The Beginnings of the Harambee Aquaponics Project

Harambee USA is involved in trying to establish a sustainable economic system for the center in Kenya with the new Aquaponics project.

“The pilot program of this project is to install a fully-functioning aquaponics system at Harambee Youth Kenya. Aquaponics is a recirculating system that connects hydroponic grow beds with a fishery in order to replicate a miniature ecological system as an agricultural method. The project utilizes reused materials to build the system’s structure and uses a finite amount of water and low amount of energy to run the system–making it environmentally sustainable and ideal for the conditions of East Africa.”

These and other projects exist in progress to seek out ways to fund an affordable and economically viable shelter for the boys of Harambee USA that doesn’t rely on unstable European and American donation. True change has to happen locally for it to stick, and projects imposed from above often hurt rather than help developing economies. With these and other self-sustaining projects, hopefully solutions can be found for the continuing problem of alleviating poverty without overstepping natural growth and domestic solutions.


Have some change in your life

Harambee USA, supporting the high school education of a group of orphaned boys in Kenya, as well as an ass-kicking girls soccer team in Kenya, is having a guessing contest for a pretty massive jar of coins that was donated. Guess the amount in the jar by February 29 and win $50-$100. (All guesses must be in American dollars for accuracy.)

Take a stab at it and check out the site while you’re there.

Why not? We could all use a little change in our lives.

Putting a family of boys through highschool in Kenya

I have been fundraising for a orphanage/center for boys in Dagoretti, Kenya called “Harambee” for the past five years.  I’ve had the privilege to travel to Kenya several times and come to know and love the boys at the center through my time there. These boys have no families, or families that cannot support them. The current objectives are simply to put them through high school and allow them a possibility for a future not on the streets, with an education that affords them opportunities to work and support themselves. Through the boys’ years at the center they have become a family who support one another and have grown up together.

We are currently accepting international donors to support the boys, with full transparency on the website. We are also selling “HOPE” t-shirts for $20 each with all proceeds going directly to the boys. They’re pretty fabulous and made of the soft American Apparel material rather than typical lower quality cotton t-shirts. Add one to your gym wardrobe?

From our organization’s website: “Harambee USA, Inc. is a group of caring individuals pulling together to support disadvantaged youth and communities in Kenya. Currently we support a family of former street boys and help sponsor a girls soccer team in Nairobi. Please join with us and help see to it that these kids graduate from high school!”

“The Soccer Queens”

Having traveled to Kenya for the past two summers to roam around the country and spend time with the boys of Harambee USA, I feel deeply connected to the place and the people there.

My friend, Mark Orrs, a PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, recorded this video on his iPhone the last time we were in Kenya together. It’s a simple video of girls playing soccer in Africa. But the thing is, it’s girls playing soccer in Africa — and girls doing such a simple thing usually only reserved for boys and men shows in just a few minutes the great strides forward that Kenya is taking. Very proud and honored to be a friend of both Mark Orrs and Amos Kimani, the coach of “The Soccer Queens.”

the human heart in conflict with itself

“The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about. He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed–love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.” — William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech

… enough said.