Why I’m Going Back to Africa & How You Can Come, Too


Since coming home from Kenya in July during the ONE Moms trip I have become a changed woman. I am now more committed than ever to use my voice and the platform I have built over the years to share the stories of people who live in poverty in developing nations. Yes, there is untold poverty here in the States, but this is my calling. I am of the absolute belief that people in developing nations matter, too.

I have learned so much since my trip to Kenya. I have learned about complicated issues surrounding global poverty and real solutions to eradicate it. I have learned about HIV/AIDS and how it is tearing through developing countries, but with a global effort it can come under control. I have learned about fair trade, fair labor, and workers’ rights. I have learned that through simple solutions like having access to better seeds, arable land, and working together in farming collectives people can grow more food thereby living more food secure lives. I have learned that maternal deaths are rife in developing countries and need to drastically be reduced. No woman should die because she’s bringing life into this world.

This all leads me to why I am going back to Africa.

By happenstance I met a woman at my neighborhood coffee shop last fall who it turns out is the founder of the Nyanya Project, a non-profit organization that helps African grandmothers care for their grandchildren in the event their parents die from AIDS.

The Nyanya Project helps African grandmothers form working cooperatives that generate the income necessary to provide healthcare, education and a loving home for their grandchildren. The Nyanya Project also runs a preschool in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Kenya.

The woman and founder of the Nyanya Project  is Mary Martin Niepold, a Lecturer in Journalism at Wake Forest University and an amazing woman. In 2007 Mary went to Africa to volunteer and came back with a strong desire to do something, anything. Now the Nyanya Project helps African grandmothers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

This summer I will be going back to Kenya to volunteer with the Nyanya Project to help children who have lost their parents and the grandmothers who care for them.

If you would like to go, you can! You will have to fund your own trip as all Nyanya Project funds go to the work they do in Africa.

If you’ve ever dreamed of going to Africa to do work that helps others, here’s a wonderful chance to do so. Contact me at jjames@mombloggersclub.com to find out more information.

Or, if you cannot go to Africa, but would like to donate to the Nyanya Project to further their work, please take a moment and give what you can. They would be so appreciative!  Donate here. The Nyanya Project recently received a matching grant donation so everything you give is automatically doubled!

If you donate. Thank you! And if you would like to go to Kenya with me and the Nyanya Project, I can’t wait!

9 thoughts on “Why I’m Going Back to Africa & How You Can Come, Too

  1. Sounds like a fabulous opportunity! I have volunteered in Costa Rica and Morocco and loved it. The trip that truly chaned my life however was Nepal. Since my trip to Nepal I have done whatever I can to raise money for education in rural communities. It has been extremely rewarding work. I am also attending an upcoming event in DC called Shot@Life spinsider by the UN Foundation. Have you heard of this program? It may be right up your alley. On another note, if you would ever be interested in sharing your stories and work on World Mom’s Blog, please let me know. We are trying to develop a Social Good part and have recently added a Human Rights section as well. We have over 50 writers from around the world. You would be an excellent addition! Thanks ! Nicole

      • Hi Jennifer!

        I actually got to hear you speak with some of the other ONE Moms at a Women Delivered event this September in NYC during Social Good week. Nicole, the thirdeyemom, suggested we contact you regarding a guest post for World Moms Blog — we would be honored to have you write a guest post for us!! I will e-mail you.

        I enjoyed reading this about how you are planning to return to Africa, too!

        Jennifer Burden :)

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