Home Community IWD IHOPEE: Gratitude Is The Heart Of The Matter

IWD IHOPEE: Gratitude Is The Heart Of The Matter


IHOPEE Building Partnerships Together. International Women’s Day 2020 Special Report

Tujipange Africa Media recognized IHOPEE Founder/CEO Mrs Rose Okwany Oginga as the Internationl Women’s Day 2020 Awardee for outstanding empathy towards widows and orphans through education. (Check her story in Tujipange)

Today we follow up with a run up on IHOPEE mission and vision and the Organization’s impressive medical journey towards empowerment.

IHOPEE is acronym for International Health Operations, Education Empowerment. It is a Non-Profit organization that equips the youth and women with the necessary life skills via education and business. IHOPEE alleviates poverty through literacy, helps youth and women learn skills, be self-sufficient and how to run and operate their businesses.

We asked Rose Oginga how and why the IHOPEE story all began.

“Having taught talented kids and those who had challenges, for very many years, I did realize that education goes beyond the classroom. One of my mentors, an ex-veteran, Lieutenant Jason Mims, sat me down and encouraged me on the different ways of academic freedom and fellowship, communication and options. As an ex veteran, he knows what service means.

“According to Jason Mims, “e; Demonstrating Academic Excellence enriches the lives of others. It also establishes community needs and allows them to thrive. This involves encouraging and tracking kids with Higher GPA and providing guidance possible for success, making mothers access the right choices of school though the zip codes, encouraging moms to be more encouraged in the kids’ school, and working with single moms to alleviate their lives through education. It also involves utilizing all resources, digital and otherwise, to achieve high grades.

“Schools share achievements to encourage high progress. Schools also provide reviews for career and college entry levels per the school’s needs.

IHOPEE looks forward to giving back to the less fortunate in the community through academic excellence,” espouses Rose Oginga.”


IHOPEE envisions a world where everybody has the opportunity to reach their highest potential and make a positive impact in their community.


Make a positive impact both in Kenya and USA by organizing community outreach resources and supporting programs that will educate, inspire and empower the members of our community economically.


����Create awareness of drug issue

����Health HIV and reproductive matters

����Nursing home and foster care visitation

����Refugees and immigrants support

����Academic excellence per zip code

EDUCATE: Create programs that allow culture and role model to the youth and women to be independent and productive through awareness and volunteering in nursing and foster care homes. They are known as the Ambassadors of IHOPEE.

EDUCATE: Provide training for front line professionals including health, education, social services. Utilize the accredited schools and certified professional institutions to create life skills for the future independent youth and women in our society.

EMPOWER: Encourage the youth to participate in volunteering to make a difference in the communities through events, training and community development approaches to make them career wise and prepare them for leadership.

EQUIP school per zip code: Empowering young people to help create change in their communities by providing skills, peer to peer training and support for youth advocates. Equip libraries in the rural schools

ADVOCATE: protection and prevention of drug addiction to our young people. We advocate other issues that impact the well-being and threaten lives of women and girls/boys (youth) through the “e; fight against Opioids and alcoholism on the youth”

SUPPORT: We Assist organizations and agencies with migrant matters and Support newly resettled migrants, to USA and environs when called upon. We are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of immigrants specifically, refugees who find it difficult to integrate in Tampa Florida and in the US as a whole, due to cultural differences and limited language abilities. We aim to safely integrate them into the local community and increase them participation in public, economic, social, and cultural events.

We are building Partnerships and many of the board members are making this possible by utilizing teaching and education as the key to every one of the aspects we advocate for.

Dr Pauline Kibisu, President and Director of Medical Mission

To inhibit donor dependency, IHOPEE encourages youth participants and all the parties involved to practice integrity. In addition, IHOPEE emphasize the importance of taking care of what has been donated to them so as to build a strong foundation for them and the future beneficiaries of IHOPEE.

The Non Profit also emphasizes the importance of self-reliance.

“We also allow the kids to make choices and access to resources that are available and allow independence. We do so by creating awareness and valuable choices in life. We cannot make anyone does anything but we can provide opportunities available locally with the leadership who have the youth and women at heart,” says Rose Oginga

IHOPEE encourage mentorship both on the ground and through E-learning. By so doing, IHOPEE creates a platform where the children (students) get online to view material, collaborate on projects and present their work. This helps:

1. To develop students as global citizens by providing digital textbooks.

2. To install schools with both wired and wireless Internet connections.

3.To nurture and prepare a generation to fit in the global market; to face the world’ s challenges and opportunities with courage and confidence.

4.The women to move beyond their ‘ comfort’ zones and raise the bar and to be the voice of change.

Some of the sustainable programs IHOPEE has successfully implemented in the communities it supports includes a great opportunity to organize uniforms to those who need them most.

Maraba Primary school in Kisumu county, is a beneficiary of this programme. IHOPEE worked with the local community and encouraged them to play a bigger role. They heeded the call and both the teachers and the PTA contributed towards this project. This was a huge success, as the parents and the community felt part of the project.

With the help of great friends of Cherwa Secondary school, led by the community organizer, Mr. Nesbit Nyaliech, IHOPEE was able to donate Science, Math and English books to various high schools. These books were bought locally.

GFS – (Green Forest Society) leadership was kind enough to initiate the life skill pretty much needed for youth and women to be self-reliant and independent. This involves planting of tree and fruits for sale and in so doing, alleviate hunger and provide nutrition.

One of the objectives of academic excellence is teaching lifelong awareness, as opposed to dependence.

Sheep project for women was introduced and has been possible because of academic matters which enables widows in the community to utilize their God given potential and enrich their lives, instead of depending on handouts. This has been possible through the help of various career women, young and elderly who mentor others through collaboration to have a better society.

They encourage and support them as they progress in whatever level of education they are.

They are the role models providing options and choices of advancement.

Beneficiaries of ihopee programs are selected through intensely scrutinized critieria.

“Our goal is to give kids a chance to read a book and equip a library in the village. This is still our main focus. However, we did realize that the kids need a healthy environment to learn effectively. Our board deliberates on the academic excellence project that is achieved through the goal of independence both in schools and in the community. We realized that a healthy community prospers more,” explains Rose Oginga.

Mrs Rose Okwany Oginga IHOPEE CEO/Founder

IHOPEE focuses on the most vulnerable situation guided by the locals and this helps us so much in accountability

IHOPEE team raises funds to run programs by currently working with well-wishers and donors. They believe in looking at the bigger picture. The programs encourage collaboration to alleviate poverty in the society.

The Organization also encourage donations to a project of choice that goes to www.ihopee.org. Friends and allies of IHOPEE buy Tee shirts, jewelry and artwork to sustain fundraising raising. The Tee shirts sell at $20.

“We greatly appreciate companies and hospitals that are ready to provide educational materials and supplies to the women in the village,” says Rose Oginga.

The Non Profit would like to thank Brandon regional hospital leadership in Florida for their willingness to send the reading materials and medical supplies to Kenya for the medical mission.

Delaware university leadership Professor Besong, and Dr Arthur are working in conjunction with local universities and other institutions for higher learning to create an exchange program in the process. IHOPEE is engaging academic excellence at all levels.

IHOPEE- Academic Excellence Kenya program hopes to provide students with access to assisted learning systems, along with training resources for teachers and reading specialists. IHOPEE intends to use college students and trained teachers to facilitate the reading programs.

After school programs is also provided to the students.

Shipping of Books and Laptops

Among IHOPEE’s main challenges is the shipping of books and laptops. IHOPEE appeals to those who are willing to help build society by giving donations.

IHOPEE boasts of a great committee and board members who are hardworking and keep members active on the day to day running of the organization. All officials offer volunteer services. IHOPEE passion drives the academic excellence awareness to youth in the community both locally and abroad.

Christine Ans. A Rotarian and Realtor with KW and now IHOPEE Treasurer. Ans successfully managed the IHOPEE Committee Gala, 2019 in Tampa, Florida

IHOPEE was able to successfully achieve the following goals in 2018:

1) Bring more resources to Kenya.

2) Launch IHOPEE in June the 30th 2018.

3) Take part in Medical Mission to Kenya in November, 2018 and in 2019.

4) Create awareness on various types of disabilities and in particular, Autism. Create awareness to parents of children with disabilities who hide them in homes due to the stigma associated with parents of children with special needs, thus denying the kids the opportunity to thrive.

5) Create awareness to youth in fighting opioids challenges and alcoholism.

6) Create awareness on the need to have a reading environment from early childhood through college.

Ambassador are welcomed to participate in the building of partnership by volunteering to visit

Kenya and USA giving back opportunities are all we welcome volunteer sign up and let IHOPEE leadership touch more lives.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or things – Albert Einstein, is a core punchline in IHOPEE’s focus.

IHOPEE Feb. 2020 Charity Fundraiser Dinner sponsored by MEDYZ SWAHILI CUISINE and proved to be a great success with Chef Peter and Chef Meddy and Zayn in Houston,Texas


Challenges and Opportunities

The International Health Operations Patient Education and Empowerment (IHOPEE) is a USA based organization with a small network of volunteers in Kenya who coordinate its activities on the ground. One of IHOPEE’s core mission is to help in combating health disparities in Kenya’s underserved communities as well as increasing health awareness, with a future plan of building clinics in rural villages.

In line with this, IHOPEE organized and carried out Medical Camps in three locations of Kenya as follows:

• Chianda in Rarieda of Siaya County – 09 November, 2018

• Maraba in Agoro Nyakach of Kisumu County – 09 November, 2018

• Mount Zion Church, Kayole in Nairobi on 14 & 15 November 2018

The Medical Camps targeted at least 1000 clients for Chianda, Rarieda, 1000 for Agoro,

Nyakach and 2000 for Kayole, Nairobi. However, were able to provide services to approximately

700 clients in Maraba, 490 in Chianda and 2000 in Mount Zion Church, Kayole. This encompassed a wide spectrum of age groups 0-83yrs and both genders of which <5s and women were the majority. Referrals were made to the nearest health facility or private practitioners especially in Kayole, we however noted that most of the patients were not in a financial position to afford the associated fees including the much advertised NHIF insurance.

The services provided included health screening: blood (pressure, glucose, typhoid, malaria and HIV) cancer (breast and cervical), treatment of minor ailments and counselling both secular and pastoral for Mount Zion Church in particular. Dr. Rosemary Obara (then, CEH Kisumu county) Dr Amos Otedo (Bondo) KMTC, Bondo MTC.

To help realize this venture, IHOPEE collaborated with local medical personnel (doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, students, counselors), volunteers from various walks of life and two pharmaceutical companies, Nila and Dawa in Nairobi who donated some drugs courtesy of Nancy Kamau and Bishop Mike Opiyo. A special group of volunteers which stood out was Kayole MtaSafi group that provides rehabilitation for youth around Kayole led by Fr. Emmanuel.

On IHOPEE side there were two nurses, Rose Oginga (CEO Ihopee) from Florida, and Margaret Rayola from California, a nurse practitioner, and now 2020 IHOPEE President and Medical Mission Director, Dr. Pauline Kibisu from Texas and one doctor Dr. Otieno Aduma from Delaware who participated as best they could but with minimal support. Specialist services were not provided at all even though it was planned as this cadre of personnel were not involved or not available.

Success and Challenges: Scenes Behind The Scene

IHOPEE was able to achieve their main goal of reaching some of the underserved community in all the three locations mainly because of the willingness and availability of qualified personnel on the ground particularly the involvement of Dr. Rosemary Obara in Agoro and Dr. Amos Otedo, Rarieda.

However, despite the physical absence of the doctor in charge of coordination in Kayole, Bishops Silas Kanali and Mike Opiyo and Racheal Otieno (Logistics) were able to step in effectively although the presence of local medical personnel was wanting, resulting in us utilizing basic level healthcare workers at this location. Upon inquiry, it became apparent that the moment they heard that their services would be mainly on voluntary basis, they pulled out.

It was obvious that the culture of volunteerism is very minimal in Kenya, I believe the medical and allied health training institutions need to foster this culture and better still introduce it at elementary levels in schools.

It is amazing that even the local leadership who promised to provide drinking water for volunteers did not show up at all to witness an event that was providing much needed service to the community. Some of the volunteers on the other hand travelled from far locations with one Dr. Job Onje taking time off from work all the way from Dadaab Refugee Camp and participated in two locations while Dr. Duncan Ndeda came for three hours and went back to carry out surgery at Kenyatta Hospital, and yet another came from an exam room straight to work as a volunteer coordinator all for free. Close friends and family were very supportive and instrumental to the overall success of the mission.

Availability of drugs and medical supplies posed a real challenge as most pharmaceutical companies approached required some kind of payment and given its lean budget, the team was unable to provide adequate finances.

The local IHOPEE team had challenges given many empty promises and non-commitment from local pharmacies to the eleventh hour. Getting through with IHOPEE medical donations were also a challenge given that the immigration authorities were trying to tax donations, not realizing that every extra suitcase we brought cost us at least $200 a piece. In one location the team had to dig into their pockets to buy drugs which unfortunately still got contorted at the pharmacy. The team had to advocate for itself and remind the wholesale pharmacy that the medical mission was doing charity services to their local community to get our already paid for medications that was never packed.

Graft is real at all levels in Kenya.

This could have been abated through collaboration with a wider group of players on the ground such as corporates, medical specialists, medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies and early planning.

It was clear that dental issues were rampant, so collaboration with a dental group would have made a huge difference. A challenge that remains in collaborating with bigger institutions is the risk of the small NGO at being drowned to oblivion and only big names being paraded.

One issue that was tricky to handle was the left-over medications IHOPEE idea of selling to local pharmacies or donating to another NGO run facility did not sit well with key local organizers, resulting in medications still being left in the hands of non-medical personnel. IHOPEE would like to collaborate with community health personnel on the ground to facilitate follow up of patients with comorbidities like diabetes, CHF and hypertension given the lack of access and poverty levels.

It is IHOPEE’s hope to organize more medical camps in the years to come and envision active involvement of Gov, MoH our leaders in the Health Sector.

“This first venture acted as an eye opener, a wake up call and a satisfying experience to everybody especially when patients expressed their appreciation for the services. Thanks to all who made it possible through financial, logistics and coordination of activities or any kind of support accorded us in any way, says an appreciative Rose Oginga.

Medical Mission 2019: Richer Outcomes

Gratitude is the heart of the matter. On behalf of IHOPEE –

A Special Thank You from Founder/CEO Healthy Nyanza March 2019 Medical Mission to Kenya.

Roseline Okendo, Educator, IHOPEE

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and our supporters for taking their time out of their busy and generous support towards the success of Healthy Nyanza March 2019 Medical Camp to Kenya. 

HEALTHY NYANZA 2019 is a March 2019 mission of the Chicago chapter of IHOPEE medical mission to Kenya. The primary objective of this medical mission was to conduct a general routine screening and to create awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart attack, stroke and diabetes in an adult population. Allow me to register a special appreciation to the following the people who donated their time and attended the camps. 

My special thanks to Prof Ogendo, Dr Okwadha, Otieno Odongo, Rose Oginga – IHOPEE President, Sue Slater and family, Dr Edith Kline, Martha Egiebor, Amania Drane, Margaret Rayola, Dr Sheba, Phillip Ayombe, Jimmy, Amayo Nicholas, Dominic Otieno, Achieng, David Israel, Peter Omondi, Dr Vincent Odingo, Patrick Dulo, Dr Were, Dr Elizabeth Owino, Susan Ochong, Liz Raduma, Ken, Mrs Jerusha , Mr Opondo, Patrick Ogaya, Mama Pesila, Edwin Ochong, Kerin Ogutu, Byron Ogutu, Roy Okendo, Joyce Okendo, Endita Kiarie, Tom Aomo, Grace Obungu, Kenya, Charles Dulo and kudos to everyone who helped and supported the camps in many different ways 

It was such a magical event and one that took a lot of organization. Thanks to all the Norwegian staff for making it an event to remember! The Nyanza people were quite elated to seeing and reading the educational materials that was donated by Norwegian Hospital for the purposes of empowering the vulnerable group in our community who are at risk of succumbing to the 3 major silent killer diseases which are also some of the very well-known to be chronic and terminal illnesses of humanity namely, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Stroke. 

The materials really boosted the morale and curiosity of our people toward understanding their Health and the preventive measures they needed to practice during such occurrences of such Conditions. 

We were also very much pleased to learn how much Norwegian staff invested in the just concluded medical camp to Nyanza – republic of Kenya, not forgetting to mention the stroke, heart and diabetes brochures and the stroke pocket cards that had information regarding blood pressure readings. This level of humanity touched them to their core and they were left  awe at what a heart of servitude you people have and being selfless when it comes to matters of community work and volunteerism. For this, they say that they are forever grateful. The elderly were also given goodies during the medical camp. 

Those that had great achievement of community service were also awarded Certificates of Recognition award to commend and appreciate their unselfishness in the community and Cheerfully executing community service voluntarily. This also encouraged others to continue with that spirit knowing very well that when one does good to others, they will always earn credit of remembrance and good reputation which marks a permanent and positive legacy even in their absence. 

Allow me also to just bring to your attention a few highlights of the various camps and the feedback we got from the community: 

1. Rae camp was one of the best camps and it was held at Rae dispensary which was the central meeting point for the people and the turn up was very big. The majority of the people who attended this camp were the middle aged and elderly with a few youths. There was a very active participation by the people as evidenced by their curiosity and Inquisitiveness throughout the teaching sessions. 

2. Uyoma camp was also one of its kind since even the students of a nearby Secondary school were in attendance! This camp had the greatest attendance of all the camps with over three hundred participants and there was a very active participation by both the elderly people and the students. The students were very much inspired by the young Medics who were volunteers in Educating the community and creating awareness. 

3. Rusinga camp was equally good . The turn up was very impressive and the people demonstrated a great desire to learn more about their health. In attendance was the assistant chief who was equally very active throughout the teaching session

The general and common comment from each camp had it that the Volunteers were GOD- FEARING, humble and very professional in their undertakings during the whole teaching sessions and even how they handled those that had their private conditions who inquired for medical advice. 

According to the volunteers’ assessment and evaluation of each camp, it came to our realization that the Healthcare facilities were located very far from the rural areas hence they are not accessible in the hour of great, dire and urgent need. Besides this menace or rather misfortune, most of the Health care providers do not prefer to work in the rural areas hence implicating that should Hypertension, Diabetes and Stroke menace arise, it is a double tragedy to these vulnerable people hence preventable early mortality is imminent- the death watch begins to ring and in a short while, the community loses a significant number of very industrious and productive individuals! 

Knowledge deficit among the people living in the rural areas was also a major concern which necessitates continuity of this awareness creation over a considerable period of time so that these people be fully equipped and empowered with knowledge of their own Health. Owing to this very sad state of Healthcare affairs in these rural areas, the community placed a very humble and sincere request to the Healthy Nyanza Medical mission and the allies inclusive of the donors that should you plan to visit them next time for the purposes of creating awareness, then, kindly integrate Treatment and Diagnosis into this good intentioned program to their people who are suffering. As volunteers who also felt the urgent Healthcare needs of these humble people, we stand with them in their grievances and pleas and urge the county government to put up health care facilities in the rural areas and give incentives to the Health care professionals to boost their morale of serving the rural communities. 

Once again on behalf of IHOPEE Organization and the Kenyan community, thank you for your kindness, support and selflessness towards service to the community of Nyanza. Through this noble task, Nyanza community has been able to be empowered and duly informed about the 3 commonest silent killer diseases; Diabetes, stroke and Hypertension. Knowledge deficit, ignorance and anxiety that comes with these diseases was also allayed to some degree. Kindly accept our very sincere and genuine gratitude for helping and paying attention to the Nyanza community and their health care needs. Indeed, in the hard times when compassion and unselfish help are rare, people’s unselfishness becomes truly priceless and helps us raise a worthy generation of those who would lead our country. 

Thank you very much for your understanding, support and words of encouragement. As Nyanza people, we say; 


ROSELINE OKENDO – Board Members – IHOPEE ,Chicago IHOPEE Chapter,cc ROSE OKWANY, IHOPEE FOUNDER USA IHOPEE Medical mission Director President Dr Kibisu Pauline Austin Texas chapter

Photo credits – IHOPEE

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