The Perseverer – Mwanzo

During the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s and 2000s, Loyce Ong’udi lost her brother, sister, nieces, nephews and cousins to the disease in Rabour, Kenya. After what seemed like endless grief, Loyce became determined not to let HIV/AIDS have the last word on her home village.

Loyce founded her nonprofit, Mwanzo, which means “new beginnings” in Swahili. The organization is committed to community-driven development, improving the lives of the 10,000 residents of Rabour and its 14 surrounding villages. Mwanzo provides a school for the local children, medical help and support for farmers and other entrepreneurs.

Mwanzo’s next step is to build a community center that will house a health clinic, computer lab/internet café, a multipurpose room, library and daycare center. Phase 1 of construction is complete, and $100,000 is needed to complete the final two phases.

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