Celebrating 20 years of Hope and Kindness in 2022
How Did it all get started?
In July 2002 Terry and Judi Mott and their two children Tom (then aged 11) and Elli (then aged 8) left their home in Redditch, England to spend a year in Kenya. In that year a small children’s home and a new school began. In the 20 years since then the children’s home has grown smaller and the school has become MUCH bigger. We also run a successful fish farm and are developing our skills in rearing crickets to feed humans and animals (mostly our fish.)
Hope and Kindness grew out of Terry and Judi’s Christian faith. For much of their adult lives Judi and Terry were very critical of religion. In the year 2000 they experienced a complete turnaround in their view of God, Jesus and faith and have been committed Christians ever since then. Loving God and loving our neighbours is at the heart of all that Hope and Kindness stands for. We strongly believe that our faith should make a difference in the world.
The pages on our website show what Hope and Kindness has grown into. In the twenty years since we began we have experienced our fair share of highs and lows. The thing that has remained constant is our desire to pour our hearts into serving children and families and the people in our community.
where do you work?
We work in a very poor, rural community called Kosele. Kosele is in the south-west of Kenya, seven kilometres from Lake Victoria. Most of our neighbours are subsistence farmers. Life in Kosele has always been tough, but climate change is making life even more challenging for people living in this area.
There are two growing seasons in Kenya tied into the long and short rainy seasons. In 2002 the growing seasons were quite predictable. Although poverty made it difficult for farmers in our community to afford all the seeds and fertiliser needed for a good harvest it was still possible to grow enough to stave off real hunger. Since then we have seen either droughts or torrential rain destroy growing crops and infestations of caterpillars that have wiped out whole fields of maize.
Our main activities focus on giving children a good start in life in our schools – providing a good education in our Nursery and Primary schools and ensuring that all the pupils have two good meals on school days. We are also very committed to working with community members to improve farming practices and improving food security. Our church enables us to carry out agricultural training, as well as helping church members to grow a strong faith.
Our Kenyan leadership team
Hope and Kindness has big plans for the future, starting with being in it for the long run! These plans depend on having a strong Kenyan leadership team. Despite the disruption caused by COVID, we are confident that our leadership team will lead the work forward for many years into the future.
Leadership in Kenya
Our leadership team have an enormous job to do in Kosele. Looking after our pupils and staff is a responsibility that few people would be ready to take on. We have spent many years building up our team of leaders in Kosele because we believe that, ultimately, our work must be led by Kenyans. It has been a long and difficult road for all of us but worth every step. Being in it for the long run means for a long time. Our team in Kenya are the key to our longevity.