28 January 2008

Double Your Donation!

Yellowhouse Media, an educational software company, has pledged to match donations up to $1,000 through the end of February!!!! I am incredibly grateful for their generosity and willingness to support teachers worldwide.

13 January 2008


Here are 10 reasons to consider sponsoring my volunteer experience in Kenya:
  1. You will be providing "Double AIDS Orphans" (children who've lost both parents to AIDS) with an experienced, loving, passionate, open-minded teacher.
  2. Donations are tax-deductible. See below for more information.
  3. Your donation is a contribution towards the costs of placing a badly needed volunteer in a developing country.
  4. You will have a hand in improving education in developing countries.
  5. You will be doing something about the AIDS pandemic that is plaguing Africa.
  6. Ever dream of volunteering abroad, but never got around to it? This is an opportunity to be a part of that experience you dreamed of.
  7. You will have first-hand access to my experiences in Kenya.
  8. Your donation towards my participation fees will directly benefit the Village as I have to pay for housing and food for the year.
  9. You will be making a difference in the world from your own home!
  10. The money is not for me; it's for the kids. It's all about the kids!
Please spread the word and forward this site to whoever might be interested in helping.

Suggested donation amounts: $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or however much you can!

My goal is to raise $6,000 to cover my participation fee and related costs.

To donate, simply click on the "DONATE" icon to the left. It is a secure link. If you feel more comfortable sending a check to me, my address is:

James Butler
1134 Lawson Lane
Austin, TX 78702

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check made out to "WorldTeach, Inc." to WorldTeach. Please make sure that you note the donation is towards "James Butler--Kenya Year Program." If you don't mind, could you please send me an email (see my profile) when you send the donation to WorldTeach so I can send you a thank you letter? Thanks!

c/o Center for International Development
Harvard University, Box 122
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge MA 02138 USA


02 January 2008

Dream becoming Reality

On New Year's Eve, I received a phone call that quickly turned one of my lifelong dreams into a reality...I have been accepted to teach in Kenya! WorldTeach, a non-profit based out of Harvard University, has enabled me to finally pursue this dream of teaching abroad in Africa. I will depart the States in mid-July 2008 and inspire/be inspired in the Nyumbani Village in Kenya for at least 1 year.

The Nyumbani (pronounced 'Nee-oom-BAH-nee') Village is located approximately 3 hours north of Nairobi. This village was built to serve elders and orphans whom have been left behind by the AIDS pandemic. The children that I will be teaching are orphans whom have lost both parents to AIDS. No doubt this is going to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience! "Lea Toto" (the name of this blog site) means, "to raise the child" in Swahili. Not only is this is the mentality of the Village where I will be living and working, but it is also the name of a program launched by Nyumbani to provide services to HIV+ children and their families. I am so fortunate and excited to live and work in a place dedicated to the AIDS pandemic, a disease that is devastating an entire continent, as well as the world.

Here are some of living/working details that I am aware of:
  • The program lasts from July 2008-July 2009
  • The cost of the program is $6,000. I am trying to raise that money, which includes my flight to/from Kenya, health insurance, visa, housing, and food. Pretty reasonable for 1 year.
  • I will be staying in some type of volunteer housing with the 6 other WorldTeach volunteers.
  • I am going to try to learn as much of Swahili and Kikuyu (local language) as possible. I love learning new languages!
  • I will receive a stipend of $100 per month. Yes, living large and in charge!! :) This is truly volunteer work.
  • I will work as a Teacher's Assistant, teaching English. I will be assigned to work with a class in a specific grade (grades 1-7).
  • We will undergo a 4 week orientation session once in Kenya. The first 2 weeks will most likely be in an AIDS orphanage in Nairobi.
  • We will have a 1-2 month break around December/January when the school is out for their end of the year holiday (like summer vacation) and we are encouraged to travel during this time!!! That is going to be amazing!
  • The possibility of extending my stay in Kenya will be decided in June/July 2009, but I will deal with that when the time comes.

I have already received amazing support and I appreciate you all for that!!! If you are willing and able to support me financially, you can click on the "DONATE" icon on my page. It is a secure link. If you feel more comfortable sending checks or money orders, you can send them to my house in Austin.

James Butler

1134 Lawson Lane

Austin, TX 78702

Let me reiterate that I am extremely thankful for any type of support: thoughts, prayers, comments on my blog, love, hugs, positive energy, donations, good vibes, etc. I THANK YOU.


Feel free to enjoy this video about the Nyumbani Village. Click on this link and then there will be a video link (look for "wmv" or "mp4"). Click on one of those to see the video.