Kenya, a country of contradictions.  Extreme beauty and crushing squalor.  Vast wealth and unimaginable poverty.  The word disparity only begins to touch on the reality of one of Africa’s most developed and successful nations.

In the city of Nairobi it is possible to stand on the fairway of an exclusive golf course and look out over a slum of 1.5 million people.  It’s common to see impoverished subsistence farmers walking past the high wall of a gated community.

But while such unbelievable disparity persists, small beacons of hope are shining across the country.  There are some who have committed their lives to bringing justice to a place with none.  There are some who spend themselves on behalf of the poor and marginalized in their communities.

These are the stories we’ve tried to capture here.  Hope in the midst of despair.  And although it is hard to believe, Kenya is beginning to change…

In the summer of 2011, Barry, Stephen and WND’s incredible team of summer interns lived in Nairobi, Kenya for two months. While they were there, they ate local foods, lived with local families and experienced the rich culture of Kenya.

From slums to the suburbs, it was a summer none of them will soon forget…

“Pressing On” – Articles by Barry Rodriguez

During his summer in Nairobi, Barry once again had the chance to live in Kibera Slum with his dear friends at Tumaini Church.  As before, he was blown away with the hope and perseverance he witnessed throughout the slum.

Click here to read his articles.

“The Family Fruit Trees” – Articles by Stephen Crane

Stephen spent his summer embedded with Tumaini Clinic in Korogocho Slum, one of the most dangerous communities in Nairobi.  Despite the difficulties of the environment, Stephen discovered a community of hope in the midst of darkness.

Click here to read his articles.

“From Taboo to Treasured” – Articles by Laura Stump

Laura worked with Zana Africa, one of WND’s first partner ministries. Zana focuses on empowering school-age girls and giving them the dignity they need to break free from the cycle of poverty.

Click here to read her articles.

“A Closer Look” – Articles by Molly Meyer

Molly’s summer was spent with WND’s newest partner, Beacon of Hope.  Beacon is a fantastic ministry that serves women affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in Ongota Rongai. It was an unforgettable experience!

Click here to read her articles.

“Unexpectedly Ordinary” – Articles by Jocelyn Post

Jocelyn spent her summer embedded with Tanari Trust, a ministry working to lift up the youth in Kenya. Their Young Entrepreneurs initiative is having a fantastic impact in Nairobi’s Kawangware and Mathare Slums.

Click here to read her articles.

“Anything But Alone” – Articles by Bridgette Tilyou

While living in Nairobi for the summer, Bridgette worked with Karura Community Chapel, a church in the epicenter of the disparity of Kenyan society.  Uniquely situated between the rich and poor, Karura is truly influencing its community in incredible ways!

Click here to read her articles.

Spring 2010

Children in Kager can finally receive an education.

In May of 2010, Jessica returned to Kenya for a five week stay with the JubileeVillage Project in the village of Kager.

From farmers working toward a brighter future with new techniques and crops, to women finding new tools that are revolutionizing the way they care for their families, Jessica discovered that this village will never be the same.

While she was there, Jessica learned to cook local foods, spent time watching new students learn and even learned how to farm like a Kenyan!

Click here to read all the articles from this trip.

In the summer of 2009, Barry and his team of summer interns lived in Nairobi, Kenya for two months of deep cultural immersion.  Through their individual experiences they covered issues ranging from poverty and slums to clean water and rite of passage ceremonies.

It was an unforgettable summer…

“Unexpected Joy” – Articles by Barry Rodriguez

During his summer in Nairobi, Barry lived in Kibera Slum, home to 1.5 million impoverished Kenyans.  The experience changed everything he knew about hope and injustice.

Click here to read his articles.

“A New Perspective” – Articles by Christine Sullivan

Christine spent her summer with Zana Africa, an organization dedicated to empowering girls stuck in the cycle of poverty in Kibera.  In the middle of hopelessness, she found life.

Click here to read her articles.

“Transformed for the Future” – Articles by Scott Quigley

Scott worked with Tanari International, an organization that attempts to help youth in Nairobi reconnect with their cultural identity.  It was an eye-opening trip!

Click here to read his articles.

“Owning the Issues” – Articles by Jessica Shewan

Jessica’s summer was spent with Karura Community Chapel, which works to bring holistic change to two nearby slum communities. Her perspective on social justice radically grew.

Click here to read her articles.

In the spring of 2009, Barry visited Kenya briefly to begin preparations for that summer’s internship.  Although the trip was short, he did have a chance to visit Huruma Slum for the first time as well as to eat a little roasted goat!

Click here to read all the articles from this trip.