Kenya is a country where 2.6 million children are homeless and 60% of the population lives on under $1 a day. Daily, children on the streets face a battle of hunger, violence, rape, disease and forced prostitution – simply to survive.
Many Hopes is a charity that was founded by a Kenyan journalist Anthony Mulungo and Thomas Keown, a Northern Irish newspaper columnist living in Boston. Keown encountered Anthony and his adopted daughter Gift (a former street child who was orphaned at 6 years old) on a safari in Kenya in 2007. Inspired by Anthony and Gift’s personal story, Keown kept in touch with them both. Together, Mulungo and Keown resolved to try to devise a way in which they could help other young people. They began to plan projects to help young people to access an education and sidestep poverty. The rest is history; later that very same year in 2007, the two men launched the Many Hopes charity.
When we were approached by the party organisers, Kasimira Events and asked if we would photograph the Many Hopes London Banquet and Fashion Show – their request was met with an immediate ‘yes!’ The charity is close to Rupa’s heart; her family originate from Kenya and she was born there. The venue on the 12th March was St Dionis church, in London’s Parsons Green, which played host to a guest list that including models Erin O’Connor and Jodie Kidd. Other celebrities in attendance included Mille Mackintosh, Zara Martin, Bip Ling, Lucy Mecklenburgh and Jade Parfitt. It was a privilege to capture the evening; the London event was a wonderful occasion and raised lots of money for this incredibly worthwhile cause. Many Hopes will be hosting their next event across the pond, where it promises to be attended by 500 people of influence from the worlds of fashion, finance and entertainment. We wish them every success with their fundraising in New York City on the 4th June! If you’re planning to be in the city at the time, you can offer your support on the night be purchasing tickets here (there are a final few remaining!)
The Many Hopes projects are sustainable and far reaching – from the building of new schools, safe homes for street children, maternal health centres and provision of water for the wider community. The message of their work is this: by rescuing, loving and educating children who have suffered the worst in life, they are raising the generation of adults that will lead with justice and fairness and will defeat the causes of extreme poverty in Kenya. You can read more about the charity’s story here and view more of the photographs we took of this event over on our Pinterest board.