Jessica Danforth is a co-founder of the Simama Project, a non-profit organization that delivers housing, education, medical, and social services to homeless and street children in Kenya. For the past 18 months, Jessica has been battling breast cancer. Six months ago, her closest friend died at the age of 32, after receiving a double lung transplant. These experiences have caused Jessica to reflect upon her life, priorities, and purpose.
Jessica has recently launched a campaign on Indiegogo’s Generosity website to help the Simama Project raise funds to buy land for a children’s home in Kenya. This is how Jessica describes the goal of the fundraiser.
I am writing because, earlier this week, I was supposed to host a fundraiser to raise money, but I was pulled back into the hospital/operating room. So, I am reaching out to the world for help. I am hoping to raise $90,000 in the next month in order meet the deadline as, without funding, we will lose the land. I know that this is a lofty sum of money to raise but I believe that this will change the lives of hundreds of children. This will be a place where you will always be welcome to come; to visit Kenya and see, first-hand, where your money is being invested, meet the kids, tend to our bees, pick mangoes from the trees and experience the place and the people who have so profoundly changed my life.
I would love for this campaign to go viral. If you are able to send along to others, share via social media, etc., that would be greatly appreciated. If you know of anyone who might be interested in learning more, discussing with me via phone or meeting for a cup of coffee, I would greatly appreciate any and all connections that you might be willing to share. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you. Thank you from me and thank you from every child who will benefit from your generous support.
The Simama Transition Home
Four hours north of Nairobi, Kenya in the town of Nanyuki, the Simama Project started a Children’s Home. The rented structure is a sanctuary for boys and girls between the ages of 3-18 who were once living on the streets. In addition to providing shelter, food, education and other essentials, the home creates a safe place where they can find structure, camaraderie, support and the ability to simply be a child.
Currently, the Simama Project Children’s Home is at capacity and is unable to help other deserving children.
How Can You Help?
Land in Kenya is usually out of reach for a small non-profit such as the Simama Project. However, the Simama Project has been offered first right of refusal to acquire a prime thirty-acre riverfront parcel of land at a below market price due to the seller’s support for Simama’s mission. Acquisition of this land would allow the Simama Project to:
- Build a home to support 100+ children
- Launch farming projects to produce our own food
- Increase the sustainability of the organization
The Simama Project has been awarded a matching grant of $130,000 but, in order to receive the money and move forward with the land purchase, the organization must raise an additional $90,000 before the end of July. If it is unable to do so, Simama Project will lose the $130,000 grant as well as the land. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Please visit Jessica Danforth’s fundraising campaign on Indiegogo’s Generosity site for more information.
About the Simama Project
The Simama Project empowers children and youth in Nanyuki, Kenya to move off of the streets and into the classroom. What differentiates the Simama Project is a holistic success model. It is not enough to simply pay for a child’s school fees as many children lack access to basic services like a safe place to sleep and a light by which to study. The goal of Simama Project is to not only get kids into school but also allow them the opportunity to succeed. The Simama Project believes that you cannot change someone’s life for them but you can empower them to change it for themselves.
The Simama Project is supported by Simama International, a California-based 501(c)3 organization as defined by the US Internal Revenue Service. All donations are fully tax deductible in accordance with law.
I Can Offer a Testimonial to the Work of the Simama Project
I have previously donated to the Simama Project, and can attest that few non-profits run a leaner, more effective, boots-on-the-ground operation. You can be sure any money you contribute will directly support the homeless and street kids of Nanyuki, Kenya. In 2014, my son interned at the Simama Project, helping Matt Orcutt (the founder and executive director) and Jessica Danforth, and he could not have been more affected by the experience.