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Preface to Peter
Peter is one of our SCHAP Employees on the ground in Matoso. He is from there and as a SCHAP employee frequently sends updates and pictures on how the projects are going.
I have not yet actually met Peter so I may be the wrong person to be writing this introduction. BUT I can say with full certainly, knowing that no one will disagree; Peter is amazing. He is pleasant and lovely every time we write. He always wants to know what I have going on as well, and if I dont have the chance to respond right away I can always count on the genuinely concerned “Why are you so quite?” email.
Here is an update he sent recently and thought it was worth sharing in HIS words. I did not edit this at all. His English is very impressive, and his passion comes through, even when simply creating a list….I also enjoyed his bit at the end regarding the Kevin/Cory mashup.
Here are some of the positive impacts of the school has brought:
1 The school has create employment to the community members e.g teachers, security officials and many more will be employed as time goes by
2 Quality education, the school has really play great role by enhancing quality education to the pupils since last time some parent could take their pupils out of community to far towns in search of best schools
3 Generally the school has also promoted 3 skills that is reading, writing, etc to the young kids so now some of them can now read and write compare to olden days whereby a child can be taken to grade one without going to other classes.
4 Long distance’ the school has also reduce long distance walk to some kids .Some parents could send their kids to far place for education but now our school has reduce the cost of far distances
5 The structure i mean building classrooms and our computer center has really impress some parents to love our school so much.
Kevin is really resembling Cory everywhere he goes people confused him with Cory he is a cool guy i have ever met
Talk to you soon
(Peter and students in front of the school that SCHAP built this past summer)
My name is Ken Okuku.
I met Cory during his first trip in 2009. I am currently working as a security guard and plan to be a computer teacher once I have had training.
Today we went to Got-Kachola to have sanitation teachings with Domtila, Kevin, and everything was successful. We taught about clean water, open defecation, latrines, digging of some temporarily toilets, collections of poly-thin bags and burning them, and digging a hole for sukuma-wiki stock to be kept.
We also talk about how flies get to our food that we eat and how it brings diseases. There was some of the challenges they had before like not enough latrines for the population within the beach, lack of fish because there is over fishing, fishing technology, fishermen did not know how to swim and do not have proper life jackets though tire tubes can help them swim.
So the teachings were good and they appreciated and told us that we should go pay them a visit next time again in July. We also enjoyed walking with Kevin and I try to teach him some luo language like maembe ,dero, ot rech, kuon etc. We ate maembe today at peter’s uncle place.
Well, surprisingly enough this is my first blog post I’ve ever written about how I got involved with SCHAP. So, I’ll start off by giving you some background on why I became so passionately involved.
Immediately following Corys first trip to Africa, I was introduced to the concept and vision of SCHAP. Cory told me about a community he stayed with while he was in Kenya, called Matoso and explained that he definitely planned to start an organization that would not only assist the people there, but similar communities existing around the world. I remember listening to his ideas and trying to fully grasp his mission while he showed me photos and told me stories of his new friends. I remember looking at the photos and almost immediately I was pulled outside of my ‘bubble’.
Growing up I was fortunate enough to travel to various places around the world. I had seen poverty first hand, but overtime I forgot those experiences and had comfortably moved on to follow my personal ambitions like college aged kids do. Cory then went on to explain a few things that sunk in and I’ll never forget, he said, ‘You don’t need to have a masters degree or a PhD to help others. All you need is the motivation to learn, teach, and train others in sustainable concepts and the willingness to get your hands dirty.’ He went on to explain that the ideas he planned to bring back to Matoso wouldn’t require big money or big connections. These ideas were just basic concepts. He explained that anyone could help the poor if they only provided training, not handouts. I remember that was all I had to hear. Regardless of the many pieces of his vision I didn’t quite understand yet… I knew that I was going to be a part of this movement.
Immediately I told Cory ‘I’m in’ and to no surprise, for anyone who knows Cory… you know exactly what came next. Priority #1! Cory told me the first thing we had to do was build a website with the help of whoever, and however, but it definitely needed to happen quickly. He was anxious to start spreading the word and he knew that without a website to send people to, it would be hard to share the stories and of course the pictures with friends and family. Although at this point, Cory and I were new friends, I almost thought he was kidding…’What do you mean, who could help us build a website?’ Um, me! Coincidentally enough, part of what I did for a living was just that and I told him I definitely could put up a site no problem. Needless to say we were both anxious and, looking back now, we were naively excited about the work we had cut out for us. All I will say is, legalizing your vision to start a non-profit is far from easy. Regardless, it was an amazing journey and I have learned so much.
I have truly found my passion. There isn’t anything in this world that brings me greater satisfaction than doing the work we do to ‘empower the capable.’ The first year, was tough. But it was fun to push myself to the limits and I was really surprised by my own capacity, as Cory and I both made the necessary sacrifices to establish SCHAP. Those sacrifices were completely worth it, but with each step I remember it being a big leap of faith. Those leaps of faith brought in miracles you wouldn’t believe. I have had no doubt that SCHAP was suppose to happen, when it happened and that we are doing important work. We are training highly capable individuals both here in the United States, as well as people in developing communities. Which as a result those trained individuals are now training others. Helping to improve their lives and the lives of others dramatically.
We are at the forefront of a foreign aid revolution. Where individuals who want to get involved in this humanitarian work, can and they can do this without having to go through the lengthly process that Cory, myself and our team did. You don’t need to start your own nonprofit, figure out the process of making it legal and official, mobilize a bunch of people and so on. You have SCHAP. I’ve heard so many people say, ‘One day I’d love to get involved in humanitarian work’ or even, ‘I’d like to start my own nonprofit’. We believe SCHAP is the outlet you are looking for. Not requiring that you’re financially secure or already retired. You can get involved now. You can empower yourself and maximize your abilities and we need your help in order to fight this fight and eliminate poverty.
I’m excited! Everyone here at SCHAP is excited! We are watching the World for the first time pay attention to the issues and lives that need our support most. I encourage you to get involved and join us. I can tell you there’s never been a better time in your life than right now.
Until next time,
As SCHAP was conceived and came into existence we have accurately joked that we have been in perpetual crisis management mode. We have been rushing, scrambling, scrapping by, pushing past barriers with sheer force and determination. In retrospect, I would not change any of those experiences for the world, as they have shaped us as individuals as well as forged us together as an organization.
It is exciting, however, to feel like that constant exertion has paid off and we have built a non-profit that EXISTS! We no longer need to trudge through the daily survival oriented tasks that were once needed to stay afloat. We have departments, systems leaders, teammates and interns who all do an awesome job to keep wind in the sales. It gives us founders and leaders more energy to slow down; to take a deep breath. To look around and make sure that we are heading in the direction that we feel will ensure our success and maximize our impact for good in the world.
I read over a story recently of a man looking at some pictures of firefighters walking up to the towers on 9/11 and asked, “Why are they walking and not running?” The answer was profound and connected to me deeply. ”The time gained by hurrying is less valuable than the perspective gained by proceeding methodically.”
Another quote that I personally heard in my own life was, “Often times we think… ‘Don’t just sit there… do something!’… but we will often be served by prescribing to the following advice… Don’t just do something… sit there!”
We are ready to take our efforts and organization to the next level. We have brought together influential board members, creating long term systems and solutions to some of our challenges. Challenges like branding, and making substantial investments in our own people to ensure that they have the skills necessary to help navigate the challenges that lie ahead. I am confident in our trajectory and know that it will bring us to exactly where we are meant to be. Thanks for reading and following our journey. All the best!
As an International Development Studies Major at UCLA, I, like many of my fellow students felt compelled to “do” something. To reach out to the Developing World. I wanted to assist the “missing middle”, to find out why Africa had been “left behind” in the globalization race and “fix” it. “Do Soemthing” was the mantra. I got lost.
I got lost in the romantic notion of “saving the world”. I couldn’t find an organization that fit; The NGO that I felt…”made the most sense” is the only way I can think to put it right now… Sure they were all very romantic. Big pictures of doe eyed children laughing b.c they had running water, women holding their babies under mosquito nets…a school being built…but what next? What happens after these organizations are done handing things out? What is really left? Who is running the school? Who is making sure that the water is clean at the source? Who makes sure that the people are using the nets effectively (like…with a bed…and not as inefficient, counter productive fishing nets)? Were skills acquired to perpetuate and carry on future growth and genuine long lasting poverty alleviation?…Im not going to say “no” as a definite. I do not really know. As an outsider looking in…well I just don’t see how they could. But they all seem to have a “wow” factor. A way to sum themselves up in a sentence…and that can catch people’s attention giving them something tangible to participate in…please do not get me wrong. A lot do really great work, giving invaluable aid communities and individuals and the people who participate are wonderful. Im not being an NGO hater or a cynic…they just did not seem to do enough…
Then I was introduced to SCHAP by my good friend Shaun (Admin Director extrodinar). And it clicked in a second. I met with Cory and Jess and literally, not to sound cheeseball city, but I knew this was the organization I had been looking. SCHAP takes a comprehensive approach. It wasnt JUST sanitation. I wasnt JUST health. It wasnt JUST microloans for small businesses. It wasnt JUST primary education. It wasnt JUST agricultural development. They assess. Multiple development Initiatives are carefully planned and catered to a communities needs. There are no handouts given. There are skills taught and rewards earned. There is review and consideration. People and communities are given tools to EMPOWER THEMSELVES. …Wait…what? You mean…help them help themselves and those around them? No duh, right? SO obvious.
There is no one way to describe SCHAP. There is no “wow” factor, or catch phrase. You cannot describe the development initiatives or what SCHAP does in one sentence to draw people in…and I love that. It says so much about the organizations character and mission. It says that “yes, there is no easy answer, and we are not afraid to take on the hard task of facilitating real change.”
I get to be a part of this team. To learn daily how to better myself as a person. Because SCHAP doesn’t only go into developing communities. It trains aspiring philanthropists in the developed world, giving them the skills as well to go out and do their own work and perpetuate the cycle of poverty alleviation…again…such a “no duh” moment for me. So obviously what should be done, but never have I come across a group that actually does this…
Im gushing. I know. I just love my work with SCHAP. Daily, interacting with people whose drive does not come from any sort of monetary compensation, just the desire to make the world…I don’t know…more whole I suppose…a community…brings the cheeeese out in me. And I do not mind at all.
Howdy folks out there.
Kevin the Outreach Coordinator here.
I’m also soon to also be “Kevin the Community Development Facilitator”!
So it’s been a big week for me. We had a SCHAP Thanksgiving on Sunday since I’ll be in Kenya for Thanksgiving, so it was good to get one in. Pretty awesome all around. If you missed it, mark you calendars for next year. Monday was my last day at my old job. So after six plus years in the Marines I had my last day. I loved my job but I was ready to do something different.
The good news, is that I found the perfect something new to get right into. I just finished packing my bags for Matoso, West Kadem and Uganda. I didn’t think it would all fit at first, but all the important stuff made it. If you see Jess, tell her I’m not taking any cameras.
Wish me luck and start checking the www.schapontheground.tumblr.com blog soon for the good updates!!!
Outreach Coordinator AND Community Development Facilitator
Serious Travel Preparation
Since September, I have filled a void in SCHAP that was much needed at SCHAP. Cory and Jessica couldn’t think of another person with the skills, organization and patience to take on the monstrous task that is Administration!!
I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the most glamorous job in the organization, but I recognized that it is the most important and is the “glue” that keeps SCHAP alive. By stepping up to the plate, I feel that I have found my calling within the non-profit sector: Management of a Non-Profit! What better way to learn the ropes than to start from scratch! From learning about laws and liability to insurance and taxes, getting to know the in’s and out’s of a nonprofit seems really fun to me.
Currently, I am knee-deep in financial reports, department budgets, and non-profit management research, not to mention, taxes are right around the corner as well as getting the organization, our teammates, interns and traveling volunteers organized for the upcoming summer project in July / August! Also, I am helping to prep for the upcoming Board meeting with our new Board members and welcoming them to SCHAP.
The “to-do” list is constantly growing and I have a great group of teammates and interns in my department! Thanks to Holly, Brenda, Karen, & Carl!
SUPER Admin. Director
Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the future of SCHAP. When one looks to where they are going, it is difficult not to reflect on where they have been. As a founding board member of SCHAP, I have had the privilege of seeing the organization go through many stages. I couldn’t be more proud of what SCHAP has become up to this point and can see so many great things to come in the future.
Two years ago, I was working on my master’s degree in physics at SDSU. I had talked to Cory about his trip to Africa and he invited me to hear more about his plan to start a nonprofit, which would involve community development work in villages like the ones he had visited. I felt like what he a was telling me exactly what I was looking for to fill the missing part of my life. A week later I stayed up with him, Jessica and Lindsay until 3 in the morning (on a school night!!) working on the paperwork to make it SCHAP all legal and official. I was then able to go to Matoso in August of 2009 and meet the people we had been working so hard to help. It was an amazing experience and I absolutely fell in love with the members of the community that we worked and lived so closely with in Matoso. After our return, we continued to work hard, receiving so much support from our friends, family and strangers. I have met so many wonderful friends, some of which were able to return to Matoso this past summer and expand on the development we had begun.
Currently, I am able to work in the Fundraising Department and excited about the success in the NetSquared competition. I look forward to further successes and the many adventures happen when you are apart of the SCHAP team!
“My Journey Began on Craigslist”
I know sounds sketchy right? … But is was a click that will forever change my life!
In January of this year, I came across a Craigslist ad, “Become a Global Citizen.” Immediately it caught my attention. So I answered the ad and emailed the contact. Volunteer Coordinator Kristen contacted me and I went to my FIRST SCHAP meeting at teammate Nichelle’s apartment in La Jolla. There, I was introduced to SCHAP teammates, what SCHAP is about, the project trip in 2009 to Matoso and the people the community there and what they had accomplished in just a few months. So it got me thinking, “if this small group of caring and passionate people can do what they do, then just imagine if a much larger group can do?” Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? I WAS HOOKED!
I listened as they explained what they needed, and right away, I knew where I was could best help out: FUNDRAISING! I was quite impressed with SCHAP and how grassroots their fundraising had been so far and I knew that I could take it a step further. Two weeks later I met with Cory and Jessica, interviewed and it seemed like it was a perfect fit. As Cory said, “life has a way of bringing people together when it is the right time,” and it was the right time in both my life and in SCHAP’s. I was the Fundraising Director.
So right away, I was volunteering my time and energy to developing SCHAP’s FR department from the ground up and the different divisions within the department, all to set the stage for SCHAP to grow more and more each and every day. In the meantime, I was helping as the team was getting ready for the summer trip in July and August.
When they came back, a lot started to change and SCHAP began to look towards it’s future. In late August, I went in for a meeting with Cory and Jessica, where we discussed a big change for me … to transition from Fundraising Director to Administrative Director. With my skills, organization, and background with nonprofit, it seemed like I was made for the new position.
SCHAP has changed my life for the better. Not only do I know that I am helping to empower people across the world, but also to help facilitate and empower people here at home. It all started with a Craigslist ad!
Shaun Interviewing a future SCHAP Intern
Former SCHAP Fundraising Director, NOW Administrative Director :-)