This fall, the Pennington-based Hopewell-Keroka Alliance (HKA), an international non-profit organization, will celebrate its 10th anniversary of serving several small contiguous villages in southwestern Kenya in East Africa. As a all-volunteer nonprofit, HKA seeks to build a cultural and humanitarian bridge between Hopewell Valley, NJ, and the Keroka area of southwestern Kenya in East Africa.
In its first 10 years, HKA has raised almost $170,000, in the United States, to fund a variety of health, education, and infrastructure-improvement projects, such as a roadway and tea-buying center, within greater Keroka’s rolling, tea-growing, 10,000-resident Nyankoba Ward. In total as of today, HKA has funded the upgrading of five miles of dirt tracks to 16-foot-wide, all-weather, stone-surfaced roads, with culverts and drainage.
Other HKA improvements over the past decade include:
- The recent drilling of a first deep borehole to provide easier community access to water (On-the-ground research, funded by Georgetown University in Washington, DC, during Summer 2016, showed that local families currently spend an average four hours each day collecting water, even longer during the dry season);
- Assisting with the construction and equipping of the area’s first two health-care centers;
- Facilitating electrical connection, wiring and lighting in 10 schools, the two health-care centers and tea-buying center;
- Installing rooftop rainwater-collection tanks atop school and community buildings as on-site water sources;
- Supplying educational or scientific equipment, textbooks and sports supplies to local schools;
- Planting trees; and
- Providing 5,000 mosquito bed nets for home use at nighttime, dramatically decreasing the area’s incidence of malaria.
HKA will be hosting its 10th-anniversary gala, “A Harvest of Hope: Hand in Hand, Together, These Past 10 Years,” at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association on Saturday, October 21, with the goal of raising $15,000 that night to install computer labs (with Internet access) in village schools, develop soccer fields for players of all ages, and upgrade remaining roads to connect all villages in the community, among other anticipated community-empowerment projects. The gala will be an environmentally friendly event. For more information on HKA projects or to purchase tickets online for the October 21 gala, check out their website: www.hkalliance.org.