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Harambee is a Kenyan community word meaning ‘holding hands’, pulling together for a certain course, self help events e. g fundraising or development acts.

This word Harambee was popularized by Kenya’s founding Father, the late President Jomo Kenyatta as he rallied Kenyan’s to work in unity to build the nation following attainment of the independence in 1963 for Kenya.
When I was growing up in the family of thirteen, my parents were very poor and owed a very small piece of land. This made our schooling very difficult. The food was scarce in our house as we used to compete on any that was ever available.

My elder sister passed very well to join high school but it was not easy for her to join as we did not have enough school fees for her. My dad suggested that this could be possible if we did a ‘Harambee’. My mum agreed to this am mobilized our neighbors and friends for this great day.
When the big day came, our neighbors and friends came to hold our hands. They Harambee raised enough money for pay school fees for my sister, buy her uniform and books listed to start high school.
Many our village mates learned from this event. Any time their children passed to join high school and they were short of the school fees, they called a harambee and fund raised enough for the child to join the high school.

All my school life I was able to learn through Harambee. Thanks to those who contributed to this. I hold an MBA in Project Management all because of the spirit of ‘holding hands’ .

I am currently the heading an NGO called Hope for Teenage Mothers’. This project empowers young teenage girls who have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancies. Our project has been able to run for the last 2 years and graduate girls in Micro Finance and vocational training through ‘holding hands’.

If we all hold hands we shall succeed we shall encourage one another and succeed. At our social network of Pulse I encourage all of us to hold hands as I can testify to the advantages of doing this Today as I am a real life experience.

God bless you all.

Executive Director
Hope for teenage mothers



JaniceW's picture

Holding hands

"We will surely get to our destination if we join hands."
Aung San Suu Kyi

Jambo! What inspiring work you are doing. I love that it is borne from a tradition of "holding hands" to support the members of your community. I hope that you will continue to share your work with us and keep us posted on the progress of your students. Salamu za upendo,

lucyndungu's picture

Asante Janice.I will keep you

Asante Janice.I will keep you posted.
Lovely weekend.

Lucy Ndungu
Executive Director
Hope for teenage mothers
P.O Box 16692-00100 GPO
+254 722712309

pooza11's picture

I would love to be a part of

I would love to be a part of you.I have never heard of such things in my life. I would request you to please update me with such bright new ideas which will encourage me to do something good in life

Love and Peace

Frances Faulkner's picture


Dear Lucy,

Harambee -what a great sounding word with even greater implications! This is a cultural tradition that will serve Kenyans well as long as it lives and it is wonderful to hear how you have embraced the concept through your work. If the world had more Harambee, there is no doubt we would be accomplishing greater things at a faster rate. Thanks for sharing about this and keep up your excellent efforts.


Mercy Kareithi's picture

Pamoja twaweza

Congratulations Lucy for your zeal for the HTM project. You are great, and the girls are amazing. Yes we can make a difference in kenya, pamoja twaweza. Pass my regards to them.

Mercy, KMD

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