• Who We Are

About Us

HEART is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering the people of Africa to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States and a registered TRUST in Kenya.

HEART stands for Health Education Africa Resource Team. Founded by Vickie Winkler in February 2000, HEART is empowering the people of Africa to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic by providing medical care, education, and income generating activities to create a healthy, sustainable, disease-free life.

We have staff located in California, Montana, Florida and Kenya. Our US headquarters are located in Auburn, CA.  Our Africa headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya.


Empowering the People of Africa to Survive and to Thrive Beyond the HIV/AIDS Pandemic.


HEART and our partners are empowering current and future generations of the people of Africa through disease prevention, education and economic strengthening, to promote physical, spiritual and emotional health as a Christian faith-based organization.


  • Commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Chief Executive Officer of HEART!
  • Compassion as we serve with respect and fairness to all regardless of their culture and religion.
  • Integrity in all we do by embracing Christian ethics.
  • Excellence in our work.
  • Unity within HEART and our Partners.

Guiding Scripture

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6


Stabilize → Empower → Thrive
(this new Motto can be remembered by the Acronym “SET” refers to “Set to Live” !)

Founder’s Message

We started HEART in 2000 for one reason—to empower the people of Africa to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has swept across sub-Saharan Africa like a raging fire. It has left behind 14.8 million orphaned children.

With the help of our donors, sponsors, and supporters, we have focused on orphan prevention verses orphan care by concentrating on caring for HIV positive mothers. We have seen hundreds of women with AIDS pass through the “Lazarus Syndrome’ (coming from  a near death to life experience) and  become strong, confident women. They graduate from our 18-month WEEP program with a job and the knowledge and skills care for their own children.

Our ministry provides hope and empowerment to over 100,000 people in Kenya through our various projects including WEEP (Women Equality Empowerment Project), Kids for School, and Freedom for Girls. Over the past few years, HEART has received international recognition, including the “Portraits of Compassion” award from President George Bush. In 2012, Dr. Jill Biden visited one of our centers in Kenya because of our effective income-generating activities that have made the word “empowerment” a living reality.

HEART is a Christian organization that has experienced an amazing journey of faith as we accomplish the work God has called us to do.  HEART serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. We would love for you to become a HEART partner and help us transform more lives in Africa. Together…we can change the world!

Vickie Winkler, RN, Founder

Our Impact

HEART Accomplishments

Through the generous support of our partners and donors, HEART is making a huge, lasting impact in the nation of Kenya.

Orphan Prevention and Self-Sustainability Projects

  • 695 women and their 2,400 children have been served in served by Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP) an orphan prevention program providing women living with HIV/AIDS with health care, nutrition, shelter, education, protection, psychosocial support for them and their children, skills and business training to support their own children upon.
  • 84 WEEP mothers are currently enrolled  in WEEP and will graduate in 2023. Their children are being supported with school fees.
  • 12 women have purchased their own property.
  • 127,457 Malaria prevention nets made by our WEEP participants and distributed by HEART and our partners throughout Kenya, reaching over 382,371 children and pregnant mothers.
  • 470 WEEP mothers have been reached through medical assessments and cancer screenings in all HEART locations.
  • 483 WEEP mothers have been trained on COVID-19, mental health, nutrition, immune system, physical activity and improving antiretroviral drugs treatment.
  • 20 Community Development Organizations (CBOs) have been trained on governance, leadership and financial management to serve their communities efficiently in 12 regions of Kenya.  6 WEEP Centers and 1 Graduates Resource Center are managed by WEEP graduates!

Generational Impact of HEART

  • 305,019 adolescent girls have benefitted from the Freedom for Girls (FFG) project which provides a year’s supply of sanitary towels, 4 undergarments, and an educational pamphlet, “Keeping Girls in School”.
  • 255 girls from the remote Maasai Village of Oldonyonyokie have been educated because of the dorm that was built by the community and furnished by HEART. HEART continues to support the dorm girls with monthly upkeep where they are provided with care and protection to stay in school through 8th grade. Secondary education fees are paid for those that qualify to continue their education!
  • 882 Children have benefitted from Kids for School supported with school fees; 3,897 children have been supported with uniforms and/or scholastic materials; 1,858 children have been mentored and offered psychosocial support.
  • We have 2 graduates that are now medical doctors serving the nation of Kenya, 1 lawyer and 18 others undergoing various courses about to graduate.


  • The HEART Lodge complements Africa HEART; it has the capacity to house up to 40 guests a day and bed occupancy of over 4,000 guests annually.
  • The Lodge’s profits support Africa HEART programs by providing offices, internet, utilities, security and conference facilities for 12 program staff and 10 Mission staff. We are also currently using our facility for WEEP programming making malaria prevention nets and various WEEP trainings.

All this is done through HEART Teams and our Partners which include:

  • SEGAL Family Foundation,
  • Norris-Rugel Charitable Foundation
  • Women Leaders in Action
  • Imago Dei Fund
  • Bowman Family
  • Barthold Family Foundation
  • GraceLife Church, Columbia, SC
  • Prime Bank Kenya
  • Rotary Clubs US and Kenya
  • Multiple Public and Private Donors

Financial Accountability

HEART is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

HEART is committed to financial transparency, and is a member of Guide Star, an accountability organization for non-profits and charities.

Guide Star

2010 Audit Report

2011 Audit Report