Written by Katrina Kulik & Hannah Bain
Three Countries, Three Approaches, One Goal
With nearly 20 years of experience working with Kiberan community members as well as international students, professionals, and organizations, Carolina for Kibera (CFK) has developed a diverse group of dedicated donors and fundraisers. The creativity of our supporters inspires us every day, and we would not be able to do the work that we do without them. This year, in honor of the International Day of Charity, we are sharing the stories of three of our current fundraisers. From running one mile per day to writing a memoir to establishing and raising money for a program, each of these individuals has adopted a creative approach to fundraising. Though they are from three different countries, have independent goals, and use unique approaches, they share a similar drive to make a difference and increase their individual impacts. These individuals have found new ways to connect with their communities, having an impact on their network in addition to the Kibera community.
Run for Change: Beatrice Corio
One day, 14-year-old Beatrice found a bag of coins in her mother‘s car and wanted to donate it to a good cause. Since her mother worked with CFK co-founder Rye Barcott, Beatrice decided to learn more about the organization and eventually donated the money to CFK. Beatrice was impressed with CFK‘s mission and positive impact, especially within the Girls Empowerment Program (GEP). She believes that attending secondary schooling exponentially increases the opportunities for a girl’s future. Recognizing her privilege to attend a multicultural boarding school in the United States, she wanted to help someone who did not have the same advantages. In 2019, Beatrice raised $125 going door-to-door and collecting change for CFK‘s GEP.
Beatrice was eager to raise more funds in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic made going door-to-door for coin collection problematic. Instead, Beatrice, who does not classify herself as a runner, decided to commit to running one mile every day for a month. She set-up a Peer-to-Peer fundraising page and solicited sponsorship from family, friends, and local networks. Her goal was to raise $600 to provide a Kiberan girl with an opportunity to pursue secondary education through CFK’s Angaza Scholarship program. Beatrice was nervous about having a goal almost five times what she raised the previous year, but she met this goal in two days. At the conclusion of her fundraiser, Beatrice exceeded her goal by $208, allowing her to provide additional support to a Kiberan student.
Beatrice enjoyed the online platform vs. going door-to-door as it allowed her to reach a broader audience and involve family and friends from outside of her immediate community.
“The most enjoyable part of the fundraiser was observing the enormous generosity and surpassing my goal before officially starting to run,“ Beatrice said. The biggest challenge was staying motivated to run every day despite the conditions. “It has been a daily challenge, but I came to enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would,“ Beatrice said. While Beatrice took some time off after the fundraiser, she plans to continue running, just not every day. For anyone considering hosting a fundraiser, Beatrice said that “the most important aspect is to believe in the cause you are supporting. The result is more rewarding when you care and want to see it happen.“ Beatrice plans to host an annual fundraiser so that she can support the secondary education of a Kiberan student in its entirety.
Leave Only Footprints: Jaihind Sumal
Kenyan who has lived in England and Germany, Jaihind retired from a long career in engineering and currently resides in the United States. His parents, born in colonial Inda, were compelled by tragedy at a very young age to build a new life in Kenya. Jaihind was born in racially segregated Kenya, experiencing the injustice and cruelty of colonial rule and the pain of the Mau Mau rebellion fighting for Kenya‘s independence. Racial divisions in Kenya created challenges. “At the time, society in Kenya was split into three racial groups (Europeans, Asians, and Africans), as opposed to two in most other countries,“ Jaihind stated.
The generation of Kenyans born to Indian immigrants is now aging, and Jaihind wanted to capture this unique period of Kenyan history before it was forgotten with the passage of time. He started to compile information in preparation for writing a book. In 2019, he wrote he and his father’s memoir, Leave Only Footprints, detailing the lives of Indian Migrants in Kenya. The book captures personal stories as seen through the eyes of two generations of a family, in their historical context. While Jaihind left Kenya in 1968, he wanted to give back to the country where he grew up and to the people of Kenya who gave him a wonderful childhood that he will never forget. “To see them suffer in their own country was so painful, so I wanted to give back.“ Donating the proceeds of his book seemed the best way to do this. He was familiar with Kibera, and when he came across CFK, he believed that the organization best fit the needs of the community. Jaihind donates 100% of the proceeds from his book to CFK. Like Beatrice, he agrees that dedication to the cause is essential when conducting a fundraiser. “For me, it is a passion for the country and a desire to do something to address the suffering in that country,“ Jaihind said.
Jaihind’s book is available on Amazon.
Matura Project: Line Cottier
While traveling with her family, Line began noticing that girls in other countries were living a life different from her own in Switzerland. As a nine-year-old vising Kibera with her family, Line recalled seeing a young girl, barely twelve years old, carrying a baby on her back. At that moment, she decided something needed to be done about injustices facing girls around the world. Today, the 19-year–old’s biggest dream is for everyone to have equal chances, especially regarding education.
In Switzerland, students complete a Matura (capstone) project at the end of secondary school. After her experiences in other countries, Line knew she wanted to focus her project on gender equality. She began searching for implementation partners in Kibera, where she connected with CFK‘s Girls Empowerment Program (GEP). “[I] had only heard good things [about CFK],” Line said. “They were very professional, inspired, and motivated people. It was clear to me that the people who work there want to do something for a good cause. They are devoted to the mission.“ Working with CFK staff, Line began crafting a project proposal for fundraising. Her initial fundraising goal was 15,000 francs ($16,500) to cover the two-year project. Line began reaching out to family, her personal networks, foundations, and local civil and religious groups. She estimated it would take months to collect the money, but she reached her goal within three weeks. She used the extra time to solicit further funding. In the end, Line raised 35,000 francs ($38,500), which allowed her to scale up the project, reaching more students. “Fundraising was an amazing and gratifying experience,” Line reflected.
Line’s project extends the GEP to include male engagement strategies. “Half of the population and a large source of the problem are males, and they need to be a part of the discussion” Line stated. The male-centered programs not only address issues surrounding gender equality but also drugs, HIV, and reproductive health. The program began in the Spring of 2018, and the pilot was expected to last for two years. CFK staff operates the program in Kibera and Line conducts regular progress and fund allocation check-ins. Her favorite part of the process was visiting Kenya and seeing the enthusiasm surrounding the project from both student beneficiaries and staff. As a result of the COVID-19 disruption, Line collected additional funds to support CFK’s COVID-19 response. Long-term, Line hopes the program will continue to expand to more schools in Kibera. Inspired by the success in Kenya, Line also wants to implement similar programming in Switzerland. Despite the success of the project, the process presented many challenges. Due to the distance, it was hard to stay on top of program implementation.
“I usually tried to organize Skype interviews to discuss the project, but we often had technical issues.” Line said. “Sometimes it was also difficult for us to understand one another because of our different accents. As a 17-year-old, at that time, running a project of this scale was a whole new thing for me.”
For anyone who is considering organizing a fundraiser, Line had a few recommendations. “Never give up,” she said. “It can be tough but remind yourself why you are doing this. By conveying the passion and energy I put into the project and cause, this helped me to inspire people and secure the necessary funding.”
There are many opportunities to support CFK. Through a single donation, monthly giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, a productive partnership, company gift matching, or an original fundraising idea, you have the ability to make a difference. No amount is too little – $5 can purchase pads, sanitary tissues, panties, and WASH supplies such as soap, $10 per month can help teenage mothers re-enroll in school, and $25 per month supports feeding programs and immunizations for severely malnourished children under five.
Interested in launching a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or want to share an idea for a partnership or fundraiser? We are an organization built on relationships, and we enjoy engaging with our supporters in new and innovative ways. Send us an email at email@example.com or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.