An Organization Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Kenyan Children

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Bridges of Hope and Empowerment International Story

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative was founded in 2016 by Dr. Karen Lyons as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, focused on bringing hope and value to vulnerable children in Kenya through education. The mission to to embrace, equip and empower the less privileged. Bridges of Hope and Empowerment accomplishes this by working with individuals, churches and partnering with community organizations in The United States and Kenya.

We also provide education, life-skills training, seminars, conferences, and other community health initiatives, prevention of  illnesses from drinking unclean water, and counseling to orphans, vulnerable children and their families. Dr. Karen Lyons and her husband, Dr. Ralph Lyons, set out on their first safari in Kenya in 2012 where they visited Amboseli, Samburu and Masaai Mara National parks.

Their love of meeting people and learning about diverse cultures lead them to visit a village in Maasi Land and especially a school with children. This visit ignited a special passion and love for children in Kenya, resulting in a life long commitment to providing education, poverty alleviation, and community empowerment in Kenya.

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Our Vision

Achieve united and healthy communities through education, life skills training, feeding programs, and community partnerships, leading to self-sustainability.

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Mission

To embrace, equip, and empower vulnerable people in Kenya through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education, and employment.

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Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Professionalism
  • Courage and Committment

Our Goals

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative aims to achieve various goals. These goals will help the organization create a society-based empowerment forum where we are planning to:

  • Eliminate dependency.
  • Support education for orphans and vulnerable children, ages 10-17.
  • Create a business hub targeting familes of children we sponsor.
  • Educate families on safety regulations related to Covid-19 and other diseases.
  • Provide uniforms, school supplies, school fees and food as able.

BOHEI

LOGO

What We Have Done in 2018

We launched Seed of Smile program. This program targets several communities where we train members of using limited land and plant a lot of crops. This is mostly by using used plastics bottles and also filling bags with soil.

On 10 September 2018, President of Bridges of Hope and Empowerment, Dr. Karen Lyons together with Dr. Laura Lockett, Minister Janava Benton, and Minister Darlene Bulgar officially opened the center, offering beauty and computer classes.

We visited Kiwanja Primary school where we conducted guidance and counseling to class 8 students. We realized there was a need to mentor those students spiritually since they come from very humble families. That spiritual knowledge will help them prepare well for their final examination.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment held its first graduation. 52 students graduated from our center. They gained skills to enable them to create jobs and lead self-dependency and life sustainability.

We visited Bethsaida orphanage and donated Christmas gifts. We played with the children and also gave them learning materials to prepare them for the term one school opening.

We launched Seed of Smile program. This program targets several communities where we train members of using limited land and plant a lot of crops. This is mostly by using used plastics bottles and also filling bags with soil.

On 10 September 2018, President of Bridges of Hope and Empowerment, Dr. Karen Lyons together with Dr. Laura Lockett, Minister Janava Benton, and Minister Darlene Bulgar officially opened the center, offering beauty and computer classes.

We visited Kiwanja Primary school where we conducted guidance and counseling to class 8 students. We realized there was a need to mentor those students spiritually since they come from very humble families. That spiritual knowledge will help them prepare well for their final examination.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment held its first graduation. 52 students graduated from our center. They gained skills to enable them to create jobs and lead self-dependency and life sustainability.

We visited Bethsaida orphanage and donated Christmas gifts. We played with the children and also gave them learning materials to prepare them for the term one school opening.

What We Have Done in 2019

We conducted a survey of our previous students who graduated from our center. We are happy to know a good number from both beauty and computer class is doing well in their fields. Some have started their own business hence creating employment for many.

We visited Kiwanja Primary school where we conducted guidance and counseling to class 8 students. We realized there was a need to mentor those students spiritually since they come from very humble families. That spiritual knowledge will help them prepare well for their final examination.

We partnered with the community members and constructed a chicken coop. This coop will be used to rear over 100 chickens. These will lead to the sustainability of all members of the community.

On 5th April, Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative conducted its second graduation. 76 students graduated from our center. They gained skills to enable them to create jobs and lead to self-dependency and life sustainability.

Launched the Naningo farmers' cooperative society. This society was formed by a group of Maasai women. They united together with the purpose of starting a milk processing plant. We were also able to give school uniforms donated by Morrow First UMC to 63 children and provided 120 school supply kits. Dr. Karen launched the first-ever computer class in Olmaa, Maasai land.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment under the transformation agenda of restoring hope to many children in Kenya visited Bethsaida and donated rice, flour, sugar, and biscuits. We always don`t forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment continued to embrace and equip youths from Olmaa, Maasai land with computer skills. To fully make sure the students have the latest IT knowledge, we decided to offer digital skills and introduce them basic entrepreneur skills. Some of the skills learned were time management, efficiency, communication, networking, and strategic thinking. These skills will build their career and lead to social transformation.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment continued to embrace and equip youths from Olmaa, Maasai land with computer skills. Most of them completed the course successfully.

We conducted a survey of our previous students who graduated from our center. We are happy to know a good number from both beauty and computer class is doing well in their fields. Some have started their own business hence creating employment for many.

We visited Kiwanja Primary school where we conducted guidance and counseling to class 8 students. We realized there was a need to mentor those students spiritually since they come from very humble families. That spiritual knowledge will help them prepare well for their final examination.

We partnered with the community members and constructed a chicken coop. This coop will be used to rear over 100 chickens. These will lead to the sustainability of all members of the community.

On 5th April, Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative conducted its second graduation. 76 students graduated from our center. They gained skills to enable them to create jobs and lead to self-dependency and life sustainability.

Launched the Naningo farmers' cooperative society. This society was formed by a group of Maasai women. They united together with the purpose of starting a milk processing plant. We were also able to give school uniforms donated by Morrow First UMC to 63 children and provided 120 school supply kits. Dr. Karen launched the first-ever computer class in Olmaa, Maasai land.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment under the transformation agenda of restoring hope to many children in Kenya visited Bethsaida and donated rice, flour, sugar, and biscuits. We always don`t forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment continued to embrace and equip youths from Olmaa, Maasai land with computer skills. To fully make sure the students have the latest IT knowledge, we decided to offer digital skills and introduce them basic entrepreneur skills. Some of the skills learned were time management, efficiency, communication, networking, and strategic thinking. These skills will build their career and lead to social transformation.

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment continued to embrace and equip youths from Olmaa, Maasai land with computer skills. Most of them completed the course successfully.

What We Do.  Please View Our Newletters and facebook page at boheiorg. 

USA Team

Karen

Dr. Karen Lyons

Founder and CEO
Dr. Karen Lyons has been in ministry since 1999 and is presently Senior Pastor of Morrow First UMC in Morrow, GA. Her previous experience includes being an Assistant Vice President in banking, working as a Chaplain at Southern Regional Hospital, Grady Hospital, and Metro State Prison in Georgia. Dr. Karen is President/Founder of Bridges of Hope and Empowerment International, an Atlanta-based nonprofit with a team and board members in the USA and  Kenya. The organization is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization in Georgia and a registered Community-Based Organization (CBO) in Kenya. BOHEI is dedicated to providing programs that emphasize education, reduce malnutrition and diseases, and promote community empowerment and sustainability.
Lyon

Dr. Ralph Lyons

Co-Founder and Board Member
Dr. Lyons earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he graduated cum laude. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he completed both an internship and residency at Emory University affiliated hospitals in Atlanta. Before completing his fellowship in digestive diseases (gastroenterology) at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Dr. Lyons served for two years with the Public Health Service at Southside Healthcare in Morrow, Georgia. In 1989, Dr. Lyons joined Atlanta South Gastroenterology—a private practice in Riverdale, Georgia. For the tenth consecutive year, he was voted by a committee of his peers to Atlanta magazine`s 2017 "Top Doctors" guide—a list of top physicians in the metro area. Dr. Lyons and the providers of Atlanta South Gastroenterology joined Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates in 2016.
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Zoe Zellers

Board Member
Zoe's gifts are in envisioning and executing content marketing and social media strategy for the architectural division of the world`s largest publicly held manufacturer of window coverings by revenue. She strategically develops stories behind brand and thematic advocacy-based issues to expand social media engagement and audience; introduces tools including Facebook Live; increases cadence to boost traffic to the website; creates ads to identify key partnership opportunities with major cultural and art institutions, media publications, and professional organizations to effectively engage with target audience of emerging architects. She supports the PR team in developing and editing case studies and editorial features to promote global large-scale commercial sectors and identifies and coordinates contracts with third-party consultants. She has produced original interviews and live event coverage including Michelle Obama’s debut appearance since leaving the White House, Northside Innovation conference, and New York Times Cities for Tomorrow conference.
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Carolyn Upshur

                                             Board Member                                               Carolyn is enjoying retirement. She was a top in her field as a collection agent and also was very instrumental is forming focus groups on how to manage your finances and plan for retirement. 

USA Advisory Board Members

Loura

Dr. Laura Lockett

Darlene

Darlene Bulgar

Janava

Janava Benton

                                            KENYA BOARD MEMBERS                                                                    Board Members in the USA and in Kenya are strategically planning for greater impact and stronger partnerships for 2022 and beyond.