By Marco Flores and Jessica Dunham
While co-leading a mission trip to Kenya in 2009, Scott Sweat, a financial advisor with AOG Wealth Management in Richmond, Virginia, met a child who suffered from neglect, malnourishment, and poverty. This child, named David, was the inspiration for David’s Hope International, a non-profit that partners with Camp Brethren Ministries to address the educational, medical, and spiritual needs of the community in Eburru, Kenya.
Since its founding in 2009, David’s Hope built an elementary school, orphanage, church, and maternity ward, while also staffing and supplying the community’s medical clinic to treat 4,000 patients per year.
Scott was honored for his role as co-founder and Executive Director of the organization as our 2012 Invest in Others Global Community Impact Award Winner.
The Global Community Impact Award was a catalyst for growth for David’s Hope. The organization’s fundraising has increased from $100,000 per year to $300,000 per year. The Camp Brethren Christian School now serves 300 children (pre-K through 8th grade), a 50% increase in two years.
Some of this growth is the direct result of a connection made with a top financial services executive at the 2012 Awards dinner. With donations from this executive and his firm, David’s Hope was able to build a dormitory that can support up to 250 boarding students, which is very large for the area. According to Scott, “boarding students are a critical component to the self-sustainability efforts we are trying to achieve, as eventually the fees from the boarding students will cover the entire cost to operate the school, feeding program and orphanage.”
Most satisfying for Scott, and David’s Hope, is the academic achievement of the Camp Brethren students. This past December, the school’s first set of 8th graders sat for the 8th grade national standardized exam, which determines the level of high school they can be accepted to. Half of the 18 students qualified for top-level, national schools. Scott shared, “these are extraordinary results for any school and we are so proud of the students, teachers, and entire school. Most of these 8th graders wouldn’t be in school if not for David’s Hope and Camp Brethren Ministries, let alone looking at going to top-tier high schools and potentially serving as future leaders of Kenya.”
Next up for David’s Hope? The group is about to break ground on the last phase of the elementary school, which will include more classrooms, a computer lab, and library. Later this year, they hope to break ground on a national high school.
“Receiving the Global Community Impact Award has had a major impact on David’s Hope. We are so thankful and appreciative of the support of Invest in Others.”