IMPACT | Volunteers Travel to Kenya to Rebuild Rabondo

The IMPACT blog series demonstrate that stories have the power to inspire and create change.

ONE | NEED Issue 1

© 2008 NEED Communications, Inc.
Preschool and kindergarten students in Rabondo used to study outdoors due to overcrowding. Photo | Candice Towell

Timon Bondo

“The article has had a lot of impact. … We have had many volunteers who want to come and visit or just come to talk to us about what we need and how they can help.”

Before Timon Bondo’s article was published in NEED magazine, his nonprofit work was difficult to start. “We used to not know where to go … but now people have learned; that’s why I think the magazine is doing a lot of humanitarian services,” he says. Two years since the article’s publication, The Rabondo Community Project USA has made remarkable strides.

“The article has had a lot of impact. … In other words it’s raised awareness of what we are doing and the need. We have had many volunteers who want to come and visit or just come to talk to us about what we need and how they can help,” Bondo explains. This past September a group of volunteers visited Rabondo to explore options of providing clean water for the community. In addition to volunteers, the project has also received monetary gifts, donations and plenty of ideas.

Bondo explains that the project’s newfound credibility has led to more funding, which in turn will help 10 children go on to university at the end of this year. “I’m very thankful for the people who have given us resources to do the little we have done. It’s not that much, but for [Rabondo] it has made a difference.”

The readers’ response to the article has inspired Bondo as well. He says “You know, I like Americans. They want to be a part of something – to help move it and make a difference. That kind of spirit people have is good. … It inspires me more. [That spirit] is rare in many people.” Bondo explains that this inspiration has caused him to see success where he used to think it was impossible.

Kelly Abernathy

When Kelly Abernathy took her children to a neighborhood Halloween party, she didn’t realize the opportunities that were waiting for her. Soon after arriving, Abernathy met Timon Bondo. He explained how the party would benefit children in Rabondo, and showed Kelly his article in NEED magazine. As she leafed through the magazine and discussed The Rabondo Community Project with Bondo, Abernathy was excited at the possibilities ahead.

Not long after the Halloween party, Abernathy and Bondo started working together on The Rabondo Community Project’s first fundraiser. In September of 2007, the Rabondo Village Party took place in St. Paul. The fundraiser featured live entertainment, traditional Kenyan food and a silent auction. All of the proceeds from the night went directly toward a new classroom in Rabondo.

In January, 2008 Abernathy joined the Rabondo Community Project’s board of directors. As the only woman on the board. She focuses much of her effort on the importance of education for girls and women’s health issues.

"I've always wanted to get involved with a program that helped others in need in Africa. After getting to know Timon and learning more about The Rabondo Community Project, I was inspired to get involved. He is very dedicated and passionate about the work that The Rabondo Community Project is doing and I know that all our time, efforts and any funds raised go directly to helping better the lives of the people in Rabondo," Abernathy concludes.

>> read the Rabondo Community Project feature article

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