2023 Trip, a return to Yimbo post pandemic.

The people in Yimbo welcomed us back to the village after a three-year absence due to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, we learned new ways to stay connected with Yimbo and remotely supported them. On June 28th, the melodic singing by the women and dancing, was what we had all longed for since our last visit in 2019. 

Humanitarian Trip Dates: June 25, 2023 – July 5, 2023

The trip included five days in Muguna Village, three days on safari at Masai Mara Game Reserve and two optional extended trip destinations.

Optional Extended Trips:

The two bucket-list places were a 4-day River Nile Cruise with a day trip in Cairo, Egypt or a 4-day visit to Cape Town in South Africa and Victoria Falls in Zambia.

Highlights: 2023 Theme was Dream Big, Start Small and Think Sustainable!

1. Distribution of books, backpacks, sanitary kits and uniforms to Muguna Primary School students

2. Leadership training and roundtable discussions with microenterprise groups

3. Visits to microenterprise ventures in the village 

4. 2-day medical camp – dental cleaning and extractions as well as primary care. Services provided to over 600 patients from the village

5. Technology training for all teachers

6. Instructional professional development for all teachers – Collaborative classrooms with Kagan Strategies; Social Emotional Instruction; Community Accountability; Building Community/Social Contract; Building Reading Fluency; Mathematics in Action

7. Spectacular safari at the world renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve to see the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cape buffalo)

8. Visit to one of the wonders of the world – The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

4. Visit to Robben Island in Cape Town and the thunderous roar of Victoria Falls, in Zambia


2019 Trip To Yimbo

Volunteers and School Explore Development of a School Lunch Program.

The effects of climate change continue to affect Yimbo. The longer dry seasons and shorter rainy seasons have exacerbated food insecurity in the village. Muguna School attests to many families that can barely feed their children three square meals a day.
Majority of the students come to school hungry yet there is an expectation for them to focus on learning. These kids run home during lunch break only to get a sip of water and return to school. Read More

The Digital Promise Initiative

As of June 2018, the school had one mounted projector, speakers and desktop in the library. In addition, each teacher has been using a laptop for 2 years after attending three professional learning sessions. With support from Deno and Henry as technical support team, Muguna has exhibited tremendous growth in integrating Digital Learning, Academic Discourse and Risk-Taking in the classroom. Read More

Micro-Enterprise Opportunities Flourish

Paul, the local FOY coordinator continues to achieve success with small groups in Muguna Village. Paul’s entrepreneurial success is rooted in continuous mobilization and learning opportunities for  the village. His efforts have inspired the village around the idea of business enterprise development as a viable way out of extreme poverty. Read More

Muguna Students in Need of Classroom Supplies

Muguna’s enrollment is currently pushing on 474 students for a school that was built to accommodate 300 students. The government financial support has not caught up with the levels of growing need. As a result, the school lacks adequate facilities and instructional supplies. The July 2019 volunteers delivered over 800 pencils & erasers, 500 writing books, 600 reading books and 10 textbooks per classroom. Yes, that’s correct! The teachers only have 10 textbooks per classroom and these are required text books. Read More

Clean Water Reaches More Homes in Muguna

In Muguna, approximately 7 out of 100 individuals have access to clean water. FOY partnered with the village back in 2014 to sink a water well that has served some of the families. Since 2014, FOY has focused on getting individual homes water tanks to store rain water for filtration. Sponsor a household today to purchase a water tank. Read More


Other highlights:

Safaris in Masai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park 

Visit to Barkanyango High school, which is Muguna Primary feeder school

Visit to Karen Blixen, Giraffe Center and Elephant Sanctuary in Nairobi


2019 Trip Calendar

2018 Trip To Yimbo and Egypt

Inspired by the work of the previous travelers to Yimbo, another group of 15 volunteers completed a very successful trip to Muguna Village in July 2018. The volunteers stayed a total of six nights in the village and worked alongside the people of Muguna  in the focus areas of education, micro-enterprise, public health and clean water.

The six days marked the most days a group has ever stayed in the village and the volunteers took every advantage of every waking day to do meaningful work that changes lives in Muguna.

Thanks to your generous donations:

1. Held a book fair for the students. Distributed blankets, 400 books, 370 bag packs and 300 toothbrushes/toothpastes

2. Distributed over 200 Feminine Hygiene Kits for standard 7 and 8 girls

3. Officially dedicated the opening the girls toilets at Muguna Primary

4. Installed projection screen, LCD projector in the school library and classrooms

5. Distributed 13 laptops to each teacher at Muguna Primary

6. Trained all teachers on technology use and free educational software content across curriculum

7. Cabled the entire school for alarm and installed an alarm system

8. Distributed new school uniforms to 150 students in standard 1, 2 and 3

9. Coordinated a medical camp with health screening and dental extractions for 160 patients

10. Funded the $3,500 second round of  women microenterprise activities

11. Conducted a 4-day teacher professional learning seminar on Conceptual Math I & II, Academic Discourse (Model Lesson) Composition, Risk Taking in the classroom and Problem-Solving using the IBB process


Other highlights:

Safaris in Masai Mara Game Reserve, Sweet Waters Game Reserve, and Samburu Game Reserve

Boat rides at Lake Naivasha and Lake Victoria to watch hippos

A 7km bike safari in Hells Gate National Park and 5km hike

Visit to giraffe and elephant sanctuaries in Nairobi

4-day visit to Egypt – Aswan to Luxor Nile Cruise and Cairo

2018 Trip Calendar

2016 Trip to Yimbo

19 volunteers wrapped up another remarkable trip to Muguna Village in June 2016. During this trip, the volunteers worked alongside the people of Muguna to continue our FOY work in the focus areas of education, micro-enterprise, public health and clean water.

Thanks to your generous donations:

1. Held a book fair for the students and distributed Quilts (2000 books, 87 quilts and 300 toothbrushes/toothpaste)

2. Distributed over 200 Feminine Hygiene Kits for standard 7 and 8 girls

3. Construction of four toilets is underway at Muguna Primary

4. Installed a computer, ceiling fan, projector, mounted speakers, whiteboard and wall controls in the school library

5. Installed one computer for teachers in the staff room

6. Trained all teachers on technology use and free educational software content across curriculum

7. Painted the library, staff room, offices and all classroom blackboards

8. Distributed new school uniforms to 100 students in standard 1 and 2

9. Coordinated a women’s health screening (50) and physical checkups (141)

10. Ten women out of thirty in the microenterprise group received water tanks, gutters and associated fittings


Other highlights:

Safaris in Amboseli National Park, Tsavo West National Park, Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

Boat rides at Lake Naivasha and Lake Victoria to watch hippos

A 7km bike safari in Hells Gate National Park and 5km hike

Visit to giraffe and elephant sanctuaries in Nairobi

3-day visit to the Island of Zanzibar

2016 Trip Calendar

2014 Trip to Yimbo

This trip had many returning volunteers some visiting for the third time. As an organization, FOY appreciates that this trip is more than just a onetime adventure for some but a mission to accomplish many things. As FOY always provides a time for the group to reflect round a camp fire, many returning volunteers shared their reasons for the multiple visits. The one that struck me the most was, “They (the village) have become my people”.

Among the donated items were:

#1: Science kit

#2: Over 800 donated books

#3: Over 500 donated t‐shirts

#4: 300 FOY pre‐printed mini plastic bags for all student and teacher gifts

#5: Discovery science t‐shirts

#6: Basket, volley, and soccer balls

#7: Sanitary kits

#8: Health kits

#9: The game of BINGO

The cultural exchange activities included sisal rope-making, cow milking, porridge tasting, local brew tasting and dances. The featured movie this year was Mandela – Long Walk To Freedom.

The trip culminated with safaris in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Game Reserve and Lake Manyara Game Park in Tanzania. A highlight was the stopover in Oldupai Gorge (Olduvai), located in the Great Rift Valley, between the Ngorongoro Crate and the Serengeti National Park. This location is a historical site best known as the oldest evidence of mankind’s evolution.



2012 Trip to Yimbo

What an incredible year it was. Not only was it the largest number of volunteers that FOY has ever organized but we delivered on the clean safe water that the village had waited for so desperately! This was a year for FOY to remember for a long time, by every account our proudest moment! Through the tens of fundraisers both in the village and California with every trickle of contribution, together a borehole was sunk in Muguna. There were tears and cheers as the drilling trucks from Water Masters rolled into the village. Soon the generators were fired up and the drill bits sunk into the earth for 48 hours straight. Village residents offered tea and food to the workers or anyone who cared to join as it quickly became the congregating spot for stories and questions alike. Finally when water spewed out, everyone rushed to get a taste of it and soak in the moment. The children splashed their faces while some collected the water.

Muguna Primary got Science kits, library books, Discovery science t-shirts for scientists of tomorrow and a hand-sketched world map on the exterior wall of the school. To accompany the donations was a well-choreographed daylong teacher professional training. The training emphasized the importance of reading by third grade. Many teaching strategies were shared and some volunteers plan on bringing back the lessons learned to their classrooms in California.

The health and sanitation workshop has become a staple for the village residents. Up to one hundred people attended the workshop jointly hosted by two volunteers from California and a local nurse from a nearby town. At the end of the workshop, all participants received a hygiene kit.

The cultural exchange activities included sisal rope-making, cow milking, porridge tasting, local brew tasting and dances. The featured movie this year was Africa Cats – a documentary about Cheaters and Lions in the Masai Mara narrated by Samuel. L Jackson. The trip culminated with safaris in Masai Mara Game Reserve, Lake Bogoria Hot Springs, Lake Nakuru National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park and Sweet Waters Tented Camp.

2011 Trip to Yimbo

Determined to keep the momentum and promises made in 2009, Friends of Yimbo managed to send a small team of three volunteers to the village. FOY continued to develop the partnership with the village. We learn from each other and together the quality of life improves. Kaye, Carolyn and Mary become the mighty three volunteers for they accomplished so much.

Working together with the village, the three volunteers stocked the library with the much needed textbooks identified by the teachers. They spent time with the teachers learning how best to use the teaching manipulatives to improve instruction. Every student received a care package with toothbrushes and toothpaste donated by a Sacramento dentist as well as new school uniforms.

The newly formed village committee shared their vision for the village and how best they could partner with FOY. The village identified one household that was in dire need of support. It was woman taking care of her orphaned grand children living in a leaking house with no beds. The volunteers were able to assist the village in repairing the roof and purchasing some basic furniture. This showed how the village works together to take care of individuals whenever possible.


2010 Trip to Yimbo

An important milestone for Friends of Yimbo. Ability to organize a follow up trip so soon after the first one is very gratifying. It was yet another big Yimbo welcome and expectations were high. The opening of the school library in 2009 was a tough act to follow. What we came to understand is that the village is not looking for a handout but a hand up. Simply knowing that there are individuals rooting for them and willing to provide some support was good enough for the village. They understood that continuous improvement would require the willingness to learn from each other and exchange ideas.

In 2009 when the library opened, there was barely one shelf of books. So the mission in 2010 was to install wall-to-wall shelving and fully stock it with the books requested by the teachers. Textbooks were purchased from the local bookstore in Kisumu while additional reading books were donated by a school district in southern California. This was the year to also deliver the manipulatives the teachers said would tremendously aid instruction in a rural school like Muguna Primary. The teachers participated in a professional development session that covered the use of math counting cubes, counting bears (k‐2), tangrams & puzzles (3+), pentominoes & puzzles (3+), geo boards, protractors (31), world beach globes (3), world map softballs (14), checkers, addition & subtraction flashcards, and Magic boards.

The volunteers also joined two hard working young men from the village in painting the library, classrooms, and staff room. For the first time the teachers had a room with furniture where they could meet rather than their traditional spot under a tree using student desks.

2009 Trip to Yimbo

Seventeen volunteers got on a plane to Nairobi then took the six hour drive to Yimbo where a momentous welcome awaited them. This marked the first FOY humanitarian trip to Yimbo. Over one hundred people from the village turned out in their “Sunday best” to welcome their visitors that had flown over 10,000 miles to spend four days with them. The synchronous singing of the kids, beating of the drums and the dances by the women’s group filled the air. Curiosity struck both the visitors and hosts. None of the volunteers had been to Africa. Likewise, the village had never hosted anyone from overseas. This made for the perfect cultural exchange. The following four days marked the beginning of a strong bond between Friends of Yimbo and the village of Muguna.

The 1,100 sq ft library was officially opened. The only one of its kind in the region. Many in the village opened their doors for visits. Volunteers walked in the village and this truly marked the beginning of a dialogue and exchange. Developing trust between FOY and the village was accomplished during the trip. Many villages in rural Kenya had been disappointed over the years by non-profits that would make promises that were never fulfilled.

A quote from a volunteer “This was a life changing experience and I will return for sure”, Kaye, Glendora, California

On the final day, the village hosted a people’s forum to give everyone a chance to speak directly to FOY volunteers. The overwhelming request was for clean safe water. As one gentleman in the village stated, “… we feel blessed with what we have and special to have many friends from across the oceans. The library is source of pride that will outlive many of us, but lack of access to clean, safe water is pulling us back”.