Partnering for ProgressMaking a world of difference, a world away.

What's in our August 2018 issue: Notes from the Field: Eric Omondi Otieno's Story of Hope and Hard Work; Starting Early: Preschool Education Training; Love Led Patti Aspinwall to Kenya; P4P in the Inlander; Into Africa Auction: Last Chance for Special Ticket Pricing!


"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." ~ Nelson Mandela

Eric Otieno, one of  P4P's scholarship students

Eric talks with Nereah, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator

Eric talks with Nereah, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator

Eric Omondi Otieno's Story of Hope and Hard Work

Notes from the Field by Nereah Obura, P4P Program Coordinator

Dear P4P Friend,

“No one in my village knew that I could come this far with my education,” Eric Omondi Otieno says. “Many thanks to P4P, I have not only done my secondary schooling, I am going to the university. What a joy and blessing! I have no words to express how grateful I am.”

The odds were stacked against Eric completing high school, let alone being accepted to university. Both of his parents died in early 2000.  Eric and his brother went to live with an aunt for a while but later had to move in with an uncle, Barrack Ragita.

The uncle has five children of his own and with a meager earning, could not afford secondary school tuition for the boys. Luckily for Eric, however, he met Nyabukemo Primary School Deputy Head Teacher Orwa Atha, who told him about P4P’s scholarship program. This motivated Eric to work very hard and he scored high on the scholarship test. Because of his hard work, smarts and commitment, Eric won a scholarship. He was the only student from his school to do so.

In 2014, Eric advanced to Migori Boys Secondary School. Prior to graduation, he applied to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and was admitted to study for a Bachelor of Education Arts. He hopes to change his degree quest to Bachelor of Education Science.

Eric is one of the 11 secondary school graduates who were beneficiaries of P4P’s scholarship program. He and Rose Anyona, another P4P scholarship recipient, will soon be pursuing their dreams to attend university. I am so proud of them!


Starting Early

By Gordon Jackson, Education Committee Volunteer

If there is anything more important than teaching, it is preparing those who will do the teaching. That preparation is even more crucial for teachers in early childhood education, as they instill in children the foundations for everything they will subsequently learn.

Now, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Education, this fall P4P will provide additional training for 14 preschool teachers in the Kopanga area.  P4P's Education Committee Chair, Cam Flynn, has taught preschool in a rural African setting.  She will accompany our team traveling to Kenya in November. After assessing these teachers’ needs, Cam will conduct a five-day workshop on topics including strategies on classroom management and curriculum development.

“Many children in developing countries are not able to develop their full potential because of serious deficits in health, nutrition and proper cognitive and non-cognitive stimulation,” Cam says. “The delayed development in the early years can be deleterious and long lasting, reinforcing the inter-generational transmission of poverty.”

“Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs are seen as a promising way to prevent such delays and foster early development,” Cam says.

Cam has already begun preparing for the trip by procuring a 300-page set of ECD guidelines from the Kenyan government, which will help shape her workshops. What will also help is a grant from Thrivent Financial, which provided a $250 gift card through its Action Team program for P4P to purchase supplies for this training. Thanks, Betty!

The words of Robert Maynard Hutchins, former president of the University of Chicago, are foremost in Cam’s mind: “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” And, we might add, to better equip those who do the preparing.


Love Led Patti Aspinwall to Kenya

By Renée Sande, Communications Committee

In 1987, Patti Aspinwall traveled to Kenya with her husband—newly married and unaware that her honeymoon would be the beginning of two life-long loves.

Now, 31 years later, at the urging of P4P Executive Director Dia Maurer, she’s helping the people of Kenya by serving on the Fundraising Committee for Into Africa, P4P’s annual auction and dinner.  “It is not easy to say no to Dia,” said Patti. “But that’s a good thing. I respect and admire her so much!”

Patti procures items for Into Africa’s silent and live auction and secures sponsorships to help underwrite the event. When Patti started volunteering with P4P, she served on the Health Committee, due to her career as a physical therapist.  However, she eventually transferred her skills and enthusiasm to Into Africa.  “I just felt more of a pull to work on fundraising since that is what I have done for other non-profits in Spokane.”

Patti also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and Christ Kitchen.

Patti and her husband Stephen enjoy sharing activities such as fly fishing, downhill skiing, cycling and traveling with their two adult children and four grandchildren, who range in age from 9 to 18 years old.

“I would love to return to Kenya at some point to see just how P4P’s hard work in Spokane is changing lives 8,800 miles away,” Patti says.


P4P in the Inlander

Look for P4P in this month’s Inlander Give Guide where we join the ranks of dozens of organizations around the Inland Northwest that do good works in our community and across the globe. Over 228,000 people in our region read the Inlander. This is a great way for P4P to spread the word about our work in Kenya.

Last Chance Ticket Special August 28-31

Last Chance for Discounted Into Africa Tickets

If you have not purchased tickets to P4P’s annual auction and dinner Into Africa, August 28-31 is the time. Discount tickets will be offered at that time only.

Individual tickets will be $65 (regular price is $75) or host a table for $520 (regular price is $550).

Don’t miss this enlightening, fun and important event on October 13 at the Mirabeau Park Hotel in the Spokane Valley. African dishes will mingle with American fare, auction tables will be stacked high with intriguing items, a dessert dash will delight your sweet tooth and P4P’s Kenya Program Coordinator Nereah Obura will be our keynote speaker. Your friends and fellow P4P supporters will be there, too.

Click below to order online using PayPal®, a secure payment system, or send a check to Partnering for Progress, P.O. Box 28191, Spokane, WA 99228. Checks must be postmarked by August 31. For credit card purchased please call (509) 720-8408.

Sale prices begin August 28th.

Are you thinking about going to Africa?  This year’s auction has a deluxe safari package that will fulfill your every dream. Five-star Angama Mara (, a Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice 2017 award winner, has donated a four-night stay for two at their luxurious safari lodge in the heart of Kenya’s famous Masa Mara Triangle game preserve. Daily safaris, gourmet meals and drinks are included in the package.

Valued at $10,000, this extraordinarily generous donation will give one couple the experience of a lifetime at a top-flight game lodge that prides itself on pampering guests at every turn.

Airfare and ground transportation to and from Angama Mara are not included and guests pay $80 per day for park fees and $10 per day toward the Angama Foundation, a non-profit run by the resort to support local economic development. Validity: November 1 through December 20, 2018; January 8 through May 31, 2019; and Oct 1 through December 20, 2019.

Spectacular African Art. On the auction table will be a substantial collection of authentic African art, thanks to the generosity of Bob and Pat Pedersen, parents of an extraordinary man, Darin Pedersen. Darin worked as a structural engineer and project manager in over half a dozen African countries, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Darin loved art – everything from carvings to carpets to masks to textiles – and collected hundreds of objects from every country. He was very aware that his passion for art helped sustain local craftspeople who often struggle to find an outlet for their work.

Darin died suddenly at the age of 39. His widow and his parents collected the vast assortment of art and the Pedersen’s offered to donate many pieces to P4P to be sold at Into Africa this year, a generous and touching tribute to Darin.


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