Thursday, August 23, 2018

Harambe Humanitarian

During the course of the 8 posts I did on my trip to Kenya last month, I had several comments from friends who asked about Harambe Humanitarian, the group that I went with. 

Our trip was primarily a humanitarian trip, but the hosts Marilyn and Oldere (OD) also made sure we had plenty of fun things to balance out the work. Marilyn is a master planner! We visited an elephant orphanage (twice), a giraffe sanctuary, safari’ed on the Maasai Mara, shopped, visited a manyatta village, met Maasai warriors in the bush - all in addition to visiting schools (primary and secondary) to distribute school supplies, distribute sanitary supplies for girls (and teach the Days for Girls education programs), and plant trees. And we even distributed sturdy wooden toys to young children. We did good things, learned a lot about Kenya and its beautiful citizens and had fun all the while.

Harambe Humanitarian (Harambe means “come together” in Maasai) is waiting for its final approval as a 501(c)3 non-profit from the State of Utah.  It has been approved by the UT State Tax Commission and the tax id number has been assigned. The rest of the process is just paperwork catching up.  

Marilyn Sorensen is the President and driving force behind Harambe, although there are several others on the Board of Directors. As well, there are a couple local (Utah) angels that have generously donated funds to get the Foundation going.

Harambe has already worked with groups and individuals to bring supplies and services to Kenya, including Days for Girls, the Girls Scouts of America, Tiny Tim’s Toys Foundation as well as many elementary and secondary schools and businesses. They prefer to work on projects that will enable the locals to grow and learn and help themselves, especially those relating to women’s health, education and self-sufficiency.

 In June, the Foundation purchased 3 acres of bare land in Kenya on which will be built a library, a birthing center and midwifery clinic, an education hub and extended stay housing for volunteers. Harambe has already been instrumental in opening up a Days for Girls center. And under DFG guidance, they educated two local women to run that center and do presentations to girls throughout the Narok area of Kenya.

Currently, over 14,000 donated books from school fundraisers are being held in a storage facility in Utah. The books will eventually make their way to Tenkes Primary School in the Mau Forest where they will be used to start a library. The foundation is flushing out every option to get the books shipped there and to raise funds to complete the library building so that the books have a home. It will serve as a multi-purpose continuing education center and pop-up clinic in that remote area.

So, those are the most immediate plans, but they will always have their hearts and eyes open for other opportunities and donations that will help the women, children and families in Kenya.

FYI, Harambe plans about 3 humanitarian experiences (“soul safaris”) per year; the next one will in the fall, with others following regularly in 2019 forward.  For more information, check them out on Facebook at Soul Safari HERE. It’s a closed group, but you can tell Marilyn you know me if you are interested in finding out more.


  1. Sounds like a very well organized and effective program! I'm glad to hear they are on the cusp of receiving 501c3 status. That should help them with their fundraising goals :)

  2. I like the term 'soul safaris' - sounds perfect. Interesting to read more about the organization.

  3. Thanks for posting more about the organization. Even though the trip was fun, I suspect the most rewarding part was the good that you all did. It's really a state of mind, IMHO.
    xx, Carol


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