On Thursday April 16th, a group of local students, parents, business leaders and community activists traveled to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC for a private meeting with Kenyan Ambassador Robinson Njeru Githae.
In part led by Dr. David Angwenyi, Hopewell Valley Central High School science teacher and founder of Global Connections Kenya, and Ellyn Ito, founder of Hopewell-based Seeds to Sew International, the purpose of the meeting was to share with the Ambassador the many initiatives under way, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that support Kenyan interests and to present a formal invitation to the Ambassador to visit Hopewell later in the spring.
Dr. Angwenyi, a Kenyan native, founded Global Connections Kenya with the idea of bridging communities in America with communities in Kenya to enhance understanding and develop life-long relationships. Dr. Angwenyi, who also co-founded Hopewell-Keroka Alliance, has led four service-oriented trips to Kenya over the past 7 years, which included students and faculty from Hopewell Valley High School. It was this experience that inspired his vision for Global Connections Kenya.
“Seeing the impact first hand on what the trip did for some of our young people was monumental” said Dr. Angwenyi. “It changed their lives and it changed the lives of the people in the communities that we performed services in. I know that if we can connect people at a young age with people in different cultures, that the world will be a nicer place.”
Ellyn Ito, from Seeds to Sew International, gave a presentation and applauded Dr. Angwenyi’s vision for Global Connections Kenya and the realization of his vision in the combined efforts from students, community members, business leaders, non-profit volunteers and educators.
Hopewell Valley Central High School student, Deborah Keen, founder of Keen4Kids, a non-profit dedicated to serving youth in Kenya suffering from HIV, extended a formal invitation for Ambassador Githae to come to the launch of the Kenya House in Pennington in May, and learn first-hand of the many groups who are supporting Kenyan initiatives. His Excellency Ambassador Githae enthusiastically accepted the invitation, and planning for his visit is currently underway.
Through the collaborative efforts of Sutinder and Nirpal Dhanjal and Dr. Angweny, the Dhanjals will open up their Pennington home for guests to experience a slice of Kenya. Visitors to the Kenya House will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Kenyan culture by sampling Kenyan cuisine, hearing the Swahili language spoken, listening to Kenyan music, and socializing in a modern-style Kenyan home. A donation will be requested per person, of which a portion will directly go to helping Kenyan families in need. The launch will be on May 23rd.
See http://www.globalconnectionskenya.org/ for more information about the Kenya House and the Global Connections Kenya organization.