Charity Helps Those in Need with Sustainable Resources
Aug 22, 2016 04:44PM ● Published by Kelly Cannon
: One of the families benefiting from the Business Boxes. —100 Humanitarians
Gallery: 100 Humanitarians [1 Image] Click any image to expand.
Heidi Totten is asking Sandy residents to come out and help her change the lives of people around the world. Totten is the founder of 100 Humanitarians, a nonprofit that provides sustainable resources to families in Kenya.
100 Humanitarians is hosting a fundraiser event on Oct. 22 at Club 90, 9065 S. Monroe St. Called “Taste of Kenya.” The event will have authentic Kenyan food, a silent auction and karaoke. All of the donations will go toward Business Boxes.
“The Business Boxes now include a cow, a goat, five chickens, three-square-foot garden boxes, 10 trees to replace the wood in the garden boxes and then reusable feminine hygiene kits for the women in the family,” Totten said.
The idea for 100 Humanitarians came after Totten went on a humanitarian trip in March 2015. Afterward, she was inspired to start a group on Facebook. The response was overwhelming and soon two trips were planned.
“From there, the concept of 100 Humanitarians is what is the power of 100 people working on any given project in the world to create change. So if you’re interested in stopping human trafficking in Warsaw, Poland, we’re the other 99 people would be interested in helping with that project,” Totten said. “My big focus is on Kenya but we have others who are focused on Guatemala, who want to work in India and Nepal and Ghana. It’s basically connecting people to projects that call to them.”
During the first trip, the group built desks and a kitchen at a school. Soon after, Totten realized she wanted to focus on sustainable projects within families. This led to the creation of Business Boxes.
“With those boxes, we determined that if we give a family a box, then they can sell the milk, they can sell the eggs. They can use it as food for their families. When they generate income, they can pay for their own school fees,” Totten said. “If I were to sponsor one child all the way through high school, that could be a couple thousand dollars. Or, with the Business Box, you mentor and teach families how to use it and then they pay for all of their children because they’re able to build the revenue.”
So far, four families have received a cow, including a widowed mother of five.
“We gave her a cow and mentored her and taught her how to use it. Now, she’s selling three liters a day and making about a $1.80 a day, which she can then use to pay for school fees and to buy other things her family needs like rice and corn,” Totten said. “She’s our prototype. What we’re doing on our next trip, we’re going to build square garden boxes and test that out.”
The plan is to introduce new parts of the Business Boxes over the course of six months so as not to overwhelm the families. The boxes currently cost about $1,000 each but Totten believes once the animals start breeding, the cost will go down.
“That’s part of our plan, with paying it forward with the animals for these families,” Totten said.
The next big goal for the nonprofit is to build three cultural centers that would function as mentoring centers for the people in the program. It would also establish mentorships in-country so there would be less traveling during the year.
For more information about 100 Humanitarians, visit http://www.100humanitarians.com.