When Austin, Texas-based architecture student Jodi Lane met Joram Githumbi, he convinced her to travel to his homeland, Kenya, to help design a school for children orphaned by the AIDS crisis.
At first, Githumbi enlisted Lane and her fellow grad students simply as architects to design and oversee the construction of sustainable schools and dormitories in Kenya under the auspices of a program called the “Kenya Project.” Moved by the people of Kenya, Lane became personally committed to the project as a board member and continued working even as sources of income for the project were precariously scant.
Out of her participation in a Landmark leadership program, Lane saw that she could make an increasingly profound difference for AIDS orphans in Kenya. When her mentor and friend Githumbi succumbed to cancer, Lane transformed herself from a concerned architect into an organizer and professional advocate for the project. She created the Art+Life+Kenya fundraiser in Austin to raise money to purchase property in Kenya for a school and orphanage. Lane says, “The Providence Children’s Home in Kenya became a reality for little girls, who are now safe in the home we built them.”
Lane has since initiated another program, Messages in a Bottle, where she is working to craft a worldwide network of people willing to financially support new schools in Kenya.