New Partnership – Lantern Projects

It’s such a gift when a person or group comes along and wants to help amplify your message. Yet another case in point … Lantern Projects, a non-profit that raises money for small projects around the world, has taken us on as one of their projects! Specifically, they are helping to raise the funds for us to bring 600 bed nets for malaria prevention to the school. Check it out!

Video Premiers Online

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Video Screening Event. It was a full house, and to date we raised close to $3,000 and two more children are on their way to being sponsored with scholarships to Secondary School!
The 3 short videos we screened are now available online. We invite you to watch them and SHARE them.

· Kindle Project: This video shows the incredible impact from the introduction of Kindles.

· Sponsorship Program: This video shows students who want to move into secondary school(high school).

· Meet Martin: Experience a day in the life of Martin, an 11 year old boy facing the challenges of living in rural Zambia. An especially great one to share with kids!

See all videos here.

Again, many thanks for your continued support.  You have each had a hand in creating the space of Dwankhozi Community School and we are elated to be able to show you a direct glimpse into just what your participation means!

Video Screening Event

Dwankhozi Hope invites you on Thursday April, 5 (6:30pm – 8:30pm) to a video screening event.  A picture tells a thousand words… just imagine what a film can say. Experience our recent trip to Dwankhozi School first hand through the eyes of our videographer, Aly Schoonover. We will be screening THREE short videos about our journey – come watch them with us!

Gathering Stories: Introduction of the Kindles
A Boy’s Life: The day in the life of Martin
Hope for a Future: The Scholarship program

Please come to see the video unveiling at Mulleady’s Irish Pub in Seattle, buy a 5$ drink (a portion of the drink proceeds will go towards Dwankhozi Hope), and enjoy some appetizers.

And we’ll be selling some homemade Zambian cloth bracelets and photo notecards with the “best of” pictures from our trip.

The event will be casual, so come as you are and bring a friend! Pass it on!

Let us know if you can’t come, we’ll post the videos online for you after the event.

Mulleady’s Irish Pub
3055 21st Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98199

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Filming Trip 2012: “In the Can”

 From Aly:

As many of you know, the main purpose of our journey with Dwankhozi Hope to Zambia was to capture footage of the Dwankhozi Community and the school in order to highlight the organization and show the immense need that they are working so hard to address.

Video can take us to places that are so removed from our realities. We hope to visually bring the audience and our supporters to Dwankhozi Community school in order to meet the amazing personalities that we have met; to see the many resources that they lack (which we take for granted every day); to see their hard work in action of striving for a better education and way of life; to feel the hope and inspiration that is infectious here. These are the videos that we have set out to make and we can’t wait to share the finished products with you all!

Kindle Project: A huge obstacle facing these students is the lack of literature.  The Zambian government is only able to provide a VERY limited amount of text books that are shared among the entire school.  Moreover, the transportation of books for all of the reading levels from the US would be almost impossible. Thus, we decided to bring 6 Kindles, each loaded with 50 books- ranging in reading levels, to test the viability of using E-readers to build a library which otherwise could not exist. Kate’s amazing idea to use the Kindles was even more successful than we could have imagined and the video for this project will show just that!

Day-in-the-Life of a Student at Dwankhozi: The life of a young child in the villages of rural Zambia is worlds apart from those of our children in the US. We decided to do a video piece, which encapsulates the hard work that these children put in each day to achieve an education. We followed an 11-year-old student named Martin from Phunga village. His smile will be in my mind forever, I can’t wait for everyone to see this sweet boy’s story.

Scholarship Candidates Video: There are SO many students who have put in the hard work to continue their education but whose families can simply not afford the minimal fees for secondary school. With this piece you will get to meet these dedicated students who are available to be sponsored, learn about their lives, and hear about the dreams they have for their futures.


Masala Family Video: This documentary style piece will tell the inspiring story of the Masala Family (and 10 siblings) and how they have risen from the most difficult of circumstances and how education has changed their lives.

Hope this fills everyone in on what the heck we are doing over here (other than playing with lions). We appreciate the support and love so much! We can’t wait to share these special stories with you all 🙂

Filming Trip 2012: The Village

From Aly:

Being a native of the Emerald City I thought I had seen the greenest greens… until I got to Zambia. Never have I ever seen a more lush, vibrant green landscape. Every time I look out the window on our drives to the school or the family village, I am in awe of the scenery. It looks like something out of a national geographic magazine – another world that must have been dreamed up.

 We have been here four days now and they have been jam packed with beauty, adventure, laughter and heartache. In our four days we have spent a lot of time at the Masala Family village farm. The Masala Family is the reason that Dwankhozi Hope can do what they do. Their family consists of 10 siblings who were all educated at a university level, some with their masters and PhD’s. This fact became so much more incredible when we spent time in the village similar to where they grew up and where most children don’t make it past 9th grade. The challenges of village life are many. Famine, disease and lack of funds to send children to school make it incredibly hard for them to aspire to a life beyond the village. The Masalas have overcome these challenges and with hard work, dedication and incredibly inspiring parents they were able to do the unthinkable. They now serve as a beacon of hope to their community as they work tirelessly with the Dwankhozi School to encourage children to set their sites higher – for a better life for themselves and their families.

 Moses Masala (Uncle Mo) is the Project Director for Dwankhozi Hope in Zambia and one of the 10 siblings I talked about above. He has been our fixer – driving us everywhere and setting everything up for us. He is the sweetest most thoughtful man… and SO incredible smart. I don’t think we have stopped laughing since we arrived. He knows EVERYONE, being a caretaker to the entire village and town we are constantly making abrupt stops along our drives where Uncle Mo hops out of the car to see someone or take care of something.


Bertha Masala (Wa Bertha) is another of the 10 siblings – she is one of the most “bad-ass” chicks I have ever met in my life. Not only does she tell it how it is, but she has no reservation in dishing it out to anyone! She is also hilarious and has a remarkable gift of making you feel so at home and like you can be 100% yourself. We are heading to Lusaka later in the week (where she lives) where she will be taking me to her aerobics class. She says she loves it because she “can wear her short shorts and be very free”. She says Kirk is not allowed to join. This can be added to my list of things I never thought I would do in Africa.


Though the rainy season is one of the most beautiful times in Zambia it is also the hardest for the people here. It is known as the hunger season as the village farmers wait for their crops to grow. As we have learned most children arrive at school having had no breakfast and with no lunch in hand – surviving on one meal a day and mangos when they can find them. The rainy season also brings mosquitoes and more malaria than ever. It was shocking to see how casually people talk about the children at the school with malaria or how many times they have had it themselves.


When we slept at the farm we saw all of these things and it was hard to digest but we also felt the joy and sense of community that you would never see in the US. Sandwiched between Big Mama and Bertha – wearing her “snuggle up” t-shirt – Kate and I in the middle, we all giggled ourselves to sleep under our giant mosquito net. It’s so hard to put into words all the hilarious and surreal details from the farm.  It was definitely an out of body experience but one we will never forget.

Filming Trip 2012: Amesege’nallo’

Amesege’nallo’ in Amharic means thank you. I have never meant these words as much as I did when speaking them yesterday as we said our goodbyes in Ethiopia. With the experiences so fresh in our minds and the amazing events of the past few weeks having reached a point of such normalcy it is hard to find the words to give justice to this place and these people which we now hold so dear to our hearts. At this point we just want to say, from the bottom of our hearts, amesege’nallo’…


To our work team… American and Ethiopian, who built a basketball court, soccer field,library and girls and boys lavatories with the most BASIC tools in the scortching Ethiopian sun for the kids and Hadease School.





 To Waas… Our Ethiopian cowboy bus driver who was constantly smiling, and belting out his “country spirituals”. I will never forget when I asked if you would come to America and you told me… “ I will meet you in heaven honey. Its much easier to get in there, god doesn’t require paperwork”




To the kids at Hadase School. Hadase means renewal and as we thought we would be renewing your school with our construction projects, you renewed our hearts with a sense unguarded joy and compassion unlike anything we have ever experienced before.



To Almaz, the director of All Gods Children in Ethiopia, I have never anyone like you. To sacrifice the comforts of American life that you grew to know to return to your country and selflessly better the lives of orphans and children is truly and inspiration.





And to every other smiling face that we met in this beautiful country. You put a new meaning to love and appreciation that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.

Happy New Year!

Hi Friends,

Happy New Year!  We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of Dwankhozi Hope (DH).   It has been a tremendous year of progress for our partnership with the local school in Zambia as we help empower this community to provide an education for their children and an opportunity for a better life.  Below is a quick recap of all that was accomplished in 2011 and a sneak peak of what is in store for 2012.

As you will see below, it has been a very busy and exciting year.  We thank God for all of our partners and donors who made this possible.  We look forward to the coming year and for the ways that each of us, our partners, and the children of Dwankhozi will be transformed through this work.

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year,

-The Dwankhozi Hope Team

2011 – Look Back


  • Completed Pre-K Building to help the younger children better prepare for school
  • Delivered supplies and equipment to the teachers helping them to provide a quality education to the students
  • Completed the first teacher’s house which will help attract more trained teachers and reducing class size
  • Held the first medical clinic at the school to evaluate the students and learn how we can help the children stay healthy and in school
  • In partnership with Beyond Solar, installed solar power and Internet giving the school electricity for the first time ever.  This allows the teachers to better prepare for school as well as develop an adult literacy program for the parents in the community
  • Delivered laptops and printers which will allow the teachers to develop more effective lesson plans
  • Sponsored our first DH student to continue her education at a secondary boarding school
  • Shipped educational supplies and sporting equipment to the school that will help improve the schools educational and sports programs


  • Thanks to our generous donors we raised an estimated $69,000 this year which was our most productive fundraising year to date
  • Thanks to our generous donors we were able to fund an estimated $55,000 in school programs our most productive year to date

2012 – What’s in Store


  • Complete a second teacher’s house project which will be a shared flat model providing housing for two families.  This will help attract even more trained teachers
  • Perform 2nd medical clinic with a focus on malaria which will address the main health issue in the region and help the children stay healthy and in school
  • Deliver electronic readers (Kindles) which will allow unlimited access to books and educational material for the students as books are currently sparse
  • Sponsor additional students to continue their education at a secondary boarding school
  • Sanitation projects adding additional safe and clean ventilated improved pit latrines
  • Additional solar and technology projects which will provide increased access to education for the community
  • Provide financial support for volunteer teachers to help them attain their teaching certificate which will in turn allow them to earn a salary from the government and focus full-time on teaching, thus improving the quality of education for the students
  • Deliver additional supplies and equipment to the school to help improve the quality of education


Next Trip to Zambia

In 6 weeks, two aspiring filmmakers will be visiting Dwankhozi Community School to film a day in the life of two students — Aly Schoonover, who is currently working on FILM FESTIVAL: RWANDA and Kirk Piper. Kate Ballbach will also be going to deliver and train the teachers on use of six Amazon Kindles as a teaching tool and electronic library concept. If you’re interested in our trip, please like our page so you can follow us! We arrive on January 14.


He’s Off – Climbing Mt. Aconcaqua

Christopher Kenessey started his climb yesterday of Mount Aconcaqua in Argentina to raise money for Dwankhozi. Please consider hugging him out with a donation today!

Learn more about his climb.

Learn more about Mt. Aconcaqua …


Published: A Medical Mission of Hope

Beth MacLean,RN, DH Director of Programs, recently wrote an article about her trip to Medical Trip to Zambia.  It was published  in the latest volume of the Outlook Magazine for Proliance Surgeons which serves 12 surgery centers in the Puget Sound area. Check it out here …