Thursday, March 27, 2014

Summer in Kenya: Interning with H.E.A.R.T.

Dear Friends and Family, 

I remember reading a quote in high school that said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I should start by letting you know that I am one of the crazy ones they are referring to. I am happy to report some amazing opportunities that God has given me.

This Spring I will be graduating with my Bachelors degree in Political Science from Hofstra University and will be attending Law School in the fall. I plan on practicing in the field of Public Service, with a concentration on international human rights violations, as human rights activism has always been close to my heart.

I have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to travel to Kenya this summer and intern with HEART (Health Education Africa Resource Team), a Christian humanitarian nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the people of Africa to survive the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I will be working specifically with their orphan preventative initiative; W.E.E.P. (Women’s Equality Empowerment Project) working with single women who are HIV/AIDS positive. W.E.E.P. commits to providing medical care, nutrition, shelter and access to necessary medication. In addition, the organization ensures that their children have the resources to attend school. Once these women have become physically stable, the mother is taught a trade at the W.E.E.P. center, where they become self-sufficient and break out of poverty. In a country where unemployment is nearly 70%, the stigma associated with AIDS makes it nearly impossible for an HIV positive woman to secure a job and provide for her family as a single mother. WEEP’s objective is to fill the gap; keeping these mothers alive, healthy and employed, and essentially protecting her vulnerable children from becoming orphaned. HOW COOL? You can check out their website at

In order for this trip to become a reality, I have six weeks to raise $6,000 to cover my expenses for airfare, food, lodging and teaching supplies. If you feel led to contribute, you can send money via my Paypal account:

OR write a check payable to “HEART” and mail it to me no later than May 15, 2014.

I’m hoping you’ll support me this summer in Kenya working with HEART, but if you are unable to make a financial contribution, I would love your prayers. Please pray not only for my safety, but also for these women and their children. I know this journey will be challenging both physically and emotionally but I am confident that this is where I am supposed to be. My earthly Daddy’s blessing for me to go is only further reassurance of my heavenly Daddy’s plan for me to be in Kenya.

I love you all and appreciate your love and support from the bottom of my heart. I will be launching a blog soon and send updates via email and Facebook to keep you posted on this amazing journey. 

If you have ANY questions or would like to chat or find more ways to get involved, please call me or shoot me an email! I would love to hear from youJ

Love Always, 

Poppy Markou

Here are a few more projects I will be working on while I'm in Kenya :) 

Freedom For Girls Project: Freedom for Girls is a project that helps young girls stay in school by providing sanitary towels, hygiene education and ways to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS

Kids for School Project: Commonly referred to “Goats and Uniforms”, Kids for School provides female breeding goats and uniforms to orphans and vulnerable children throughout Kenya. Although primary education is free in Kenya, most orphaned children never have the opportunity to attend school because they cannot afford a school uniform. The cost of one goat and one school uniform for a child is $70.00

Greenhouse Project: This project provides communities with food security, nutrition and income. Through HEART, greenhouses are placed in the slums of Kenya, providing not only a boost of food production but also a source of income generation and sustainability. One greenhouse can provide enough vegetables for 35 families or food for hungry school children.