When a group of American and African volunteers formed SOTENI, each member was passionately committed to preventing HIV/AIDS and to reducing its effects. At that time, the mission was simple: Empower orphans of AIDS to lead the fight against AIDS and to prevent another generation from succumbing. SOTENI International became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group in 2003, allowing for tax-deductible contributions.
SOTENI International's primary focus is maintaining current programs in partnership with the Villages of Hope and SOTENI Kenya by: 1) fund-raising for operations to support current and future programs in the Villages of Hope, and 2) enhancing their organizational infrastructure.
- Sustainability through local leadership, infrastructure development, and economic solvency
- Opportunity to better the lives of AIDS orphans and other vulnerable people through local, national, and international initiatives
- Training of persons with HIV/AIDS, and other stakeholders, to lead the fight against AIDS
- Epidemiology to design, evaluate, and replicate programs that reduce the incidence and/or severity of HIV/AIDS
- Networking to harness the "time, talent, and treasure" of others to help achieve SOTENI's mission
- Interdependence that connects and enriches us all as we work to heal the effects of AIDS and stop its spread in our lifetimes
Led by physician-epidemiologist Victoria Wells Wulsin, SOTENI Kenya began in 2003. The group developed the model of Villages of Hope, with the goal of establishing a sustainable, grassroots community. A locally elected management committee led this community, supporting children affected by HIV/AIDS, especially those heading families. The group found that the best way to empower those needing help was to strengthen their communities, and, in turn, the communities could empower vulnerable people.
This discovery led to our dedication to community development. In 2004, SOTENI Kenya opened three more Villages of Hope: Mituntu, Mbakalo, and Ugunja. Contributions, both financial and in-kind, exceeded $250,000 as volunteers and interns from five continents joined the grassroots volunteers.
To ensure sustainability, each village included income-generating assets and activities ranging from the health center to beekeeping.
Our partner has been badly affected. You can change a child's life by donating. All funds will go in full to this hurricane relief location and directly to Morgan's safe house.She has been in Haiti only 3 years and has helped thousands of children .Her group has personally reunited close to 300 children with their families and saving them from slavery and abandonment. Now with this hurricane, funds are desperately needed to help so many children that have lost there homes and families.
- any child who is a victim of neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment will receive physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration
- such recovery and reintegration will take place in an environment which fosters the health, self respect and dignity of the child
- education and opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-determination are the rights of all
- They believe that children deserve a safe and peaceful place to sleep, play and learn.
- They believe that childhood should be about learning and playing not work, slavery and abuse.
- They believe that all people are entitled to adequate shelter, food and clean water.
- They believe that it is a duty to help others to become independent.
- They believe that individuals can often be more effective than governments in promoting human relationships and world peace.
THE NUMBERS (as of October 2014)
- 94 children united with their families – 63 from situations of exploitation and abuse, 31 from the streets
- 18 homeless children seek refuge, healing and growth in our Safehouses
- 9 Haitian staff employed by Little Footprints Big Steps
- 6 tutors hired part-time in various communities across Haiti
- 12 families still need help building or renting a home
- Over 170 children supported for basic education
About Morgan Wienberg
Morgan lived in a Haitian orphanage for 5 months over the spring and summer of 2011 and witnessed the hardships the children face. Yet despite the desperate conditions there, she remains full of life and love. She worked daily to gain access to health care, clean water for showers and food for her 70 roommates. Morgan currently lives in Haiti at LFBS’s transitional safehouse where she is caring for the children as if they were her own.
Morgan was Valedictorian of her High School and recipient of the Governor General of Canada Academic Award. She was awarded the Commissioner of Yukon Youth Award for her work as Director of Humane Society Yukon, Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Food Not Bombs, and Social Justice Club. Rotary International has recognized her work with their Paul Harris Fellowship Humanitarian Award. She was a finalist nominee with the Berger-Marks Foundation in Washington, DC for demonstrating leadership in Social Justice; a guest speaker at the United Nations Youth Assembly and was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Government of Canada.
To our surprise, four years ago there was no way to deliver goods to our other partner, Little Footprints Big Steps. Even conventional methods are not safe due to looting.
It was at that time we were introduced to Sail Aid who has been on a tireless mission for over 10 years helping the less fortunate.
Sequoia has devoted these years to delivering such needed services from solar panels to food and has been our only way to get products and needed services to Little Footprints Big Steps.
We celebrate our partnership with Sequoia and support him in his tireless efforts.