The beginnings of this foundation began as Paul and Marty Sheppard ventured into Kenya as a part of a mission team from the First United Methodist Church of Durango, Colorado to investigate the possibility of a partnership with an orphanage that assisted children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Many, of whom, were themselves HIV+.
On subsequent mission trips, along with Bryan, Shelley and two of our grandsons, we traveled to other areas of rural Kenya. It became obvious to us that many vulnerable persons that we came in contact with exhibited no hope of a better life on this earth. Many areas had no access to clean drinking water and many of the people suffered from water borne diseases caused by the contaminated water they used for drinking and cooking. There was an observed lack of proper education and vocational training (public education is not free in Kenya). It has been reported that Kenya has an unemployment rate of around 40% and that 43% live below the poverty level of $1.25 US dollars per day. We noted there was a lack of funding for training and startup costs for sustainable family money making opportunities.
Our family has become committed to attempt to improve the opportunities for many of the widows, orphans and vulnerable persons that we came in contact with. We felt the need to form a nonprofit (501c3) organization to be able to effectively focus on those observed problem areas and to instill an attitude of hope for those persons as they worked to improve their well-being.
Board of Directors