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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

HARAMBEE NFP

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Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the distinct pleasure of traveling with Keen and Project Harambee to Kenya and Ethiopia this spring. My life has been forever changed! The sheer amount of work Keen has the energy to take on is amazing. Project Harambee has made such a huge difference in the lives of many in Africa. Those changes will continue throughout the generations. Project Harambee truly lives by the credo- “Giving a hand up, not a hand out”
Here is a short list of some of the projects we witnessed in Africa with Keen and Project Harambee
—-A 2 day medical camp run by the Grow A Doc/Grow a Nurse students that helped unserved families in Kitui
—-Support of Nyumbani Village and Nyumbani home who serve orphans living HIV positive
—- visiting the children’s nursery at Langata Women’s Prison and taking children’s books
—- visiting St. Al’s high school and taking bras for girls
—- distributing animals to families in need
—- supporting local crafters to help them support their families
—- visiting Thika School for the Blind where several students are sponsored
—- spending time in Global 1 school in Kibera to meet with students and teachers and distributing needed materials and textbooks
—- touring Mirror of Hope and donating to help the computer students and women’s group had needed materials
—- visiting women’s and children’s cancer centers in Addis and helping to bring a little joy to those battling cancer
—- visiting a very rural school in Ethiopia and distributing materials
There are probably many more that are slipping my mind right now. Project Harambee truly works to make a difference in the lives of many in Africa! I am proud to be associated with this amazing nonprofit!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known Project Harambee since 2009 when it first sponsored three students from a secondary school for AIDS orphans living in Africa's largest slum, Kibera where I was working. Since then, I have been involved in identifying and interviewing potential candicates for Project Harambe Plant a Seed Grow-A-Doc and Grow-A-Nurse Scholarship Program. I am currently serving as a Board Member of Project Harambee and it is always heartwarming to hear great stories of change from the beneficiaries of this coveted scholarship. The scholarship always targets those with the greatest need and at the same time have a burning passion and committment to serve in medically underserved regions.

Project Harambee has been a great source of joy to many of our scholarship holders together with their families and most of them see this as an opportunity to get themselves out of poverty and also lift others who are downtrodden. I have also seen Project Harambee change the lives of women and children who are infected/affected with HIV/AIDS. I once visited two blind children who are supported by Project Harambee and it was breathtaking to hear them narrate how blessed they felt that a stranger came into their lives and is now making them to dare dream of a brighter future ahead of them even though they had lost hope in life.

Thanks to Project and Harambee and all those who support it in one way or the other.

Donor

Rating: 5

Harambee is precisely the type of nonprofit that deserves unqualified support because it is run TRANSPARENTLY by a small group whom the donors can get to know directly. Donations are not getting spent on marketing and heavy administration costs, which is the case with so many large nonprofits. I've known about Harambee since ten years ago when I went on a field trip to Africa with executive director Dr. Kathleen Harrison and saw the operations up close and met many of Harambee's partners and recipients. It was an unforgettable trip that thought me how powerfully small groups of dedicated and focused volunteers and professionals can affect countless lives and do amazing work with limited budgets. I hope someday I can take my wife on a similar trip. In the years since that trip, I've marveled at the followup reports from Dr. Harrison on how donations were used. The reports are detailed and show obvious dedication. For example, for a gift last year to purchase a goat for a family, I received a video from Dr. Harrison showing her with the actual goat and the recipient family in Africa, announcing the gift. https://youtu.be/xvoySr0iEPM She was even holding the name we had picked for the goat printed out on paper. That shows remarkable planning and dedication on Harambee's part and makes me feel sorry that I have not been more involved all these years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with this nonprofit having volunteered with numerous support trips to Africa over the years. Project Harambee, with Dr. Kathleen Harrison, Founding Director, has enjoyed many successes embracing an holistic approach to community development through programs such as educating disadvantaged students from the slums of Nairobi for careers in the health professions (MD, Nurse, Clinical Officer, etc.); micro-economic projects to give women and their children a “hand up” to care for themselves without relying on a handout; an “Animals for Africa” program that sponsors co-operative dairy goat, chicken, pig, and honeybee projects; and developing networks for medical education and service involving medical schools in Kenya and the USA.
Project Harambee emphasizes sustainable partnerships because the height of empowerment is the ability to empower another. All projects require participants to give back to their community. It fosters good management practices, frugality, accountability, and sustainability. More information is available at the website: www.projectharambee.org and on Facebook (Project Harambee, NFP).
This nonprofit deserves special accolades for all the good work it continues to do to make the world a better place.

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working with Project Harambee, 501(c)3) not-for-profit, and its Founding Director, Kathleen Harrison for about 10 years to help promote the work she is doing in sub-Saharan Africa to better the lives of others by building capacity (not charity), and her notable generosity in ensuring that those who donate to help her cause understand that ALL their donations go to those in need.

Her mission over the 15+ years of Project Harambee's existence has been to give a “hand up”, not a “hand out”, and to partner with African institutions to provide an holistic approach to community development by addressing the needs for better economy, health, and education in under-served communities.

She has impacted thousands of lives now and in the future by implementing specific programs that address the overall needs of capacity building:
1) For economic development she has helped women affected by HIV from the slums of Nairobi to rural Zambia learn art craft skills and has tirelessly helped to market these crafts to support their families;
2) To promote the health and economy of communities she has developed animal programs (goats to chickens to pigs to bees) where families are provided resources not only to improve health through high-yield goat milk but to support their families through the sale of animal products.
3) To promote education and health, Dr. Harrison developed novel “Grow-a-Doc” and "Grow-a-Nurse" programs that provide training in health profession for qualified students from under-served communities. Upon completion, the students are required to provide health care to their communities.. The program not only builds human capacity, but it enhances the health of the communities. In the last few years, students and graduates have planned and implemented free medical camps for Kenyans who do not have easy access to health care.

In each of these endeavors, Dr. Harrison has demonstrated the energy and commitment that exemplifies the ideals of social justice.

Thank you.

Donor

Rating: 5

Keen Harrison has worked diligently for 15 years serving the poor and forgotten in Africa. She makes several trips to Africa each year at her own expense, where she has established various projects to help those in need. I have been privileged to hear her reports once or twice each year when she meets with the Womans’s Group, to which I belong. Here she shares her recent experiences of presenting goats, chickens, solar lamps and craft materials to families. With the contributions of donors who support her work monetarily, she has set up programs to “grow a doc” and “ grow a nurse” to train men and women to address the health needs of their communities. I like donating to her organization because I know that 100% of my donation goes to the people in Africa. Keen takes no salary and all her helpers are volunteers including her husband John. I also like the fact that I can donate in the name of a friend or family member and Keen presents them with a beautiful handmade card announcing the gift in their name. It’s a nice added touch to raise awareness. Visit www.projectharambee.org to find out the many other ways Keen is giving a “hand up” as she calls it, rather than a “hand out”

Maryellen L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known Keen Harris for well over ten years now and I am continually amazed with her energy, creativity, and vision for her work in Africa. She is always ready to give the credit to those who she encounters in her ministry, the African people themselves. Haramabee's first work was enabling particularly women to developed businesses to help their families to become self sufficient. Keen would purchase crafts, necklaces, purse, religious items ect. and bring them back to the states. All the proceeds went back to the villages.
As an educator, Keen's organization began supporting children through High School. When those students were ready to graduate she began her Grow a Doc and then Grow a Nurse program where students who graduated from medical programs supported by Harambee would pledge to go back to their community to practice. This was not a difficult pledge to make since these students had a tremendous sense of community responsibility.
Every year when Keen has returned from an African visit, she comes back with a new vision of what could be done to encourage self identity. Realizing the if a little girl did get a doll to play with (which was rare), she started collecting Black dolls to give away on her next trip. These made the recipients face light with pure joy.
Last year we donated a goat for Keen's project and received the hilarious video of the goat being transported to her home village on the back cart of a motorcycle.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Harambee is one of those organizations that does so much with so little, based mostly on energy and determination and the strategic use of resources. They are making a huge difference in the lives of so many families in East Africa, giving young people a shot at medical training and families a way to support themselves through selling of goods and through gifts of chickens and goats.

I work for a non-profit that raises funds for a high school in Nairobi for children from Kibera slum whose lives have been impacted by AIDS. This is their only shot at an education. Harambee has been our partner for years providing funding for our graduates who want to go into medical fields, which requires more support than we are able to give. This has made all the difference in the lives of these students and provided much need medical professionals for rural and poor communities in Kenya.

Harambee's impact is great. They are great stewards of all gifts and they deserve as much support as possible!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What I like the most is that 100% of what I spend goes directly to the women Harambee serves. Kathleen travels on her own dime, bringing handmade items from women in Africa to be sold at churches here in the US. These African mothers aren't asking for hand-outs. They want to earn a living and support their children. "Keen" facilitates that. And the handmade jewelry, purses, Christmas ornaments and Nativities are exquisitely beautiful. And 100% of the money goes right back to those mothers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am Festus Muthui a nursing intern from Kenya. I was raised in a poor background that no one else went beyond O level education. I was to follow the same route but when I did my O level exams in 2004 was made to repeat same class due to lack of secondary fee. Again after 2005 things were not good and I went to the city and its environs streets for casual jobs(hands to mouth jobs). I did 16 kinds of casual jobs as a small boy including cultivating University of Nairobi farm yards for money. In 2010 I got a well wisher who followed my history and did pity my age and construction site jobs I was doing in the city. Through church Priest and nun (CRE teacher) I got scholarship at St. Aloysius Gonzaga secondary school,Nairobi by then in Kibera one of the biggest slum in Africa. This was my place of deliverance where I met this amazing golden lady the founding director of non-profit NGO Project Harambee NFP. Many others and I from different African countries that I lead in Young Healthcare Providers Association Of Kenya have received great things like financial aids in medical school, mentorship, programs,symposiums,gifts like laptops and medicals books and not forgetting myself the gifts and support for my wedding I got from them. The NGO trips, conferences and support to different institutions like Thika School of Blind, Ngong children living with HIV/AIDs,Childrens Home like Lea Toto in different slums ,Nyumbani villages in Dagoret and Kitui, Kerugoya and Naivasha mothers goat ,chicken and bee hive projects and more that I can not list, have given us exposure of helping community and not only medical experience. They have done the same in other African countries not only in Kenya. I have much experience from them in giving back to community that has driven me to start a CBO geared towards community water project. Through them I developed big idea of using the exoerience I got before joining secondary school in farming University farms. Now I have 2 and 3 acres of land that I grow kales,tomatoes and onions as a result their holistic experience. I am now looking to partner with coorporate instituions to support me increase the production and marketing through funding. Say instead of using my small diesel generator for irrigation from a well the donors can support me irrigate our farmily land of 10 hectares and network with them in awarding tenders for big market that can as well benefit the community. All glories to Harambee NFP.

Donor

Rating: 5

What I love about Harambee NFP is that it is a real hands on charity. Kathleen Harrison goes to Africa several times a year to personally deliver donations, meet the people, share their stories in her emails/blogs, etc. You know that your donations are going directly to people to help them in their daily lives and not going into heavy overhead costs.
Mary C.

Donor

Rating: 5

While mourning the death of our dear friend, a group of us decided we wanted to do something meaningful in her memory. Already familiar with the work of Harambee and knowing our gift would continue to give with love, we decided to donate a goat as well as a beehive.
Our hearts were full as we reviewed the wonderful pictures of the presentation of our gifts .Further, lovely customized cards of acknowledgement were provided to the grieving family.

The knowledge that our dollars are all used for the intended... the personal touches... a very special organization!

Winnie Fafard L.

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Harambee is truly about giving people in need a hand up rather than a hand out, which would give momentary relief. The amazing programs of Grow a Doc and Grow a Nurse is a out making life long positive changes to communities in Africa.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have personally witnessed the accomplishments of Project Harambee by traveling to Kenya a few years ago and bringing with me medication desperately needed by HIV patients living in the slums of Nairobi. Harambee is about giving families in Africa a hand up, not a hand out. Families receiving help also are giving the responsibility of "paying forward" to other families by sharing the products of their gifted goats and chickens with their community. We live in an ever shrinking world, so assisting our African brothers and sisters is accepting our shared humanity. Harambee is a well organized and productive vehicle for improving our world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Kenya, with Keen and Harambee, several years ago and spent almost a month, working on the different projects. I witnessed amazing things accomplished, on little more than a shoestring. I came home with an entirely changed world view and will never look at the world in the same way again. This organization, and its fearless leader, Keen Harrison, does great things with very little. I learned it doesn't take much to create a miracle, in someone's life. Power on.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am inspired by the important work this organization does year round from training African doctors and nurses who otherwise could not afford their education to enabling the locals to help themselves and their families with donated livestock and sales of handmade goods. I personally know the founder and principle of this charity who works tirelessly (with an assist from the husband) on this cause. Be assured your donations go totally to your intended purpose. A more honest and dedicated person you will not find.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project Harambee, a non-profit organization based in the US , is simply nothing less than the cradle of life in the Horn of Africa, Kenya, out of which humanity brightens the future of the needy, the helpless and the voiceless through its immense affirmative impacts through: (1) motivating and influencing the youth through education; (2) encourage innovation in apiculture and dairy farming; (3) promoting for the utilization of indigenous knowledge and cultural arts; as well as (4) encouraging and training widows to be engage in commercial production of jewelry and ornamental artworks to support their lives. The organization works at the very grass root level with an amazing commitment and accomplishment for changing the lives of children, widows and HIV/AIDS victims as well.

Ayalew Damte
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Donna G.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am happy to support Harambee. This innovative program has helped many individuals in African communities to improve their health, education and finances. Their health is improved by providing medicines and Hiv-Aids Education. Harambee has supported 10 men and women in the Grow- a-Doc and Grow- a- Nurse programs pay for education for people who will serve their communities for years to come. Some member produce lovely crafts, jewelry, crafts, cards, and textiles which I have purchased. Goats, pigs, chickens, and bees are donated which provide food and income. The recipients are obliged to share offspring with their neighbors, making the benefits spread farther. Solar lamps help students study in the evening and solar ovens take noxious fumes out of homes. Keen and John visit twice yearly to maintain direct contact and stay in touch with donors via Facebook. 100% of donations go to help the people directly. I am confident that my donations are used to the fullest.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit. If you support Harambee, you can be sure that every penny goes to give "a hand up, not a hand out" to those who desperately need it. I was able to accompany Keen and John on a service trip where I witnessed first hand the life-changing impact their work has on the lives of others. From dairy goats to medical school tuition to solar lamps to school supplies, this nonprofit is changing the world.

Lydia L.

Donor

Rating: 5

Keen and team see the needs; through drive and creativity, and by direct actions with long results, they provide us more sedentary folk the opportunity to make a real difference . I am very happy and confident supporting Harambee's straightforward and varied programs, which are effective and all heart.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a proud supporter of Harambee NFP, which makes a profound difference in the lives of thousands of people in several African nations. The "Grow A Doc/Grow A Nurse" program has funded the medical education of 10 men and women who will serve their African communities and improve health for decades to come. Harambee also does good work in providing high-yield milk goats to families, shoes for those in need, and a market for local honey. Thanks to Keen and John and all those who contribute to this impactful NFP

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Harambee NFP is a lifeline to so many people in Africa bringing hope, healing and a chance to pass on their gifts to others. Their diverse avenues of support help to promote cottage industries of craft co-ops, educational opportunities, health and wellness education and medical clinics, nutritional education and assistance. The animal sharing program provides families with live stock of dairy goats, chicks, pigs and bee keeping skills to provide for their own needs and to constantly extend their outreach to others. Harambee forges connections between families in the US and those whose lives are touched in Africa, enriching the lives of all through a beautiful cultural exchange!

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing what a yielded heart, a herculean work ethic and a dynamic personality can accomplish! Harambee is the love child of keen and John. Harambee is 100% effective! Harambee is 100% transparent! Harambee is 100% gift! Keen's creativity bonds with a entrepreneurial genius that calls forth miracle after miracle....GrowaDocs, goats named Tizzie, fair market crafts, hand-made cards that surpass Hallmark. efficiency that beats Heifer Int , and most important a deep personal connection that makes family of those
helped. Harambee is all heart! Harambee is all joy! I love Harambee...go to the July 2018 Progress Re;port.. and you will love Harambee NFP too!

Donor

Rating: 5

Two things, or maybe three...!00% is used. Also, one has such a wide range of choices--goats, solar ovens, sponsoring a doctor or nurse to be, any dollar amount, helping a blind child " attend a special needs school, helping a person sell her goods, willing to give talks anywhere (well, maybe not Iceland) -- I guess I could go on and on--oh, and it is easy to pay online (I personally like "paypal. And Keen and John are always seeing another need.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is great to know that 100% of donations go directly to the cause. The "Grow A Doc" program is the most innovative and effective program I have ever seen. Also, great to see photos of goats purchased!

Mary N.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Why do I support Project Harambee? Because it’s PERSONAL!
From the beginning, the tiny group of volunteers who staff Project Harambee have poured their hearts and souls into making positive changes in the lives Kenyans affected by HIV. With a strong emphasis on enhancing self-sufficiency, they taught women to produce marketable crafts that could provide them some income. (I’ve purchased beautiful work from their hands.) Their program to provide small livestock – chickens, pigs, honeybees, and goats – has given new income and greater food stability to countless families and village. (And I can NAME the goat I donate, and ‘meet’ the folks who receive it!) Providing solar lamps to help children study after dark, and solar stoves that take noxious fumes out of close-quarter living spaces are instant ‘win-wins’ for their recipients. But for me, their most exciting initiatives have been “Grow A Doc” and “Grow A Nurse”. These programs financially support the education and training needed by young women and men to become their country’s future medical professionals. It is so gratifying to follow their journeys as they progress through school. (I cheer them on, as if they were my own kids. They will change the world!)

Donor

Rating: 5

Harambee NFP uses 100% of donations for the project and all work is done by volunteers. Volunteers also pay their travel expenses to Kenya.
Unlike most charities, Harambee, helps people to be self sufficient.
These, to me, are the two most important issues in judging the worthiness of a nonprofit.