Giving Back

Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it. ~Albert Schweitzer
Cypress working with

St John Ambulance, Embu

Established in 1923, St John Ambulance is an all-volunteer charity organization that provides first aid and ambulance services throughout Kenya, especially in rural districts like Embu in central Kenya. It’s mission is to ensure that every household with first aid, essential emergency services to help save lives and ensure the provision of healthcare in local communities. St John Ambulance now has a volunteer network of 22,000 individuals who provide time, skills and money to help people in need.

The organization has evolved over its history and now provides additional services including emergency preparedness training, disaster and emergency response, youth development, and support for maternal health.  For example, St John Ambulance has made safe pregnancy one of its top priorities because thousands of women in Kenya die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth.  The group works with women and communities empowering them with resources and information to help save mothers’ lives and reduce morbidity of infants and children.

Hope Unlimited

Children come to Hope Unlimited from the streets and slums of Brazil where they are abused abandoned and exploited in the worst circumstances imaginable. Any of these children have a life expectancy of three to five years, but once they arrive at Hope Unlimited they become part of a family, with a loving home and experienced staff to provide the support they need to reclaim their lost childhoodand find a bright future. Hope is not a transitional care program, but rather becomes a permanent part of the children’s lives.

Established in 1991, the residential care facility is led by co-founder Phillip Smith, who was inspired by the work of his missionary parents serving in Ethiopia. The organization features 22 programs and serves each child holistically and completely, helping them to tackle the effects of poverty, exploitation, abuse and abandonment. Programs include vocational training, day student training, graduate transitional training, and ongoing support from Christian-based communities.  Hope Unlimited has an exceptional success rate, with 90% of graduates becoming employed and in stable living conditions within two years.

Learn more about this important work click here:
NBC News
City of Hope: A Children’s Story

Our Kenya Kids

A visit to Kenya in 2004 by Canadian Minister Douglas A. Warren provided the inspiration for the founding of Our Kenyan Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children affected by poverty and/or HIV/AIDS in the poorest areas of Kenya. The group provides education, training, humanitarian aid, and nurturing relationships, one child at a time. Its mission is to relieve poverty, distress and suffering and improve public health in Kenya by empowering individuals in need to break their cycle of poverty, become self-sufficient and find better future opportunities.

One of the devastating issues contributing to poverty in Kenya is the severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that continues to impact all sectors of society. Our Kenyan Kids helps addresses this issue through the Selenium Project, Embu, which provides selenium supplements to in-need mothers and grandmothers. Selenium plays a critical role in the body’s inflammatory response. Deficiency is high in Kenya and compounded in HIV positive individuals due to the interaction between the selenium utilization/metabolic pathway and the virus. The project partners with Cypress Systems, Inc., to provide Seleno Excell, a whole-food form of high selenium yeast that is noted for better bioavailability in the body and has two decades of clinical research on its health benefits. The goal is to clearly demonstrate the benefit  of selenium and other micronutrients in the HIV population.

Wings of Hope Rescue Center

Wings of Hope Rescue Center is a Christian-based non-profit organization in Nairobi, Kenya, whose mission is to rescue, restore, rehabilitate and empower pregnant girls age 11-17 who are in harsh, harmful or unsupportive environments that are difficult or threatening to them and their unborn children. Founded in 2016, the group serves these vulnerable girls by providing a home, education, counseling, empowerment skills training, and discipleship to help them realize their potential and become valuable citizens in society. For example, Wings of Hope provides assistance through pregnancy and delivery and then after six months, residents are enrolled back in school at the same level they were prior to their pregnancy. The organization is currently working to build and staff a 75-bed residential pregnancy care facility. Programs include first 1,000 days of life nutrition education, maternal/infant health training, two-year vocational training, graduate community follow up and Hope Institute OVC.

Imprint Hope

Clare Byrne was inspired to found Imprint Hope following a 2013 visit to Uganda, where the physical therapist volunteered for a year to work with a severely disabled population of children. There are nearly three million children in Uganda with a disability. These children are often forgotten and marginalized being called “kasiru” which means stupid person and adults often distancing themselves from the children believing that the disability is contagious. Resources to help them are extremely limited, with only 1% of teachers trained to work with disabled students and 94% unable to complete even a basic education. Government efforts to help these children are not enforce, leaving many to struggle without aid. Byrne was torn by their plight and in 2016 she founded Imprint Hope, a non-profit organization designed to raise awareness, break down barriers, and overcome the stigma that children with disabilities in Uganda face daily. Imprint Hope envisions a world where all children with disabilities are appreciated for their unique talents and provided with an opportunity to actualize their full potential. Byrne hops to leave a lasting mark of hope on Ugandan people, so that they may better understand the inherent potential of every human soul.