An Organization Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Kenyan Children

A group of children in red uniforms standing next to each other.

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.

A red and white icon of an arrow in the center of a target.

Our Vision

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

A white piggy bank with a dollar sign on it.


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

A white hand holding something in front of another hand.

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.


A red bridge with the words bridges of hope and empowerment on it.

Please visit Us on Facebook at Boheiorg

USA Team

A woman with long hair wearing a purple jacket.

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.
A man with glasses and a bow tie.

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.
A woman in leopard print shirt smiling for the camera.

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.

USA Advisory Board Members

A woman with long hair and pearls in front of a wall.

Dr. Laura Lockett

A woman with short hair wearing a black and white shirt.

Darlene Bulgar

A woman with dreadlocks wearing a pink blanket.

Janava Benton


Rev. Paul Matheri

Rev. Brown Muendo Ngula

Board Members in the USA and in Kenya are strategically planning for greater impact and stronger partnerships for 2023 and beyond for

KENYA OFFICE LINE: +254-722-168-7107