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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Longonot Education Initiative

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To support and develop sustainable education opportunities for children in Kenya.

Results: -Constructed a new school building, the Longonot Education Center, in 2012. -Started a daily feeding program at the Longonot Education Center. -Constructed a security wall for Faraja Children's Home. -Provided daily meals, beds, school fees to Faraja Children's Home. -Started the Ahadi Education Center, a school for teenaged boys struggling with poverty and drug addiction

Target demographics: children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 260 children.

Geographic areas served: Ngong, Kenya

Programs: daily lunch programs, a safe learning environment (Longonot Education Center), an orphanage (Faraja Children's Home), a daycare center for children living in a slum (Living Positive Kenya Daycare Center), and an education program for poverty-stricken youth in the slum of Mathare (Ahadi Education Center).

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

An amazing not for profit doing amazing things for needy children. The volunteers are an inspiration to all!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Longonot Education Iniative has been such an inspiration in my life. I've seen how much work they have done and how many kids they have helped over the past few years. Their pictures and stories and so moving and tell such a story. They are letting so many kids tell their stories to the world.

Sylvie3

Donor

Rating: 5

Longonot has been such a great inspiration to these children. Bringing them positive support in there growth!!! Without these non profit organization the children would suffer and not have the opportunitys to better there lives!

1 Sybil M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I fully support LEI. I first heard if them through my friends daughter Sedona who is a team member. I love all the updates and pictures they post as you really get a sense of the good they qre doing. I also love how easy it is to contribute even if it is in the smallest of ways. I myself and a single mom with not alot of extra funds. I do however always try and give back as much as i can in life and LEI makes it simple and you can see where your donations are going and who they qre helping. I have helped purchase soccer shorts for the students and i have sponsored a student as well. I hope to someday go myself and help in any capacity that i am able. This is a great foundation and they work really hard with open hearts to help others who are less fortunate. LEI derserves all the support they can get!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

LEI is doing wonderful things in Kenya. They have helped so many children in the past years and changed so many lives. Without them many children would still be on the streets and hungry. Thank you for your all that you do. You guys are doing amazing work.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Am the project director for Living Positive Kenya.I have worked with LEI for the last 3 years in terms of funding our early child hood daycare project for slum children.LEI has been able to fund classroom constructions and other welfare activities for the children,like chairs and tables.Right now we have one of the volunteer fro LEI who has developed an art centre for the children and working on the same.Great work

1 Melissa226

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While volunteering in Ngong, I had the pleasure of meeting Sedona, Zach and Tom, volunteers at LEI. They introduced me to their organization, AHADI education centre and the boys from The Boys Centre in Ngong who they have helped rehabilitate and send back to school. Each of these individuals, along with the education centre itself are improving not only the boys lives but also the entire Ngong Town.
It doesn't take long to see the impact this organization has had on the boys lives. It's inspiring to see how passionate the volunteers are and the lengths they will go through to help these boys.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that this group does for at risk/ orphaned youth in impoverished communities in Kenya reflects the most selfless, dedicated and heroic essence of its volunteers and their mission. The good-doing and beauty of our world is brought to life by groups of talented, inspirational individuals like those of LEI. My best friend/mentor/big sister Sedona Keenan is one of these incredible volunteers. Sedona is wildly intelligent and wise beyond her years. She is kind and helpful to anyone and everyone, never passing up an opportunity to do good or help someone despite any lack of recognition.
I have been following her journey in Kenya for 3 yrs., and 2yrs. at LEI, through countless stories, pictures and videos. I have always been extremely interested and drawn to Sedona's work and the kids' lifes she touches. Her work with the Ngong hills street boys has been so successful and moving. These boys' realities have been transformed by the innovative work of LEI. They now have a safe place (a classroom built by LEI), supportive mentors who have earned the boys' complete trust, and the opportunity to eat regular meals whilst being drug free. Most of these orphaned or neglected boys of the slums of Kenya have been addicted to huffing glue as a numbing high but also a appetite suppressant. With the support and guidance of LEI the majority of these boys are sober, growing healthier and receiving an education. Sedona let me speak to these boys on video chat with her, I was so taken by how social and ecstatic they were contrary to their spirit when Sedona and LEI first came into contact with them. It was evident the respect, gratitude and genuine affection the boys felt for Sedona. I have also met Portia Duke and Zach Lazarus in person, also LEI volunteers who traveled very far to visit Sedona here in California. They are both inspiring examples of the organization and its work. Their long, grueling trips to California to see Sedona are further embodiment of the love and connection that makes up the back bone of this game changing organization.
Any support that can be offered to LEI is a contribution to a life changing cause. The values and ethics executed by these volunteers should serve as an example to all.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This group is doing amazing things for the children of Kenya. Getting many of them off the streets and into school. Building a school, and playground. Providing materials needed for each student to succeed in school. Providing the children with daily meals. They are accomplishing so much! Keep up the unbelievably great job you are all doing! Those children are the future of Kenya and you are helping them in a huge way on their path to becoming educated, involved adults and leaders in their community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of LEI when my cousin, Sedona Keenan, became heavily involved with the organization and the children. She is currently in the middle of her third trip to Kenya to be a part of this amazing organization. Not only has Sedona and her team helped get kids off of the street and help them become drug free, they have given them education and sustenance. This combination is life altering and these kids will be forever changed. Their futures will be forever changed. In fact, they now have futures.

LEI has not only changed those children who attend the school, it has in fact changed my cousin significantly as well. Kenya, these children, and LEI have become her life and passion. I am so inspired by her and the work she does there. I always look forward to seeing photos of the kids, the progress, the land and Sedona, right where she should be, changing the world.

LEI is a phenomenal organization and I can't say enough wonderful things about it.

Donor

Rating: 5

What I love about LEI is that the majority of your donations go right to helping children in need. My experience with LEI has mostly been through one of their co-founders Liana, she is very informative and passionate about their cause.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with LEI, and especially Ben and Portia have been phenomenon. There are friends and partners as we strive to improve the lives of the wonderful children who live in the Mathare slums. Ben and Portia understand that these children need love and encourage to propel them to their destiny. It always amazes me that although they have their hands full with the LEI's work and mandate, that they have time to spare for the children at Living Positive Kenya. Their love and financial support have been so instrumental as we finish building the first permanent toilet and classroom filled with brand new furniture. Thank you LEI, Ben and Portia! A friend in Need is a friend inDeed. WE LOVE YOU, THANK YOU

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to know to LEI through its director Benjamin Hardwick the project coordinator Portia Duke when we meet in one of the slums called Mathare in Ngong,Rift Valley part of kenya in May 2014 when they were trying to out reach The street boys....As they were on the process of trying to interact with.

After a long talk with them i realised that they had a great passion to transform the lives of the then hopeless boys and because i had a great passion to do the same,i was privileged to work with them.

Its through our partnership with them that we immediately started GLOBAL HOPE RESCUE AND REHABILITATION CENTRE and later in September the Same year AHADI EDUCATION CENTRE.
It is through the the help of LEI that this two programs have able achieve most of its goals.
AHADI EDUCATION CENTRE has always been the start for the rehabilitation of each and every rescued boy through the provision of basic education,counseling,sports and lunch for the day for the boys that attend class everyday as GLOBAL HOPE provide shelter.

Its through the effort of LEI that more than 15 boys under our program have completely transformed and willing to live a descent life after all their sessions. LEI has also stretched its kindness to take all the reformed boys back to descent schools where by the boys attend school as required. The boys already sponsored back in schools have recommended as the most disciplined amongst others while at the same time performing exemplary well challenging others .

Sencerely i recommend that LEI is a very vital organization to partner with and am very humbled and proud and on behalf the entire ahadi and global hope that they have really made a remarkable difference in Ngong and kenya at large.

May LEI live to exist for ever

JOSEPH THE DIRECTOR AEC AND GHRRC

Joanne36

Donor

Rating: 5

Ben Hardwick has the passion and energy to make LEI known to many people. Ben's initiative is awesome, focused on the students and boys who's lives he changes. He has amazing results with the funds that have been raised. I've known Ben for 10 years and we share Christmas dinner whenever he's in Ithaca. I'm so proud of his development into adulthood; his concern for the school is genuine and constant.

Brenda64

Donor

Rating: 5

I got introduced to LEI in 2012,and have since supported them as much as I can,in whatever way I can.
It has been so amazing and inspiring to watch all of the volunteers give their all,give their time and energy,and give love to the children, who in return love them all right back.
Sometimes in life,I think,some don't want to get involved because they think to change someone else's life is impossible.
But this small group has changed lives!
And that is just incredible!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting LEI since its inception. I have been awestruck by how much this highly motivated group of people has accomplished in a very short time. They have taken on what appeared to be insurmountable projects and completed them with incredible success! They built a new school in Longonot, took the Faraja Children's Home from the brink of failure to incredible success, and most recently, invested in a group of boys that everyone else had given up on and literally saved them. So many of these boys, who had no hope, are now back in school with a future. All of this is done on a tight budget, where every penny counts. My donations are not immense, but I know that every bit of that money goes towards their projects and truly makes a difference.

I did have the chance to visit Ben in Kenya in 2012. It was clear that the Kenyans all hold him in high esteem. He is humble, yet driven. Since that time, the team has grown (from the original three of Lianna, Kyle and Ben), to add more dedicated young people who want to make a difference in this world. Ben and Portia work tirelessly, putting the Kenyan children above their own lives, to make their life better. I wish all non-profits were run like this.

Abbie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ben Hardwick and the Longonot Education Initiative came into my life in 2012 while volunteering at the Fajara orphanage in Ngong, Kenya. At that time I had no idea how much Ben would change my life and the lives of the children at the Fajara orphanage. When my friend Stacie and I first got to the orphanage we were at a lose as to where to begin helping. The orphanage had nothing, not even the basics such as running water, food, diapers, medication etc. Anything that the orphanage did have was taken by robbers in the night. Frustrated and exhausted we asked Ben for his help. With no hesitation Ben came to the rescue. After that first visit Ben and the Longonot Education Initiative took the Fajara Orphanage on as one of their projects. Now Ben lives and Ngong, Kenya and has been able to transform the orphanage physically and has given the children hope. The children are all able to go to school, they have cows for milk, a garden to eat from, beds to sleep in, medical treatment...the list goes on. Ben has dedicated his life to helping others. This world would be a better place if we were all like him.

Stacie P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of meeting Ben while volunteering at Fajara orphanage in Gnong, Kenya. I was traveling with a dear friend and it was our first volunteer experience of this kind. First few days at the orphanage we were overwhelmed by the need and how to carry out help in a proper manner... Luckily we met Ben through a mutual friend! Wow.... What a blessing he was to come into all our lives at this time. He truly blessed all of us with his knowledge, spirit, determination and heart. This was back in January of 2012 and he is continuing to work with this orphanage to this day. I can write a novel about Ben and all that he has helped do.... The Fajara family/facility literally took 180 degree turn thanks to Ben's presence!
We all can't thank you enough. What a great human you are.... We need more people like you in this world :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It happened to have known Ben and Portia for the last 2 years running up and down in making a big difference in lives of children in the mathare slums of Ngong Kajiado County.The two have not gone weary at all,committed to their work and they have invested time and resources to make sure children and street boys have a bright future full of hope and better opportunities coming.
Recently,they did raise money for Living Positive Kenya where i work to build a new and permanent classroom for children.Ben and Portia have really impacted on the lives of many

1 Joe_41

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I recently had the pleasure of working with Ben and Portia of the Longonot Education Initiative from April 2013 until now and we are continuing our relationship. They work tirelessly on their education projects, raising money and directly giving it to registered organizations on the ground. I got to know them after they'd already built their first school, the namesake of the organization, at the base of Longonot Mountain in Kenya. Their second big project was raising money for Living Positive Kenya, the organization I'm currently working with. Partnering with them, we were successful in raising money to build a new classroom, 4 toilets, and a urinal. And we'll also be piping water into our pre-school compound. They killed themselves to meet the fundraising deadline so we were eligible for a matching grant and all of the donations to the project were doubled!

Ben is also now acting as project manager of the project for us, handling all the building approvals and working with the architect and builder.

I don't know what we'd do without him and Portia.

But their latest project is really something very awesome. I have a passion and background for the education of teenagers that have been given up on or left out by society. Ben and Portia and the rest of the LEI staff supporting them, decided to start the Ahadi Education Center in the slums of Ngong, supporting a local man whose dream it was to have a place for the street boys to come, learn, and transition back to school.

Not only did Ben and Portia raise money for the center, they also spend a few hours there every day making sure the boys get a meal, teaching the boys directly, and becoming role models for them. I was lucky enough to meet the boys one day and give a math lesson and it was an amazing experience. It was easy to see the rapport the LEI team has with the boys and how it's transforming them. They are all getting excited about learning and getting back to school.