We exist because of a six-year-old girl in Kenya and a story in America.
Gift was six years old when her mother died from AIDS. She never knew her father and was left to raise her infant brother alone. While begging for food on the streets of Mombasa, her brother died as she carried him on her back. She didn’t know he was dead and continued begging for several hours until some street boys found her and told her.
Not knowing what to do, the boys contacted a journalist who had befriended and fed them on the dumpsites where they lived. He did something extraordinary: he took her into his house, hired a lady to look after her, and paid for her to attend school.
Thomas Keown visited Kenya in 2007, met Gift, learned that 2.6 million other children live in the streets, met some of them, returned to the US and wrote his weekly newspaper column about Gift and the journalist.
Readers responded with letters, wanting to do something to help. So Thomas gathered them together one night with the invitation, “You bring one person each and I’ll bring six,” and Many Hopes was established in Boston.
We grew into a global community of volunteers and fundraisers committed to rescuing and raising children like Gift from to influence. In the beginning, we provided rescue homes for girls in Kenya.
Then a Cambridge/accredited elementary school where girls and boys from poverty and from privilege learn with and from each other, and all will lead differently as adults.
Then, as we saw transformation happen for child after child, the Arc to Influence model was born. Children are rescued, equipped, and travel their path to influential adulthood. Education inspires a vision of what’s possible, and then our global community of influencers supports them in pursuing justice for others.
Today, Gift is in college and Many Hopes is partnering with visionary local leaders in six countries in Africa and Latin America.
We believe there are hundreds of thousands more stories just like Gift’s and we invite you to help us find and write them.
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