is presenting  health education during a distribution of sanitary towels in Huruma slums in Nairobi.  Girls from the Bayside Mother and Daughter Team assist by holding the new teaching aid donated by Ellen Bowman!

Contact Us!

Donations can be made using PayPal on our website, or by contacting one of our offices.


Jen Friel


P.O. Box 631964

Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-1964


Vicki Jensen
P.O. Box 5675

Auburn, CA 95604

 HEART Nairobi Office

(011) 254-714-517326

P.O. Box 63414-00619 Muthaiga
Nairobi, Kenya
Mpesa: 140172
Dear Isaac,
Greetings from Kenya!  The 16 thJune 2014 marks the 23rdremembrance of The Day of the African Child.

The June 16th annual event honors the memories of students who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa in 1976 protesting against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime. It was designated as Day of the African Child in 1991 by the African Union and every year events are organized to promote children’s rights.

Day of the African Child and HEART

This year’s theme is “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa”. This is in light of the Millennium Development Goal 2 which is to ensure that by 2015, children everywhere are in school and learning. On this day, in an effort to promote general knowledge of the event, several organizations have taken to social media outlets with the themes of stopping violence against women, and the encouragement of men and boys to join the conversation.

HEART believes that education means a better future and has over the years supported Kenyan children through school. One way is through paying school fees for 908 children from 2011 to date. In addition, HEART’s Freedom for Girls (FFG) sanitary towels has provided 118,115 primary school going girls with a year’s supply of sanitary towels, panties and health education to primary school going girls Since 2008.

Freedom For Girls and Education

HEART believes that education means a better future and has over the years supported Kenyan children through school. One way is through paying school fees for 908 children from 2011 to date. In addition, HEART’s Freedom for Girls (FFG) sanitary towels has provided 118,115 primary school going girls with a year’s supply of sanitary towels, panties and health education to primary school going girls Since 2008.

HEART’s sanitary towel project ties in nicely with the recent Global Menstrual Hygiene Day whose theme was Menstruation Matters. The goal of this campaign was to highlight and promote the education of girls in reproductive care and health, and theimportance of sanitary towels in the lives of girls everywhere.

Our plan is to reach to 135,000 girls by December 2014. Thanks to our great Kenyan donors who contribute monetary and otherwise to the production, packaging and storage of the sanitary towels bringing the cost recovery to ksh 450 or 5 USD to give a girl this year sanitary package. Help us reach out to 16,885 girls before the year ends!

Thank you for your support of HEART!  Together we are helping those affected by HIV to survive to thrive!

Forever Grateful,

Vickie Winkler, Founder/Executive Director
Africa HEART

World AIDS Orphan Day – 7 May, 2014

Africa HEART Newsletter
 World AIDS Orphan Day 7 May 2014 
In This Issue
Freedom to be a Girl
Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.
World AIDS
Orphans Day
May 7th, 2014
“Change My Life – Give Me Free, Quality Education”
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11th! Need a gift idea? Check out our online WEEP gift shop at
for a unique, handmade gift that will make a difference.
We are forever grateful to Diane Roeker and Straight Up Inc for the development of this website!
HEART’s Newest Addition
The HEART Lodge has almost completed the construction of seven additional rooms!
In fact, 4 of the 7 rooms
were occupied last night! Sandra Perkins is here helping us with  the
decorating and furnishing.

Thank you, Dave Lowe, for your skills and expertise on overseeing the construction phase!
Additionally, thank you to all who contributed financially to make this expansion possible. HEART  only owe $7,500 on the construction phase!
Watch for the new HEART Lodge web site to be launched this month!

What has HEART done for educating orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)?
These are also some of HEART’s many accomplishments centered around OVC this year:

7,308,000 Kenyan Shillings (USD $87,000)  has provided school fees for 253 children (made possible by a Women Leaders in Action grant)


2,100,000 Kenyan Shillings (USD $25,000) provided by a variety of donors for high school, college, and university students


114,500 Kenyan shillings (USD $1,347) has been raised from the Greenhouses and other income generating activities, used to pay school fees


216,000 Kenyan Shillings (USD $2,571) which has been earned by other income generating projects such as fish, bee keeping, and poultry farming

“Forty seven girls at Ngelani Ranch Primary School received a year’s supply of Proctor and Gamble sanitary towels, four undergarments, a health education booklet, and two pieces of soap. They were thrilled!
Did You Know?
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Kenya
25 million out of a population of over 34 million Kenyans are at risk of malaria
Malaria accounts for 30-50% of all out-patient attendance and 20% of all admissions to health facilities
An estimated 170 million working days are lost to the disease each year (MOH 2001)
Malaria is also estimated to cause 20% of all deaths in children under five (MOH 2006)
The most vulnerable groups to malaria infections are pregnant women and children under 5 years of age 
The WEEP women have made
54,037 nets to date, which have so far reached
162,111 children and pregnant mothers
Contact Us
Donations can be made using PayPal on our website, or by contacting one of our offices.



Jen Friel


P.O. Box 631964

Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-1964




Vicki Jensen
P.O. Box 5675
Auburn, CA 95604



HEART Nairobi Office

(011) 254-737-080447
(011) 254-714-517326

P.O. Box 63414-00619 Muthaiga
Nairobi, Kenya


Like us on Facebook
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Today is World AIDS Orphans Day, which is themed
“Change My Life – Give Me Free, Quality Education.” We wish to celebrate all that HEART has accomplished to not only care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) but also take part in orphan prevention initiatives. All of this is possible thanks to our staff and many donors.

HEART through its OVC program has been able to reach6,860 OVC that have accessed the basic six essential services provided by this program: shelter, food security, health care, education, protection, and psycho-social support. HEART also provides their guardians and caregivers with a sustainable income generating activities (IGA). These include animal farming (goats, cows, chickens and fish farming and bee keeping), agricultural projects in the 34 greenhouses we currently have plus kitchen gardens for each household.


This year HEART and partners have supported 253 OVC with school fees for 2014.The education support was allocated for: Primary (60), Secondary (158), College (26), University (9), with a total of 253. We recognize the importance of quality education to a child.

Want to hear a miracle? 23 high school students who are children of our WEEP participants completed High School in 2013 and qualified to join Universities! These children would have been on the streets and never would have completed grade school without the help of many sponsors.

Freedom to be a Girl

Sanitary Towel Distribution at Ngelani Ranch Primary School
On April 9th 2014, Lydiah (FFG Field Officer) accompanied by Ellen Bowman (HEART Mission Staff) and former Proctor and Gamble (P&G) Executive set out for a Freedom for Girls (FFG) distribution event at Ngelani Ranch Primary School. The school is situated in Mlolongo, Machakos County and from their experience, “It was a bumpy 14 kilometer drive on a dusty stretch from the main Mombasa Road.”



After being warmly greeted by the head teacher Mr. Kioko, the team found the girls and female teachers eagerly waiting and ready for them. On arrival, they had a short tour of the school and then proceeded to do the health education and distribution. Lydiah carried on with the health education using the new teaching aids donated by Ellen.

Lydiah uses new teaching aids during a health education session


Lydiah already likes the new teaching aids as they had a clear illustration of the menstrual cycle and how the body changes in girls during puberty. They are also brightly colored, interestingly presented, and easily visible by a large number of students. The school girls (and teachers) too were fascinated by them.  The lamination adds to their durability as they will be used for health education all over Kenya. “They will now be my traveling companion,” added Lydiah.


Forty-seven girls in this school received a year’s supply of P&G sanitary towels, four undergarments, a health education booklet, and two pieces of soap. They were thrilled! The school will do the monthly distribution to ensure these school girls get the supplies. Lydiah will check on their progress.

Girls receive sanitary towels donated by
Ellen Bowman and friends


Rotary District Governor Elect, Bimal Kantaria, of Prestige Packaging, is a major donor to Freedom for Girls project. He has donated over 120,000 pieces of polythene bags over the years that are used to package the packets.  Mr. Kantaria referred HEART to the this needy school. He supports the school feeding program and is now supporting the building of a new classroom. The school performed very well in the national examinations last year in their zone.

Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.

HEART’s Efforts to Combat Malaria in Kenya

Malaria is a human disease that is caused by a parasite (genus Plasmodium) in the red blood cells. It is transmitted by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito – the primary vector of the disease.


Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) is the most effective way to prevent malaria with the target of providing more than one treated net per household. Currently, the proportion of households owning more than one insecticide treated net is about 22.5%. Therefore, there remains a great need to distribute more. The target is 100% with at least 2 nets per household (PSI/Kenya Programme Profile 2011).


HEART has a project under the Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP) known as the Malaria Prevention Project. This project has a dual strategy of preventing malaria and empowering the WEEP women who make the nets. The project has been running since 2005, and the women have been able to make 54,037 nets to date and has so far reached 162, 111 children and pregnant mothers. Once the nets are made, they are distributed through HEART and our partners. This has been made possible through the support of Norris Rugel Foundation enabling purchase of materials used in net making, the chemical used to treat the nets in line with the treatment policy and labor costs.


Children receive nets provided by HEART and its supporters


World Malaria Day was marked this year on April 25th. HEART’s efforts compliment the theme for this year, “Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.”


A Special Note from Vickie
We have had to change our Vision Statement! 
It is similar but had to add three words to fit who we are today!  It now reads “Empowering the people of Africa to survive and to thrive beyond the HIV/AIDS pandemic”!
We are no longer just helping people survive … but now we are seeing them thrive! Four WEEP Graduates have purchased land outside the slums. This is hard for any woman in Kenya to do …  but for some of our women who have come from near death with AIDS … to owning her own land … it is absolutely fantastic! Children that would have been on the streets are now instead entering Universities … rejoice with me! 
None of this would be possible if you were not standing with us in prayer and giving … Thank you dear friends!


Milele Shukrani (forever grateful)  


Vickie Winkler, Founder/Executive Director
Africa HEART

Africa HEART Newsletter March 2014

Africa HEART Newsletter
March 2014
Thank You
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board, we want to thank each of you who attended and supported the 14th Annual HEART on Safari Dinner! 

If you were unable to attend, please read through the articles to catch a glimpse of the evening, and if you did attend we hope you enjoy the memories of a fun, blessed night celebrating HEART. We hope to see everyone again next year!

Dr. Russell Tweet

HEART Board Chairman

Photos from the Evening

Nurse Alice Litton and Teacher Janet White hoist the Kenyan flag.  Alice embraced the Kenyan evening wearing traditional Masai fabrics and beaded jewelry.  Both ladies have made repeated trips to Kenya serving most recently as Mission Staff in 2013.

Dr. Russell Tweet, Vickie Winkler, Linda and Dr. Gerry Lee posing in front of the Kenyan Village.
Master Of Ceremonies Mitch Hanna, a local Rotarian, guided us through the night.
Former Mission Staff Katherine Rubin, Vickie Winkler and Alice Litton, RN

The Safari Raffle Winner is……
Toni Keyes!
Toni won a trip for two
to Kenya, including:
  • 3 days/2 nights at the Kenyan Wildlife Safari Lodge
  • 4 days at the HEART Lodge
  • Airfare credit up to $3,200 to purchase 2 airline tickets to Nairobi
Contact Us
HEART CO OfficeJen Friel


P.O. Box 631964

Highlands Ranch, CO. 80163-1964




Vicki Jensen
P.O. Box 5675
Auburn, CA 95604



HEART Nairobi Office

(011) 254-737-080447
(011) 254-714-517326

P.O. Box 63414-00619 Muthaiga
Nairobi, Kenya


Dear Reader,

For those of you unable to attend this year’s HEART banquet, we are happy to report that it was a huge success by all measures. The annual event has grown in scope and attendance each year, but the comment often heard about this year’s festivities was

‘over the top’. The guests enjoyed the displays, the dinner, and especially the speakers.

Kenyan Village

The large fairground hall in Auburn, CA was transformed by a team of imaginative and creative planners and a large number of volunteers. For three days the hall was a beehive of activity, undergoing a dramatic transformation. Starting on Thursday, the African village was assembled. This re-creation of         typical Kenyan housing vividly
                      displays the poverty so pervasive

Kenyan Schoolroom

This year a typical school room was added. It consisted of simple plank desks and benches with no ‘extras’ that we expect, such as textbooks or AV equipment. Many schools lack electricity and potable water. For those who have not had the opportunity to see such conditions firsthand, the village scene adds realism to the difficulties faced by Kenyans in their efforts to gain education.


The Night

The walls of the hall were decked with African cloth, and the display tables for the African handicrafts were artfully arranged. Many of these goods are hand made by women in HEART’s WEEP program. The purchase of the crafts allows Kenyan women struggling with HIV/AIDS and poverty to support themselves and their children. All the proceeds from these sales to directly to women in the WEEP centers  .

The combination of good weather and great community support from local churches and service clubs, as well as Women Leaders in Action (WLA) resulted in the largest attendance ever in the fourteen years of this event. Almost 380 paid guests, as well as 30 or more volunteers resulted in a packed house.

The Speakers
The evening kicked off with a blessing from Pastor Phil Sparling and our Master of Ceremonies Mitch Hanna, a local Rotarian, guided us throughout the night.   Several women from Women Leaders in Action told amazing stories of their work as HEART Partners in Kenya.  WLA Chairman Pamela Joseph wrapped up their presentation by adding a virtual bow on top with a $7,500 check to HEART!
Next, Bob Dunston added a touch of Africa with his great audio-visual presentation of the Rotary/HEART water well and greenhouse projects – announcing that three local Rotary clubs have secured a $96,000 Rotary International Water/Greenhouses grant – with HEART as the implementor!


Ellen Bowman, who came all the way from Cincinnati again, gave a great testimony to

the ‘on the ground’ effectiveness of HEART’s programs.  She contrasted that with other foreign aid groups that do not have the staff in place to actually implement aid programs in Africa.  Ellen reinforced the quality of Freedom for Girls, a program to supply Kenyan girls with sanitary towels.


Evans Masese, the newly named Deputy Director, was introduced by Vickie Winkler.Vickie explained that as HEART continues to grow and mature as an organization, the Board and the Management Team have

invested many hours of planning and implementing the changes

designed to ensure the continued success of HEART. While Vickie remains the President and Executive Director, Evans has been promoted to Deputy Director, and he will assume more of the operational oversight and strategic planning for HEART in Africa.  We plan to discuss this transition more in next month’s newsletter.

Again we sincerely thank you for your partnership with HEART.
If you are interested in becoming more involved with HEART, or coming to Kenya, reply to this email and we will find a place for you.
Sincerely,Dr. Russell Tweet
HEART Board Chairman


Annual WEEP Graduation Ceremony

HEART held its annual WEEP Graduation ceremony. Eleven beautiful women graduated and celebrated this new chapter in their lives. They have literally been restored physically, emotionally and spiritually, through HEART’s Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP) . Pam Joseph and Beth Blaisdell of Women Leaders in Action (WLA) were our special guests from Atlanta, Georgia. Pam, US Bank Executive, was our Keynote Speaker and encouraged our graduates to realize their role as community leaders. Beth lovingly presented the diplomas to each graduate, realizing the amazing challenges they have overcome to receive this symbol of success. HEART Programs Manager, Evans Masese, presented a succinct overview of HEART. Bishop Abel Oyaro, chairman of HEART’s Board of Trustees, led the spiritual blessing over these women. Over 100 guests graced the occasion, laughter and rousing applause from the audience closed the ceremony. Please see more photos on our Facebook page:

Bayside Church Team – June 22-July 5

Team Leader: John Johnson

Team Members: The Brown Family, Mary Content Burns, Judi Morales Hernandez, The Johnson Family, The Perkins Family

Bayside Church again returned to Kenya this summer under the experienced leadership of John Johnson. The team was made up of some veteran friends of HEART and some new marafiki, (friends). Their days were packed with serving, building, and embracing the Kenyan culture. Throughout all of the hard work they enjoyed fellowship with the Kenyans through eating, singing and dancing together. A Ngong WEEP woman, Mercy, was especially blessed by this team as they brought additional funds to build a home for her.

Below is an excerpt from the post about Mercy’s home…

heart team

We traveled back to Ngong today to dedicate Mercy’s new home. We began construction on the home last Tuesday and it was finished this Monday. As with almost all of our visits in Kenya, the ladies from the Ngong WEEP Center greeted us with singing and dancing. If you like singing and dancing, you will have to come to Kenya next year and enjoy it with us! The singing and dancing then moved inside the new home and then it continued outside as we began to celebrate what God has done for Mercy and her family. Mercy stood up and thanked God, HEART, and our team for how her family had been blessed with a new home. After a few more people spoke, we laid hands on Mercy and her home and dedicated it to God. It is very humbling to see the joy and thankfulness flowing from Mercy’s heart and know that you had a small part in it. Thank you to all of our supporters back home who took part in the $1,000 challenge. HEART knew that we had raised an extra $1,000 and asked if we could raise another $1,000 to make this dream of Mercy’s come true. People back home responded and hopefully, you can rejoice in the difference you have made in this family’s life! After lunch we started saying our goodbyes and noticed that Mercy’s son, Paul, was not using his right arm. Come to find out, it looks like he broke it playing soccer last Sunday and has not gone to the doctor. Something we take for granted, going to the doctor for a broken wrist, is a luxury in Kenya because of the cost. After discussing the situation with him, his mother, and the HEART staff, we decided to pay for x-rays and his cast so that he could go to the doctor. This is also something all of our supporters helped to pay for. Thank you once again for making a difference in Paul’s life.

Please follow the link to see more photos and read more from their trip!

Vickie’s travels May 28 – June 21, 2013


I am in Amsterdam … on my way back to Kenya … I arrived about noon yesterday and leave this morning … worked till 9:30 PM last night and then got a Mercure room for the night and arrive in Kenya tonight. Up at 5:30 AM so I have a few hours to work before boarding my flight to Nairobi. .


I arranged the long lay over here in Amsterdam before I knew how WLA would bless me in Atlanta … so thought I would be “dead on my feet” with being up so many hours … I had planned to be in the Atlanta airport lounge from 6 AM – 10 PM – 14 hours so I could have the 2 hour meeting with WLA leadership. I wanted to ask them for $16,391 for WEEP women children’s school fees …which I did and they said “yes”! Plus we discussed other projects and they will help with staff salaries to implement WLA projects … they took me out to dinner with a group of WLA leaders in Atlanta … Italian … NICE! Then Beth took me back to the airport and we chatted all the way … never enough time with Beth!


Women Leaders in ActionWomen Leaders in Action (WLA) surprised me in Atlanta and sent a limo to the airport to pick me up and take me to the “Sheridan Hotel” ! I told the Limo driver about our WEEP project and he refused my tip and said “give it to your women” … can you believe that! He also said, “I want to be like you when I grow up”! I had a 4 solid hours sleep at the “Sheridan” before our meeting! It was marvelous! I was so tired …

I had moved from my little Lake of the Pines haven that Don and Liz Duffy provide for me … Pam Tweet came and helped me pack up all my stuff and clean my place (oh my I would not have finished without her!) and my grandson Buddy came and loaded up his truck (seriously it was loaded – he asked me “Grams did you really use all this stuff in that little space”)? Of course, I also had 3 large suitcases filled to the top for Kenya, a carry-on and my lap top case …and my purse …all stuffed … I like to travel light…

I got a complimentary upgrade to First Class to Atlanta and a complimentary Business Class to Amsterdam … this was another treat! Seems you just cannot out-give the Lord! I thought I would sacrifice my time and strength for the WEEP children needs and then I was one of the ones blessed!

I had a wonderful trip to the US:


Segal Family Foundation

Segal Family Foundation

New York City – was highlighted by Segal Family Foundation annual meeting for grantees with President Bill Clinton as the guest speaker! Amazing two days! I stayed with my friends Allison and Josh … an remarkable young couple that I now know better … they shared their lovely one bedroom apt. in Hoboken (gave me their bedroom)

Philadelphia – I spoke for a (WLA) luncheon … about 50 US Bank employees that are part of this WLA chapter … took 50 pounds of WEEP items for them and they bought all of it! I had put a duffel bag in one of my big suitcases in Kenya and just took it on the train with me to Philly and left it with them! What a great group!





Boston – I traveled to Boston and stayed with ken and Marie grant in their lovely home overlooking the Boston Harbor … spectacular view! I met with Amanda from Lift Up Africa (LUA) and discussed some future plans with her for having them work with some of the CBO that we mentor.



Then had lunch with Norris-Rugel Foundation founders – Peter and Amy Norris … they promised to come to Kenya next year! I also has a couple quiet days there to work and rest … I am grateful to Ken and Marie for their gracious hospitality.

Auburn, CA – then home to Auburn … had some time with family (never enough) and had many meetings and gatherings with friends and partners with HEART.

Atlanta – meeting with WLA list above …so a great time in USA!

[dropcap]Thank you for your prayers and support! I am ready and anxious to join my team in Kenya ….  [/dropcap]