American Friends of Kenya

President’s Corner

Our motto says “We are partners with the people of Kenya in building a better tomorrow.”  We discarded dozens of slogans, mission statements, and catchy phrases before settling on this one.

Partnerships are at the heart of AFK’s approach.  We are careful in forming partnerships with Kenyan organizations and network leaders and choose only those who share our vision, tenacity, and commitment.  But once we make a decision to move ahead, we do all in our power to help our partners succeed.  Our shipments provide desperately needed resources,  and our volunteer teams add professional knowledge and support.

It’s a winning formula.  Libraries are created.  Schools are transformed.  Struggling village clinics begin helping hundreds more.  AFK is the catalyst, but the real heroes are our partners in Kenya.  They do the heavy lifting and make things happen.  And as they succeed, others are inspired to follow their example.  Success breeds success, the spirit spreads, and Kenyans strengthen their country from within.

But partnership doesn’t end there.  Those of us who work with AFK at the American end (and sometimes Canadian, Australian etc…)  become partners, too.  And often dear, life-long friends as well.  If you’ve ever been on an AFK trip, you know how closely we bond, work together, laugh together, and share in the experience of accomplishing something real, noble, and lasting. Each year, a majority of our travel volunteers have come with us before.  Many of them make great financial sacrifices to return to Kenya.  They do it because they know first-hand that AFK is the real deal, that their talents and labors will be well used, that they will be inspired by the most wonderful people they’ve ever encountered, and that they will leave a legacy of solid accomplishment.  Hard to beat that.

For those who are not in a position to go with us to Kenya, rest assured that your time, money, and effort are making an important difference.  Just ask anyone who has traveled with us, and they will tell you.  We are as transparent as they come.

And also rest assured that your financial donations will not be used to pay Americans or rent an office or storage site.  We are a 100% volunteer organization, our storage sites are donated, and we work for AFK out of our own homes and offices.  So far, I have yet to find an international charity with lower overhead and doubt if you can either.

In closing, here’s my hope.  I hope someday that AFK will become obsolete and that I can return to Kenya to enjoy cherished friends and revel in the accomplishments of our Kenyan partners who no longer need us.  It won’t happen in a day.  But someday.  Thank you for being part of it.

Wayne Silver

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