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The Kikapu Holiday Giving
Kikapu is a Swahili word for basket. The Kikapu holiday giving program is the brainchild of one of the founders, Bilha Gichuki. Six years ago (way before Nuru Center was officially founded), at a dinner table on Thanksgiving day the idea was born. After a traditional round table sharing of each persons reasons for being thankful, Bilha raised the idea of providing a meal to the poor in rural Kenya so that they too can have a meal like we all had during the holiday season.
The idea was to provide a basket full of food items to the poorest in our community so that they too can have a decent meal for the holiday. Each person around the table put a name of a poor family from their native village in a hat; we collected some money and five names were chosen from this hat to receive the money we had collected. The next year, the idea was expanded to provide for more poor families, most of whom we didn't personally know.
Over the last six years, the Kikapu program has provided over 18,000 meals to more than 335 families and 150 patients. Please visit our gallery section for pictures from a past Kikapu Campaign.
Why we do it
For most in the United States, the holidays are about gifts and making merry. For most children in rural Kenya, a nice hot meal is all they desire for the holiday. The disparity in this views tapped in us the need to give back as a reminder of the blessing bestowed upon us, as a way to look back from where we came from, and as a way to create a holiday smile among people who don't have much to smile about.
Aside from the immediate benefit of providing food to the needy, the program has several other benefits. For one, we buy all the produce locally and focus on buying from the local open air market. We buy in bulk from mothers and grandmothers who toil in the sun selling farm produce to sustain their family thereby ensuring their families will also have a good holiday season. In addition, each year we've paid balances for discharged hospital patients who could not afford it so that they could be release to go and spend the holidays with their families. Over the years, we've spurred the culture of volunteering and giving back to young people in Kenya who had never done it before. But most importantly, this program allows us to learn and understand the need of this community so that we can continue to tailor our other programs to fit the needs.
2012 Holiday Season Goal
Our goal for the 2012 holiday season is to provide 4,000 holiday meal to at least 100 families. Each Kikapu costs $30.00. In each Kikapu, the family will get 2kg of sugar, 1kg of Salt, 2kg or rice, 2kg of beans, 2kg of lentils, 2kg of wheat flour, 2kg of cooking oil, 1 box of cookies, 1 bottle of juice, and a bar soap.
How You Can Help
Each $30 dollars we raise towards this program will provide a holiday kikapu to one family. Your generous donation will go a long way to ensure we can reach our goal and enrich many needy family in ways you can't understand. You can donate on this website by clicking the "Donate" button on the right. Alternatively, you can send your donation via mail or your banks online bill pay to:
P.O. Box 957418
Duluth, Ga 30095.