Help with Getting a Job

Patrick Onyancha moved from his rural village in Kisii to Nairobi to look for work as it is customary for many rural youth as they finish high school. It was very difficult to “get a job” Patrick recalls. It took several months doing any menial job that he could find to support himself and his family back in the village. It wasn’t long before he was told of an opportunity to be a watchman at a local church, which he promptly applied and got. Patrick has been working there for over 3 years now making less than $60 a month.

When he heard about Opening Village Doors® from Mama Kapante who is also a beneficially of the organization, he approached the Kenya team. He received a loan of $350 to start a charcoal and vegetable stand in Ngong market and his business is doing well. Patrick says, ” I can now be able to take care of my family and build a strong future for my son” Because Patrick works at night; he employs one person to help him with selling and stocking.

Mama Kapante

Two years ago Mama Kapante did not have anywhere to turn to, with her son in college, a sick husband whose medication had wiped out the family’s little savings they had, Mama Kapante started going door to door asking if anyone had any menial job so she can work for them to get some cash to support her family. “The situation was bad, I had some days we slept hungry and my son was sent home from school” Mama Kapante stated. It so happened in the same year, OVDF was starting operations in her area; she approached the team in Kenya with an idea of starting a small business of selling dry grain. “People will always want to eat” she says with a smile.

Now, Mama Kapante goes from door to door, with her supply of good to sell asking if anyone wants to buy rice, beans, home made soap and colored ‘throw wraps’. At the end of day she returns home with her load a little lighter, tired but with a smile of accomplishment and a feeling of pride. She has established strong relationships with her customers; she knows who needs rice, beans or home made soap on what day and plans her routes that way.

The scenario was not possible eight months ago, thanks for Opening Village Doors Foundation support of $300 she is now able to walk tall with confidence of tomorrow as she spreads the good word of what OVDF has done for her and her family.

Mama Githinji

Mrs. Grace Githinji is a mother of 1 who resides in Ngong, a settlement in Kajiado County about 40kms to the north of Nairobi. For a long time Ms. Githinji struggled to provide fundamental needs for her family. Her efforts of starting a business were undermined by lack of sustainable means of accessing income. Despite possessing entrepreneurial skills, Mrs. Githinji could not start a viable business due to lack of access to credit given that financial institutions in the area require big collaterals and other associated security guarantees which she can not afford. When Mrs. Githinji learnt about the OVDF during a sensitization meeting organized by Sister Christine Obonyo in 2009. She applied and was provided with a loan grant of Ksh. 30,000 ($375), which she used to set up a beauty shop in Ngong Town.

She used part of the cash to acquire a premise, which is rented at Ksh. 7,000 ($ 88) per month and the rest to purchase equipment and assorted hair dressing chemicals. Due to hard work coupled with quality services she offered, Mrs. Githinji saw clients growing rapidly. In effort to meet the high demand for services an apparent indicator of a business doing well, Githinji recruited a 20-year-old lady called Catherine Gathoni who hails from a poor family in the area and skills in hair dressing. Given that Mrs. Githinji now has a reliable source of income, she is able to meet the fundamental needs for her family including food, education, health and descent housing. She is attributes the socio-economic advancement to the support provided by OVDF. Mrs. Githinji is enthusiastic and proud to be associated with the OVDF supported program. She plans to expand her business with a view to create more employment opportunities for young women who have completed studies but are unable to secure employment in both the formal and informal sectors.

Let there be light

Imagine walking into your house or office when it is dark, the first thing that you reach for is the switch on the wall to turn on the light. You can bet that the majority of the time the lights will turn on and you will go around your businesses. We replay this scenario day in and day out as kids come home to work on their homework, and parents prepare meals and all other chores around the house or office. In many villages and towns around Kenya that is not the case as many homes do not have electricity.

Many families then rely on Kerose lamps for light and firewood/charcoal for cooking. The price of Kerose fluctuates as gasoline and other crude oil products do with many families not being able to afford the Kerose resort to cooking early and retire to bed early. For school age children, it becomes a special challenge to complete their homework, which in turn affects their academic performance.

The amount of money that families spend to buy kerosene can be used to buy food, plus the health benefits of using solar are great as compared to kerosene. The smoke from kerosene lamps leads to breathing and eye problems hence using solar lamps provides with a cleaner source of light.

Believing in the vision

Opening Village Doors Foundation®’s vision is simple; we envision a time when the villages we touch are prosperous, healthy and self sustaining and suffering has been relieved because of the micro loans, community projects, training, education and technical expertise we have provided. It is my hope you will join us to make this vision a reality to one individual, family and village at a time. How can you help to make it a reality for one person today? Click to donate.


End of Year message

Dear Friend,

This year you have helped us tell the story of Mama Kapante, Mrs Gintinji, Mrs. Washeli and others. You helped tell their story of starting small businesses that in turn are generating enough revenue to pay tuition for their kids in school, feeding their families and generating employment for others. The stories could have not been possible without your donation to Opening Village Doors Foundation®. We thank you!

In the coming year we plan to make an even bigger impact by increasing the number of families that start small businesses. Your donation to Opening Village Doors Foundation help families get out of poverty by empowering them through their own ideas.

I hereby kindly ask you to prayerfully consider making a year-end donation to Opening Village Doors Foundation®. Opening Village Doors Foundation® is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Contribute today!

Thank you!

Frederick Bw’Ombongi


Merry Christmas from Kenya!

Merry Christmas from Kenya!

During my recent visit to Kenya, I had a great opportunity to interview one of the individuals who receives support from Opening Village Doors Foundation® as a result of your support to us. Please click on the link above to listen to her story and her kind words to you!

A new office takes shape

As part of our strategy to the individuals, families and communities that we serve, it has been our goal to have a place to call home. A place where families can walk in with questions, know where we are located and to show a commitment that we are here to stay. In simple terms, it brings stability, predictability, trust and commitment- OVDF is part of the community we serve!

In many African communities, once a young man has been initiated to adulthood, it is customary for them to have a place of their own. It signifies a stage in their lives that they are mature enough and ready to take on responsibilities as they curve out their own niche in the process of their grown. With the new office space, Opening Village Doors Foundation® seeks to provide space to our team so as to be effective in  furthering our mission and vision.

As you can see in the attached picture, the door is in with some final touches to be finalized tomorrow. The electric is wired and now what is left is to set up a computer and printer.

Individuals and families that we serve will come to the office tomorrow to pray and bless the office as we embark in this journey. Thank you for making it possible!

Coming tomorrow, read about our new Community Development Coordinator and a new office look!





Thank you for all your support in 2011

Because of YOU, we were able to give hope and EMPOWER individuals and families in Kenya to start a small business so that they can reach their full potential. Your support helped individuals help themselves to put food on table, pay tuition for their kids, grow their businesses and look forward to another day full of hope and promise.

In 2012, we plan to support more individuals start small business, support them with training and help them build their villages and communities through their own ideas. We envision a time when the villages we touch are prosperous, healthy and self sustaining and suffering has been relieved because of the micro-loans, community projects, training, education and technical expertise we have provided.

Your continued help makes the story of Mrs. Gintinji possible! Click on the link and read more.

We raise our eyes above and pray that 2012 bring good health, happiness and good will to you and your family.


Opening Village Doors Board of Directors[ Fred Bw’Ombongi, Paul Brink, Karynn Sikkema, Dana Boals, Bob Garvey & Mark Piersma]


Fear of Failure

Today’s bible reading has been in my mind. The reading was Mt 25:14-30, it is about a master who goes for a journey and gives his possession to his servants. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one. When he returned, the servants who were given 5 and 2 talents each had invested them and doubled them, however, the one who was given 1 talent, because of FEAR, hid the talent.

The reason the reading has stayed with me today more than it has other years when I read it is because I can see the families that Opening Village Doors Foundation partners with in Kenya through this reading. On the other hand it reminded me of the first meeting that I had with prospective individuals three years ago, because this was the bible story that I used to drive the point home – they all have potential and they can succeed and get out of poverty!

So today, I have been asking myself, what will make the servant who was given 1 talent fearful and not take a risk and invest it? As I ponder this question, my mind shifts to quotes that I read in Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkerts’ book ‘When Helping Hurts’.

The authors share the following quotes; from Moldova, one person states,  “For a poor person, everything is terrible-illness, humiliation, and shame. We are cripples; we are afraid of everything; we depend on everyone. No one needs us. We are like garbage that everyone wants to get rid of?”  While from Cameroon, another person states, “[The poor have] a feeling of powerlessness and an inability to make themselves heard” and finally, one person from Uganda states “When one is poor, she has no say in public, she feels inferior. She has no food, so there is famine in her house; no clothing and no progress in her family” It is no wonder the individuals are afraid due to poverty to take risk even when they have great ideas to thrive and grow!

It is very easy then to see the poor and see them as lacking or deficient. We often choose to give them money and other gifts in hope that our gifts will get them out of poverty. Opening Village Doors takes a different approach, and removes the FEAR through training, education and by giving them a small loan to start a small business so that they can support their families, and villages.

Due to the support of our donors and supporter, Opening Village Doors’ message to the individuals and families that we partner with, is “we have confidence in you, you are capable, you are created in God’s image, you have potential. Go and multiply the loan you have been given, we will walk along side you as you seek to gain ground, as you stand on your own and as you walk and eventually run, we will smile and pray and wish you well that you touch others as others have touched you!”

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