The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to
Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, November 15,
and Heritage Biographies, 174 pp.
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About the Book
The poignant and
inspiring true story of three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum
and improve the lives of those around them.
Korogocho is one of
Kenya’s darkest slums, plagued by gang violence, food and water shortages, and
rampant pollution. Most children have no future except for scavenging through
trash piles or resorting to lives of crime. One day, a boy named Daniel Onyango
decided to do more, creating a band called the Hope Raisers to inspire the kids
of Korogocho. His friend, Mutura Kuria, quickly joined in.
In The Hope
Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and
Inspire a Community, Nihar Suthar tells the amazing story of how Daniel and
Mutura turned the band into a platform for change. They started teaching
children on the streets how to express themselves through art and established a
skating team after finding a pair of rollerblades in the dump. Suthar closely
follows the story of one rebellious girl, Lucy Achieng, who refused to get
married off at a young age and instead used competitive rollerblading to reach
for her dreams. Lucy continues to inspire girls to stand up for themselves and
challenge the longstanding practices in Korogocho of early marriage and
The Hope Raisers is an eye-opening look into a world of poverty and violence where
children receive only a basic education and are left with little to no means to
get out. Yet it also reveals the remarkable impact that a few determined
individuals can have on their community, even in the most challenging of
Part of the proceeds
from all book sales will be donated to the Hope Raisers and toward improving
the slum of Korogocho.
chapters and an Epilogue are barely enough to contain the story of a little
community that could. The book rose from an intriguing article about a group of
skaters in Kenya, and proceeds will help support Hope Raisers initiatives.
It’s always a
challenge to read about other cultures from our American standpoint, but at
least we have a chance to learn. Too many other people around the world do not.
The author describes
life in an African neighborhood slum where gang wars over garbage dumping
rights at a place that also provides means for the lucky who find food and
things to sell. It is a life of so little that treating others viciously is
their main method of coping. Depravity is the law of the land, and I cannot
help but wonder how that could possibly change in a culture so dry of dignity
and respect across gender and class.
Readers follow Mama
Bonie and her family as she makes the best of life and raises her children in a
faith-based community for the first few chapters. At church, son Mutura meets a
friend, Daniel, who makes music and learns about world government. They form a
group, Hope Raisers, with a goal to encourage awareness of the poverty and
violence and find help to renovate the area and maybe even build a school. They
learn of opportunities to get involved in movements that could offer a chance
to rise from abject lack. Their music video raises attention to their plight and
gets them funding, but unfortunately gang and tribal violence in 2008 set back
their efforts. Beset with a lack of understanding and connectivity between
greater government and their Slum Upgrading Programme, efforts to improve life
for those in the slums moved forward and back in herky-jerky pace.
When Daniel and
Mutura learned about roller-blading, they brought the sport back to their
neighborhood, and along with their friend Lucy, a star soccer player, form competitive
skating leagues. Who would have thought that team skating provides a great
change than a pile of money to fund ineffective programs?
Using dialog in this
work of creative nonfiction, Suthar shares this unique story of raising hopes
for children of the slums. Included is a discussion guide and extensive
bibliography. Recommended for readers who want to learn of other cultures and
are looking for involvement opportunities.
About the Author
Nihar Suthar is an award-winning writer living
in Tampa, Florida, covering inspirational stories around the world. Learn more
about him, his work, and his mission at www.niharsuthar.com.