SOTENI International kicked off the month of March with the Celebration of Hope 2019 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
Celebrating “Ubuntu”—I am because you are—was the theme of the Celebration of Hope, highlighting stories of perseverance and courage among those who continue to endure the HIV/AIDS epidemic in rural Kenya. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, who worked alongside President Nelson Mandela as the longest-serving U.S. diplomat in South Africa, delivered a stirring speech detailing her career in the Foreign Service, the importance of nonprofits like SOTENI in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and what Ubuntu means to her.
“Ubuntu seeks to harness a collective will and to create a society free of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Such ideals characterize the enterprising communities such as those in rural Kenya where SOTENI works,” Amb. Bridgewater said. “Ubuntu places a premium on human solidarity, compassion, and dignity.”
The Celebration of Hope and the accompanying online auction raised over $21,000 to help support SOTENI’s initiatives in rural Kenya.
Since the Celebration of Hope, Amb. Bridgewater has continued her collaboration with SOTENI, meeting with our staff in Kenya last week to discuss ways to work together in Kenya and the U.S. to further the fight against HIV/AIDS, to increase access to treatment, to raise more funding, and to continue building the capacity of the organization.