An Organization Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Kenyan Children and the youth

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Bridges of Hope and Empowerment International Story

Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative was founded in 2016 by Dr. Karen Maria Lyons as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on bringing hope and value to Kenya through equipping, encouraging, and empowering the less privileged. Bridges of Hope and Empowerment Initiative accomplishes this by working through churches and partnering with community organizations and individuals.

We also provide education, life-skills training, seminars, conferences, and other community health initiatives, HIV/AIDS, malaria (and other illnesses from drinking unclean water) prevention, testing and counseling, care for orphans, vulnerable children and adults in Kenya. Dr. Karen Lyons and her husband, Dr. Ralph Lyons, set out on a safari in Kenya in 2012 where they visited Amboseli and Masaai Mara National parks.

But her love to see and meet a community of people from different cultures and especially a kindergarten ignited special a passion and love for education, poverty alleviation, and community empowerment.

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Our Vision

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

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Mission

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

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Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Professionalism
  • Impact

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 children.
  • Create a business hub targeting youth and women.
  • Educate youth on the effects of drug abuse.
  • Create employment through sewing, computer skills, and teaching people how to plant gardens.

BOHEI

LOGO

What We Have Done in 2018

May September October November December May

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. September

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. October

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. November

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. December

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. May September October November December May

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. September

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. October

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. November

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. December

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

January February March April September October November December January

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. February

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. March

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. April

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. September

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. October

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. November

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. December

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. January February March April September October November December January

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. February

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. March

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. April

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. September

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. October

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. November

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. December

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 Have Done in 2020

The year 2020 was tough due to the corona virus pandemic. just like any country in the world, Kenya was hit badly economically and this led to job cuts, schools shut down as well as lock down. it was really tough for families living in Kahawa west and the surrounding areas where Bridges Of Hope and Empowerment operates.

Bridges Of Home and Empowerment participated after a call from the government in fight against the spread of Corona Virus and food relief to the most affected families. Throughout the year Bohei Donated food items, Hand sanitizer, hand washing spots, protective face masks and creating awareness in Kahawa west.

USA Team

Karen

Dr. Karen Lyons

Founder and CEO Dr. Karen Lyons has been in ministry since 1999 and is presently Senior Pastor at Clarkston UMC in Clarkston, GA, considered the most culturally diverse per square mile in the county with over 64 languages. Her previous experience includes being an assistant vice president in banking, working as a chaplain at Southern Regional Hospital and Grady Hospital, and Metro State Prison. Karen is President/Founder of Bridges of Hope and Empowerment International an Atlanta-based nonprofit with four local leaders(staff) in Kenya. The organization is incorporated by the IRS as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization in Georgia as 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

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 seventh 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.

Zoe-1

Zoe Zellers

Board Member Envision and execute content marketing and social media strategy for the architectural division of the world`s largest publicly held manufacturer of window coverings by revenue. Strategically develop stories behind brand and thematic advocacy-based issues to expand social media engagement and audience; introduce tools including Facebook Live; increase cadence to boost traffic to the website; create ads Identify key partnership opportunities with major cultural and art institutions, media publications, and professional organizations to effectively engage with target audience of emerging architects. Pitch sponsorship opportunities and directly work with the corporate marketing director to negotiate contracts, oversee content development plan around high-profile industry events. Support PR team in developing and editing case studies and editorial features to promote global large-scale commercial sectors; identify and coordinate contracts with third-party consultants. Travel to shoot and produce 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

USA Advisory Member

Loura

Dr. Laura Lockett

Darlene

Darlene Bulgar

Janava

Janava Benton

Kenya Team

John Chahale

Director-1

Executive Director John Ndalegwa Chahale is a self-motivated individual who passionately loves what he does and is an impactful leader in the community. He was raised up in a family of six, raised by a widow after his father died while they were still young. He has worked with various community groups focusing on poverty alleviation and developing self-sustainability, He has also worked with the youth in the slums and brought about an initiative known as BADILISHA LIFE (Transform a Life). He is a Motivational Speaker and a mentor to young people. He is currently the Executive Director of Bridges of Hope and Empowerment International, Inc.

Agnes

Agnes Muoti

Accountant Agnes joined Bridges of Hope and Empowerment as full-time finance director. She is acting as human resource. Agnes is an accountant by profession. She holds an ATD certificate in accounting. She has worked in various organizations as a full-time employee. Also, she holds a certificate in information technology. She has a passion for mentoring young mothers and children.