Diveley Presents Work of Well of Hope International in Kenya
by Corley Tweedy ’14
On Feb. 11, Lynn Diveley, principal leader at Diveley, Lind & Associates of Staunton, came to introduce the organization Well of Hope International to a Bridgewater College audience.
Well of Hope International is an organization founded in Kenya by Zipporah and Nathanial Kamau in 2002, devoted to bettering the lives of women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Often, women and children become targets when the man of their house dies from HIV/AIDS, even if they are not personally carriers. This causes landlords to unfairly evict them, and subjects them to even harsher living and working conditions.
Well of Hope gathers donations of used shoes from the U.S. and after a long inventory and customs process, ships them by boat to Kenya. Once there, the shoes are sold, and the profits are used to buy land for the women and children to build houses. When they have their own land, they no longer have to fear evictions and deplorable conditions.
Diveley traveled to Kenya several years ago, and there became connected with Zipporah and Nat. Since then, Diveley has become a local leader in Virginia with Well of Hope, housing the majority of the donations in her basement and facilitating the often-frustrating process of shipment.
Diveley also shared some of the amazing things she has seen on her multiple trips to Kenya. Well of Hope has now purchased close to ten acres of land, and the women have developed their homes and their land. “What is not possible with man is possible with God,” one widow told Diveley in thanks for the new opportunity. So far, more than 100 widows and 400 children have been given a new start thanks to Well of Hope.
Gathering shoes and donations for Well of Hope International is the focus of a community service project taking place on the Bridgewater campus this spring, in honor of the inauguration of Dr. David W. Bushman. For more information, visit bridgewater.edu/inauguration/wellofhopeproject.