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Out on the Limb

IHF - International Humanity Foundation

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I saw an ad in the "Volunteer" section of Craigslist this evening. A non-profit grassroots organization called International Humanity Foundation (IHF) needs help. Lots of organizations need help.

We're inundated with requests on a regular basis...right?

IHF really caught my attention. In particular is the spirit of determination of IHF founder Carol Sasaki. She is such an inspiration! Her story is amazing, but I'm only finding bits and pieces. It would be nice to see a more detailed bio online somewhere. Also, I am impressed with the fact that IHF keeps politics and religion out of policy while simultaneously respecting the various religions of those they serve.

So, I dug deeper and came across this detailed and heartfelt story by volunteer Dan Grays about his trip to Kenya and Indonesia. And I browsed through the photos of the orphans (posted on the main IHF site). One of the reasons I'm taking the time to investigate IHF is that they don't charge people to volunteer, like so many other non-profits I have encountered. [*see note below].

Bonus for me: IHF is based in San Diego. It sounds like they really need our help. Carol Sasaki, the founder, posted this urgent request last July:
The children and communities I have met have become my own family, and I have given everything I can to help them, including selling my homes to raise funds to provide a home and an education for others. I have given many children a place to call home, because I choose to sleep in my car instead. It is worth it, and you would do the same if you personally knew the children and their communities the way I do. But despite my efforts, these children may now still go homeless.
(read her whole letter here)

Please help, if you can.
---------------------------------
The IHF ad in Craigslist states volunteers would need to cover the following costs:
- $55 application fee
- US $20 a week for international volunteers.
-Roundtrip Airfare
-Extra meals one might want that aren't provided
-Extra transportation if desired
-Travel Insurance
posted by Deb, 7:49 PM

67 Comments:

Hi Deb,
How fabulous you've posted all this info...I've been working with IHF for about a year now and am getting ready to volunteer overseas at the Kenya center. I too was impressed by the passion Carol has for her cause and children. For anyone reading this, IHF is a wonderful organization; one of the most transparent and grassroots NPO I've ever seen. Get involved! Angela Agosta
commented by Blogger Angela, 7:26 PM  
Thanks for stopping by, Angela. I'm happy for you. What a wonderful opportunity!

Yes, I've considered volunteering and we'll see what the future brings. Right now I need to focus on income and stabilizing from the chaos of the last year or two; but I'll keep IHF in mind.
commented by Blogger Deb, 8:31 PM  
Hi Deb,
It's Angela and I'm back from Kenya. It was a beautiful experience. Check out my blog at angelaagosta.blogspot.com. IHF is amazing and needs volunteer support more than ever...we're having a fundraising swap meet on the 13th at the sports arena, if you have anything to donate for sale, let me know; my email is angela_agosta@yahoo.com. Cheers,
Angela
commented by Blogger Angela, 11:42 PM  
Hi Angela and Deb,

I have been researching many volunteering opportunities in Asia, specifically Thailand or Vietnam. IHF seems like an honest and a true non-profit organization we would like to contribute to. We are willing to give our time, love for the kids and care, without breaking the bank and looks like IHF can help us to just that. Can you please share your experience or connect me with anyone who volunteered in IHF's orphanage in Thailand? We are very interested.

Thank you very much!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:50 PM  
Hi, since I have no way of contacting you and I can't post anyone's email address here publicly, your best bet is to go to ihf's website and contact the sponsor team. Or, send me a personal email to: angela_agosta@yahoo.com.
Thanks!
Angela
commented by Blogger Angela, 6:10 PM  
I have personally seen the Nakuru, Kenya home and was appalled! The way it is run is disgusting, the way the children live is unimmaginable and the risks taken with the children are horrendous. And I am NOT the only one who believes so! Things in kenya are not as them seem on the site...I know this because I saw the website after the centre. children are at risk at this home...which has been told to shut down twice in the past 12 months. I have spoken with the kenyan government (as many others have) and they cant do much because the home IS NOT a registered orphanage or charity in kenya. be very careful!!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:59 PM  
thanks for the heads-up, anonymous. I cannot personally vouch for IHF.. so "at your own risk" is good advice.
commented by Blogger Deb, 10:37 AM  
Hi Anonymous and Deb,
I'm currently volunteering at the IHF center in Thailand, and am writing in response to your comments, Anonymous- it pains me to see you slander IHF and the wonderful work IHF is doing at that center. If you are a westerner, than of course conditions are going to be rougher from what you are used to. At the end of the day, these children are being clothed, fed, and educated- whereas without IHF there's a likely possiblity that they would be child-brides, slave laborors, or dead.
If you research overseas volunteering opportunities on the IHF site, the manual clearly describes what to expect in Kenya. "At your own risk" is sound advice for any experience in life, especially a 3rd world country.
Anyone reading this considering volunteering with IHF please talk to people who've actually worked there, not Anonymous posters that may have special interests in mind.
Contact me at anytime.
angela_agosta@yahoo.com
www.angelaagosta.blogspot.com
commented by Blogger Angela, 3:35 AM  
I am not trying to slander IHF, I just think it's important for people to know what they ar4e getting into. Yes they are doing good things but i have also spoken directly with IHF volunteers who came to me looking for somewhere to stay as they did not feel safe and could not watch the ongoings of this home any more. Maybe it is just Kenya, I don't know I haven;'t seen any of the other homes. believe me, I know how tough and rough Kenya can be and I have lived in it, in orphanages and was there during their devistating elections. I have however been told that some of these children have parents in Pokot and others are not legally orphans who should be living at these homes.With a bit of planning and with Carol actually being at the centre to gte it properly up and going it could be a decent home, however, when i met Carol she was staying at the marica hotel and would not even give out her phone number to her staff...how does that work. with any volunteer opportunity in Kenya caution must be taken but this one i believe needs a little extra caution thats all im saying. and i also have no gain from making these comments, i am not poaching for volunteers (hence being ananomous)and cant possibly gain from making these comments. the children of Kenya are of utmost importance to me and they are what matter and for these children, they NEED better.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:00 AM  
hi, angela and anonymous,
i am considering going to the kenyan orphanage to work there for a while. angela, i was wondering whether you have seen the orphanage yet andf what you thought about it? and anonymous, how come you disliked it so much`? do you not think that IHF is doing more good than bad? thank you.
commented by Anonymous Don, 7:27 AM  
Hi,
Having seen the home I definately think they are doing more harm than good at this point. Some of these children have families and yet they are not with them...how can that be better for them? Other children are being put at risk and I strongly believe that just because a person can provide a 'home' for a child, it is not always the best option. I believe in children being with their families if they can care for them and believe that if you cannot provide a good home then you should let the people that can...they do exist and these children cannot go there when they are kept with an inadequate home.
this home is not registered with the Kenyan Chldrens Dept as they do not meet standards for care as an orphanage and if it were not for bribes left, right and centre, they would not be operating. there are not enough beds, young girls are getting pregnant, possibly to the older boys who should not be at the home as they are up to 22 yrs old, nutrition is not adequate and clean water is not provided. they are doing more harm than good, even if they do not realise it yet. i hope you will think very carefully before going here as you are putting yourself at risk.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:03 AM  
Hi Don,
It's great to see that you're interested in volunteering with IHF. Yes, I have been to the Kenyan orphanage, you can check out my blog at www.angelaagosta.blogspot.com.
As you can tell by the back-and-forth between myself and Anonymous, there are a lot of very complex issues going on in Kenya that many westerners and/or uninformed people are unable to understand. For example, Anonymous states that there are children in the home that have families back in their tribal regions of Pokot. This is true in some cases. What he/she doesn't mention is that these children are NOT SAFE with their families-they may have been previously abused or sold as child brides or slave laborors.
There is no perfect solution for the issues going on in Nakuru. IHF is an organization that was founded to help the most marginalized of populations; and in this case, the Pokot minority were not getting the care that they needed. Yes, the center is quite crowded, but sanitary conditions are improving and there are enough beds for children.
Also keep in mind that Anonymous is probably working for another NGO in the area, and while he/she may have the best intentions in mind they are still
a) unwilling to be transparent by providing a name and
b) not willing to help, just point out negatives about the center
I hope you are able to form an informed opinion for yourself. Please feel free to contact IHF or myself directly if you have any other questions. As far as getting more feedback from Anonymous, I guess you can just wait for them to post to this random blog again.
Angela Agosta
angela_agosta@yahoo.com
commented by Blogger Angela, 12:23 AM  
Don and other readers, there are a few further contact emails for people in IHF that have volunteered at the Kenya center and would be happy to answer questions, just email me on my personal email and I will provide them.
commented by Blogger Angela, 1:18 AM  
Hi Angela, hi Anonymous,

thank you both for your replies. It's really important for me to hear a lot about the organization before I go there and it's useful to get contradicting opinions. I might write you an email sometime soon, Angela, if that is ok.
Anonymous, what do you think about Angela's reply? Is it not better for the children to be safe? Also, this is a non-profit organization, is it not...surely they do not have any intentions to do "harm"?
Thank you both!!
Donata
commented by Anonymous Don, 6:38 AM  
hi to all,
i still stand by my views and stay as anonomous because i do not want to 'poach volunteers'. i have seen the home with my own two eyes, i have talked with the children, talked to the chn's dept and i have spent time with some of the volunteers there. thats where i have gathered my info from.
it is a fact (as at dec 08) that there were only 50 beds at the centre, not myth, fact. it is a fact that there are orphans older than 18 yrs old at the centre. it is a fact that the children do not live in safe conditions. and it is a fact that the children do not have access to running water/clean water. i know Kenya and i do think that the intentions of posters like Angela are to do what is best for the children but come on guys, this is not a safe situation and it has to be changed. even the childrens department wont register this centre and i have seen some shockers that they have! my ONLY intention here is to make people aware of this place and the fact that better can and should be done. i have spoken with volunteers who are so frustrated that Carol will not release the food money until the blackberry was fixed or link up the water that is available across the street!I have tried to help this centre as have people i have worked with. i am in a situation where i run an organisation that works with a wide variety of orphanages, clinics, hospitals and communities, not just one. and the children from Pokot were NOT approved to be moved by the Chn's dept. if they were in that situation then IHF needs to do right by them and work with Kenya to keep the kids safe. they are whats important here.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:53 AM  
I agree with Anonymous that the real IHF is a lot different to what they try to portray on their website. The center in Thailand is called an 'orphanage' but there are only a handful of the kids who actually have no parents. The kids must address Carol as "mother" at all the centers. I know this coz I, too, used to volunteer there. Calling it an orphanage is a common marketing ploy to pull heartstrings for funding. They also spent a lot of funding to build a swimming pool when there is a perfectly good river not far away. A swimming pool!? The money should've gone towards food, as the food is so bland and the kids are always hungry. Anyway, go see it for yourself.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:49 AM  
Dear all. As a former member of staff with IHF I would like to strongly recommend that you do not volunteer with or donate to this organisation. Despite some genuine concern from the many under-paid and over worked staff and volunteers, thesecenters really are doing more harm than good. Carol Sasaki herself is suspected of using donations for public expenses and conditions within the centers are completely sub-standard. I and many other victims of IHF have found ourselves over the other side of the world feeling abused, exploited and abandoned by this organisation that took us there. Please think carefully and reasearch all organisations properly before donating or working with them. They are often not as they seem on the surface.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3:55 PM  
Thankyou to the latest anonomous person for standing up and saying something!!!
this is a real issue and i am glad it is being put out there. it is not an attack, but a warning.
many good things could be done but i do believe that at the moment, more harm is being done for those children. i have only seen the Kenyan home but after meeting carol i am sure others are run the same. carol will tell you she lives in her car to keep the centres running and never relies on donations for her expenses but fact is, she does. she stays at the nice hotel when in Kenya and lounges by the pool eating ice cream while "her children" searh for water...that is how I met her!
Please take great caution with IHF, it is you that is often put on the line, either your money or your safety.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:54 PM  
Hi All, I am willing to volunteer in some organizations in Kenya. I am pretty sure that i will take long time to be in Kenya. I will apply to this organization because of the "anonymous". Thanks to you. Because of your written, I think this organization will give me great experience. I need a challenge and i don't need something fancy to help the poor children. Let's help the children by action and don't spend your time for talking only.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:38 AM  
All I want to say is... Dont make judgements until you have done it and experianced it yourself!

I am not here to talk of my experiances but to merley point out that we are all individuals who take different situations and either use them to learn and help us grow whilst helping others or take a instant disliking to them and in return turn us into a negative person.

I think its pretty sad that people need to feel as if they have to warn people, when it is based on their own experiance and interpretation of things. How about just leaving people to experiance it themselves and make their own mind up instead of having any type of influence?

To anyone out there who is thinking of trying this, just go for it. Life is too short!!
commented by Blogger Mell, 4:12 AM  
I can not speak for Kenya as I haven't been there but I was in Thailand over Christmas. It was the most rewarding experience, hands down. The children there are just like children anywyere; they laugh and play. The boys play soccer and the girls draw pictures to give out. They loved teaching me Thai and giving me new foods to try. They would come up and hug me, or just sit next to me and hang out. They are as normal as can be expected in their situation. To people commenting on the conditions within the orphanages: It is an orphanage, not a resort. It is an orphanage for marginalized children in a third world country. It IS very different from orphanages probably here in the States. That is why IHF needs volunteers, to make it better. In the few weeks I was in Thailand, they got internet and funding for a new roof, because someone took a little bit of time to help. These places are run on donations of time and money. If conditions are not great, spreaad the word that IFH needs peoples help! Help us help the children. Those children are loved and have so much love to give, if you give them the chance. These children may or may not have families, but as pointed out, just having a "mother" does not mean she is who you should be living with. I can't wait to get back to Thailand, and I am doing everything I can from the US to help out over there until I can. Get involved! It is an experience you will NEVER forget.
commented by Anonymous Anna, 7:20 AM  
Hi Anonymous,
Just wanted to second everything that you have said about the Kenya center. I was there as a director for three-and-a-half months - longer than any of the other directors have lasted. I don't even know how many "directors" were hired for this center since last september, but everyone has fled back home except one of the other women. Both of us totally fell in love with the kids at the center - and as a result are working to have this home closed, so the kids will have a better life at other homes (which are in better condition). I've heard from other people that the other homes in Thailand and Indonesia are wonderful, but in the words of one of the other directors, the Kenya center is "soul destroying".
I think two of the girls are currently pregnant.
commented by Blogger janet, 12:46 PM  
Janet, you can't blame the organization because of the lack of your capability to direct the center. You can't waive the mistake you did in the center and said that the organization is not good. Look at yourself before you do an effort to close children home. How come you know about the children and poverty life when you only there for three months and half? How come you know the best thing for the children when the children need you but you never be in the center? It is good that this organization doesn't have you as their director anymore. It convince me to come to Kenya to help them.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:14 PM  
Oh...i also forgot to say that your statement "The kids will have a better life at other homes (which are in better condition)" invite a question to me. Are you trying to get more children to stay in other homes as you get money from that other homes? Oh well... it's dirty game.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
commented by Blogger janet, 10:45 PM  
Dear Janet,
good on you for standing up and saying no to the way this 'home' is being run! I was the first anonomous person on here and have commented a few times as I believe too that this home should be closed. Children should have the chance to live a happy and carefree childhood and there are homes in kenya which can provide this for them. i have known a few directors from the kenyan home and some volunteers too and 3.5months is applaudable, very few last that long. it is not from your lack of trying that this centre is failing, it is much more than that. no matter what directors and volunteers do there, it will never be enough while people like Carol are running it. if there is anythibng i can do to help get this home closed for the childrens sake please let me know. i have tried with the childrens separtment but the $1000 bribe from Carol outdid our work! good on you for trying to make life better for these kids...IHF certainly isnt in Kenya.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:31 AM  
Whatever it is. My focus to volunteering with this organization is the children as you said above that the children are adorable. My focus is not to Carol (a person you keep mentioned in your written). Those children deserve to have help. I can see that this organization is not similar with other organization and need help to help the poor children. They don't use the children to get money like what other NGO always do in Kenya. This organization is an example for the big NGO that we can help others without having much money. I can see that they are working hard to provide a "family" environment for the children which is very very important. Why we have to close the help? There is no reason to stop the help for those wonderful children.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:42 PM  
I am appalled at the lack of hope, strength, and community in these posts. You all act as if you are doing what is best for the children, but take a better look.

If this was a shelter in your own community would you shut it down or help try to improve it? Raise awareness? Fundraise to repair the center?

If you acted to shut it down, then you are unfamiliar with the next step of leaving children, pregnant women and single mothers with nothing. None the less in the middle of a famine!!! Read the news??? This is AFRICA.

Will you personally go down there and make sure that each child receives the necessary food and shelter??? This is more difficult then you think.

If you choose to do nothing then stop complaining. You are only going to make a bad situation worse.

And finally all you do gooders out there. While protecting this center is wonderful, words need action. Start doing what needs to be done. Fundraise, go to kenya, ensure the repairs are done.

Let be a community and organize something NOW. Any ideas would be a welcome change to this post.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:08 AM  
I will be following the advice of the more enlightened comments here and volunteering at the IHF Kenya center starting in May. The obvious appropriate goal is to improve the center, not to close it. I have extensive social service experience in third world countries and know from first-hand accounts from IHF volunteers that the center in Nakuru has been a gift to the children there and will be even better in the very near future. I have no problem posting my e-mail if this site allows - johnlundin@live.com
commented by Anonymous JohnLundin, 12:16 PM  
I recently volunteered at the Thai center in Chiang Rai and found it a wonderful experience. The staff are friendly and are dedicated to the children, the volunteers are an amazing group of kind-hearted people, and the children are given a chance at a life that could have otherwise ended in tragedy. The IHF is a great organization that is helping children. Their best interest is the children's best interest.
commented by Blogger Dennis-Michael, 1:27 AM  
IHF Kenya is not what you see on the website. If you don't believe, well..go see for yourself.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:57 AM  
Dear All,

Please read the report on www.ihf-volunteers.info. For more information and visual material, you may join our Facebook Group titled "Commentary on the International Humanity Foundation (IHF)" and read the personal blog on www.travelpod.com/members/muratcan.

We strongly believe in transparency and that everyone involved with IHF has the right to know what exactly is happening at their centers. Please bear in mind that we are not encouraging anyone to take action. Our responsibility is to disseminate information that was exclusively available to the on-sight volunteers and staff. The decision to do something about what one reads is entirely up to the individual.

On a separate note, I would like to say a few words in relation to the “shutting down the Center vs. improving the conditions” debate. These words will constitute personal views that cannot be representative of my friends' ideas on the debate. I would be for trying to improve the conditions if the fundamental problem of IHF was the lack of funding. Unfortunately, the fundamental problem is mismanagement by the top executives who are unwilling to listen and change. Since there is sufficient capacity in and around Nakuru to take in most of the children currently residing at the IHF Center, it would be better if the Center were shut down. This way the channeling of charitable resources (money, time and effort) into better-run organizations in Kenya will become incrementally more probable.

All the best,

Murat Can Bilgincan
muratcan@aya.yale.edu
commented by Anonymous Murat Can Bilgincan, 6:34 AM  
A blog and the above message were posted by former International Humanity Foundation volunteers and, most recently, sent via unsolicited e-mail to our sponsors, donors and volunteers, as a "smear campaign" in an attempt to close down our Center in Nakuru, Kenya. We are greatly disturbed and saddened by this malicious attack on our organization and that they somehow obtained personal and confidential e-mail addresses.

Our children in Kenya are absolutely terrified that this small handful of people, that were brought in to help care for them, will succeed in closing down their home, as threatened to them. This is very harmful, mentally, to these children whom are now so afraid of being homeless.

Those who have not worked with international communities and children of tragedy cannot understand the undertaking IHF has in working to better the lives of children from the poorest communities. It takes dedication, hard work and a lot of patience to work through the red tape, corrupt governments and being able to recruit talented, dedicated, selfless people who will look beyond that that is out of their control and focus on the positive ways to make a lasting change for the children who are most in need.

We greatly appreciate your support of our programs and hope that we have not lost your trust or confidence in our organization.
commented by Anonymous Chris Heinrich, 8:00 PM  
This is the easiest way out, isn't it? Just call our attempt to achieve greater transparency a "smear campaign", instead of giving us explanations for the deeply disturbing issues outlined on www.ihf-volunteers.info... Moreover, you have tried to divert the reader's attention from the core of the problem by exploiting our emotions. No, the children will not be left homeless, in case the Center ends up shutting down. There is sufficient capacity in and around Nakuru to take in most of our kids. IHF would know this if they had undertaken the slightest research in Kenya.
commented by Anonymous Murat Can Bilgincan, 5:59 AM  
Hooray! There are more people out there trying to close this centre for the good of the children. I am relieved!
the children in this 'home' need the care and attention of suitable carers or their families wherever suitable. some are even old enough to have the opportunity of employment or further education.
Sure, a so called 'smear campaign' is not the best way to do things but it is a last resort out of desperation. Carol has paid off the Kenyan Childrens Dept at least twice to keep the home open and forums like this wouldnt become so heated if things were done properly long ago. this organistaion is not transparent, I have personally seen carol living at the marica hotel in nakuru...NOT in her car or even at the centre! and my first thought was how well she dressed and presented herself...I have no doubts that she has become quite rich from these homes.
the children need and deserve better and there are definately better places for them in Kenya. they do not need to stay in Nakuru, they are not originally from Nakuru, they were taken there. many have families an if they are not suitable, then orphanages located near their families should be found.
i hope that this home is closed immediately and the children get what they need now. thanks to everyone who is advocating for the children!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:30 PM  
Dear Friends,

My name is Raj and I am a volunteer with International Humanity Foundation. I have been with International Humanity Foundation (IHF) for about 5 months now. I found out about International Humanity Foundation (IHF) when I was searching on internet.

IHF is a unique organization in that it runs almost entirely by volunteers. It believes in absolute transparency and functions almost entirely through the efforts of its hundred plus unpaid volunteers from all over the world, who give their time, skills, energy and love to help our family in Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia.

I decided to join IHF because I wanted to make a difference and help people. I am glad that I have found a place where I can do that. In this organization, I met different nationalities and different views.

I would like to invite you to join our Face book cause, so you can get to meet other volunteers of IHF.

Please click the links below:
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/129156/60958837?m=6d54c0aa

Please email me about anything at any time.

Thank you very much for your time!

Warm Regards,

Raj
(rajvirsinhd@gmail.com)
commented by Anonymous Raj, 6:34 AM  
Hi- I just wanted to throw in my quick thoughts on IHF as an organization, IHF is an amazing organization. I volunteered for them at two of their centers in Indonesia and I have been a continued supporter and sponsor of classes and children ever since. It is an amazing organization to volunteer for because you can see first hand that all of the money is going directly to those in need, and even more importantly, it is actually helping and doing it’s job. And at the same time you are able to become fully immersed in a culture. I have volunteered for a wide array of organizations, and IHF has been one of my favorites. You can see first hand that all the donated money is going directly to those in need, and everyone working at the centers is doing everything within their power to enrich the lives of the children and help them prepare for their future. The people working at the centers are some of the most selfless people I have ever met in my life. I do not have a single bad thing to say about the organization and can't wait for the opportunity to volunteer for them again.
commented by Blogger Lauren, 7:18 PM  
Dear Friends,

My name is Raj and I am a volunteer with International Humanity Foundation. I have been with International Humanity Foundation (IHF) for about 5 months now. I found out about International Humanity Foundation (IHF) when I was searching on internet.

IHF is a unique organization in that it runs almost entirely by volunteers. It believes in absolute transparency and functions almost entirely through the efforts of its hundred plus unpaid volunteers from all over the world, who give their time, skills, energy and love to help our family in Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia.

I decided to join International Humanity Foundation because I wanted to make a difference and help people. I am glad that I have found a place where I can do that. In this organization, I met different nationalities and different views. I always give my best for IHF.

I would like to invite you to join our Face book cause, so you can get to meet other volunteers of IHF. I would like to invite you, please join Group Discussion Board and Wall. If you have any ideas, comments, suggestions or feedback, please drop us a line. Moreover, you have to share your experience with IHF and tell them why you join IHF.

Please click the links below:
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/129156/60958837?m=6d54c0aa

I personally suggest you some sites where you can put your positive feedback about IHF.
http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/org57625.jsp,
http://www.baliwaves.com/2009/01/international-humanity-foundation-ihf/,
http://gysd.org/partners/nla/list/2009/international-humanity-foundation,
http://www.truetravellers.org/volunteer-kenya/international-humanity-foundation---volunteer-kenya.html,http://orgs.tigweb.org/36767/supporters.

Please email me about anything at any time.

Thank you very much for your time!

Warm Regards,

Raj
(rajvirsinhd@gmail.com)
commented by Blogger Raj, 8:28 AM  
This organizations is very necessary for the Humanity. It "strives to educate the poor and to teach the educated about the poor", creates connection between the people from different cultures, gives an opportunity to get to know and face the social problems in today´s world, makes a world a better place. And even it´s based on volunteers work which are not profesional social workers or educators, the motivation to help children is stronger than any kind of barrier. Thanks to Carol´s insipiration the organization continues forming the important part of children´s and of course our lives!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:31 AM  
hmmmm....funny that all the anonymous are negative... Ha ha.

Did Janet mention why she is not allowed near the kenya centre, why she was fired and why her and her boyfriend are banned from going to kenya for getting in trouble with the authorities?

Haha, feel free to believe the anonymous or Janet, but you would be making a mistake... kenya is a very poor country and the children at Kenya centre love it there... go and ask them! Just remember that this is kenya and not some hotel holiday you are going to. Be prepared to work and work hard. If not go to one of the other centres.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:25 AM  
interesting...I don't think I'm banned from Kenya...I live here...so I don't think I'm banned! And my boyfriend, who has absolutely nothing to do with IHF and never has, is Kenyan (and lives here). Why the hell did he get dragged into this? I regularly meet with the cited "authorities" - in fact I had coffee with one of them recently and another regularly calls me to make sure I'm ok (after all, "this is Kenya"). possibly he called from the blackberry he was bribed with (again, this is Kenya). And I was not fired - I quit, along with everyone else who was working there at that time, due to the disgusting conditions at the center. Why is my name being dragged into this again when I have had nothing to do with IHF in months (aside from when the older kids sneak out of the center and come to visit)?? Funny that your comments were anonymous. Well, at least this has given me and one of my friends (also a Kenyan - I'm surrounded by them!) a good laugh...banned from Kenya..whatever...
commented by Blogger janet, 11:32 PM  
I was a director at the kenyan orphanage alongside Janet. I went there with the best intentions with bags and bags of stuff for the kids and had taken a year off work back home. It was not my first time in kenya so i knew what i was getting into but i would just like to support my fellow director.

Yes, everyone needs to make their own minds up and yes, everyone needs to go and see it for themselves but i am talking from experience when i say that CAROL is nothing more than a bully and a really crap leader. I have never been to her other homes but the feedback was always good.

I spent my time there tip toeing around a woman on the other side of the world who obvioulsy has mental health issues. Threatening to not feed the kids til a blackberry is fixed or when we have bought 3 bloody cows is a disgrace. Employing illegal immigrants, paying peanuts, and sacking employees without notice is illegal. She threatened the 3 directors there daily and made a very difficult situation worse.
Just for the record i am not a wuss and and can handle my own but there was a lot of bullying that just as janet explained was "soul destroying"

Telling us we had to share beds with the children was the last straw for me personally. The kids ran a riot NOT because we could not control them but because she was in contact with the kids by a blackberry and would not allow us to implement any discipline.

I could go on and on about how awful it is at that home. It is not just me, it is all volunteers that were there when Janet and i were and also the Childrens District Officer and other orphanages who want that place shut down. I told Carol this and from what i can gather she has still not showed her face at the orphanage to see "her" children, as she calls them.

Say what you want, go and see it but be warned. An organisation like this does not offer any support to their volunteers (well, in kenya anyway). Please be careful.
thanks
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:15 AM  
oh and for the record. The three directors at the orphanage (including Janet) were not fired. We all left because we were not willing to take her crap anymore. Someone mentioned that it is not about carol and should be about the kids and yes you are right but we were not allowed to do our jobs- simple.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:19 AM  
Commenting as "Anonymous" is allowed on this blog because people may have many valid reasons for doing so. Yes, being anonymous can be used to hide behind. But not necessarily. It's not for us to judge and therefore I choose to allow anonymous comments.

I find this dialogue both sad and intriguing. I never followed through with my IHF aspirations. Partly, I steered clear due to intuition. I sensed control issues from the top due to something I read about Carol's requirements for reporting in. It was the way she worded it... as I recall. Anyway, they were just my perceptions and I have no direct knowledge of what goes on at the centers one way or the other.

Blog Owner
commented by Blogger Deb, 6:57 AM  
I am currently working for IHF in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It's a fantastic organisation and makes a real difference to the children they help. I would recommend this organisation for anyone thinking about volunteering.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:20 PM  
At our centers in Indonesia and Kenya, classes are held for the impoverished children in the community. The doors of our center are open to everyone, from young primary school children to older pre-college students.
Primarily, we teach English and Computer classes that are designed to provide opportunity for all to take advantage of modern technology and communicate with the world.
In this way, they can protect their heritage by communicating with the outside world, as well as further their economic opportunity by accessing jobs.
In addition to these classes, we provide Mathematics classes and Leadership / Life skills classes that seek to aid in analytical thinking and provide problem-solving skills.

What is child sponsorship?

§ It is you giving a child a future.
§ It is you helping to reduce illiteracy.
§ It is you increasing the quality of life of an unprivileged child.

Because every child has the right to education, but often insufficient funds block a child from being educated. Because you will help, dreams come true.

You can make a difference in the lives of impoverished children and their communities for only US$30 a month.
With an average of 20 students in each class, you are changing the life of each child for just US$1.5 a month.

Raj.
commented by Blogger Raj, 9:07 AM  
I quit my work at IHF Kenya almost a year ago. I have been outside of Kenya for several months now. But I was so emotionally and psychologically scarred by she-who-must-not-be-named that to this day I cannot bring myself to even look at any of the IHF emails in my inbox. I had to leave IHF for health reasons - due to stress I was losing weight rapidly, my hair was falling out, and I was waking with panic attacks in the middle of the night. I will never forget realizing that I would actually not be receiving the money necessary to feed 120 children. I will never forget looking into the eyes of hungry, angry employees making less than 1 dollar per day. I will never forget the dread I felt leaving those beautiful children who kept me going some of the hardest months of my life. I pray for them everyday and hope that one day they will get the life they deserve. (note: because I fear what will be done to me if I reveal my identity, I choose to remain anonymous)
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:15 AM  
Hi I would like to hear more about the center i Chiang Rai, how it is there, and would it be safe to bring children along, me and my family are considering going there.We have been readig about IHF, and it seems to be an organization that is doing a great job for the children.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:35 AM  
If you like hanging out with your friends... invite a friend to volunteer with you.

Volunteer Source: www.ihfonline.org

We have many opportunities for volunteers. If you're interested or talented in a specific area, we most likely can use you! IHF is proud to work amongst various faiths and backgrounds.

Raj
commented by Blogger Raj, 8:35 AM  
I am so happy that our IHF members always give their best for IHF. Thank you very much for always trying to serve other people best.
Now we have started a blog at www.IHFvolunteerstories.blogspot.com to keep you up to date on the good all members of IHF do. Our purpose is to make you aware of what we are doing and how we will achieve our goals.

Please join us and be eyewitness to how we change the world. You can submit your own stories and experiences with to ratings@ihfonline.org and they will post it the blog, so others will know your efforts to help people.

Warm Regards,

Raj

www.ihfonline.org
commented by Blogger Raj, 8:27 AM  
I am a recently returned volunteer (started in 2009, finished in 2010). I didn't volunteer in Kenya but at one of the Indonesian centers. What everyone has said about Carol is true: she's insane. Completely and utterly insane. Yes, all the children HAVE to call her "Mom", and if they imply that they would rather call their REAL MOTHER "Mom", she writes things like "you are breaking my heart". She's sick, very sick.
Having said that, the children are there, they are real, they need help. It's just a shame that the only way you can help them is through this organization. On the other hand, putting up with the insanity and sickness of Carol Sasaki is a small price to pay for the beauty of working with these kids.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:23 PM  
@ the latest Anonymous. Until now, I have not posted about why my initial enthusiasm about IHF did not materialize into volunteering.

When I blogged about IHF (over 2 yrs ago!), I was seriously considering volunteering in Thailand. I did as much reading as I could find about IHF during which I came across instructions from Carol about requirements for the volunteers to report back via email directly to her. Nothing wrong with that... but it was the way the "command" was worded that caused me to reconsider.

Starting from birth, I've survived several relationships with people who have severe control issues. By "severe" I mean "abusive". My radar is now finely tuned to the ways of tyrants. I call this wisdom. I think I made the right choice for me (not to join) and also respect the decisions of others who have chosen to help the children in spite of...
commented by Blogger Deb, 5:54 AM  
I believe the post about having "many" volunteer opportunities says it all! There are many people wrking hard to close this centre to create safe, loving environments for these hildren to grow up in. All negative comments which have been posted here have been posted for on simple reason...because helping the centre has not helped the children. Carol has no intention of ever changing the iving conditions for these children and it means that no matter how many volunteers, how many dollars and how much support, Carol will never allow change for these children. If she truly did, we would back her 100% as many of us have tried to do. Unfortunately, it has come to the point where she will not change and therefore, a safer option must be looked for for these children. It is unfortunate that Carol has let it come to this but all other assistance has been knocked back or misused. The children ultimately need a safe environment to grow up in, where they are not whippedwith leather straps (as I have personally seen) by older children "playing", where they are not exposed to older males who have the ability to sneak intotheir rooms and get them pregnant, and where they can recieve quality nutrition. These are basc human rights and they CAN bemet in other places. This is NOT about IHF any more, it is aout he children and what they need and deserve.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:03 AM  
Dear Friends,

Each one of us wants to do something for the world, but wonders "how ?"

Each one of us has personal life commitments, job, work, studies etc yet wonders how can I spare time and add values in the lives of the less privileged.

International Humanity Foundation is a simple yet powerful platform where by dedicating just 24 hours of your life, you can change a children life.

Please visit our web-site and check it out what you can do for children. because we have many option for you.

Thank you very much for your precious time!

Raj.
International Humanity Foundation
www.ihfonline.org
Happy to Help
commented by Blogger Raj, 9:44 AM  
Dear Friend,


We have many opportunities for volunteers. If you're interested or talented in a specific area, we most likely can use you! IHF is proud to work amongst various faiths and backgrounds.

At IHF we strive to give our volunteers the big-picture about world poverty and development. When you volunteer with us, we ask that you get involved in all aspects of our programs. If you are volunteering at one of our centers, this means that you will be involved in the hands-on teaching and care-giving, as well as the administration and general management of the organization. In this way, we aim to give you a better understanding about issues concerning modern development, education and non-profit organizations.

We have a great need for volunteers at our Thailand, Indonesia and Kenya centers, and can arrange a wonderful trip for you to serve on! The longer the better! If you are interested in volunteering either from home or at an IHF center, please fill out the appropriate application and we will contact you as soon as possible.

We invite you to visit our website http://ihfonline.org/

Warm Regards,

Raj
IHF
rajvirsinh@ihfonline.org
commented by Anonymous Raj, 9:32 AM  
I believe this posting is very old. but i cant help but write somehting. I am Carols daughter and i'm doing some online research cause im making a PSA for IHF in a video class im taking here at laney community college in oakland..
First off, to the first anonymous poster, whom im pretty sure is the same guy with the rude youtube video and blog space trying to shut the kenyan center down, ew: is the easiest way to some up my thoughts on your state of mind. like a couple of other people mentioned, you have to be realistic about things. the amount of work my mother does is rediculous, you should try starting a center in africa with limited if no resources (while trying to keep 3 others in thailand and indonesia running, mind you) cuase you wont take money from people that will demand you to comply with them and dont have money to bribe the governement with (which is probably why the center is not "certified") and see how clean, and organized and safe it turns out then get back to all of us.
And as far as the whole subject of money, I can personally account to the fact that my mother spends near to none on herself in her daily life and was infact living out of her car for a long time, which you can imagine was hard for me to see her do. we have had many arguments over the fact that she puts herself, her health and her well being secondary ALWAYS to the children, it is somehting that keeps me up at night.
Otherwise, it is amazing to have done this research and read other peoples testimonies of the centers and see pictures and videos (the interview on the website with carol made me all teary) as i obviously have an inside perspective, its amazing to see how much this whole project of hers has effected so many lives. I remember being 7 years old and witnessing the very first sproutings of IHF in thailand and bali, now to be an adult reading all these comments online is a trip for sure. Thanks to everyone who supports this organization, your seriously helping something amazing keep on keeping on (and im not trying to say its perfect, everything always has room and need for improvement, so please try to help improve it)
commented by Anonymous Crystal, 11:57 AM  
Thank you for being so objective and researching IHF. Tim
commented by Anonymous Tim, 9:28 PM  
Dear Crystal,
I am the anonomous person who first posted and still keep an eye on this post to see if any development has been made in shutting down this centre.
For the record, I DO know how hard it is to start a centre with very limited resources...I am living in Kenya running a baby orphanage we have just opened. I know the sacrifices it takes and I know about all the red tape it takes to get a centre registered.
After many years, IHF Kenya is STILL not registered and it is NOT because of lack of bribes, it ius because the centre is not a fit home for children. I have heard that from the children's department in Nakuru myself! The living conditions are poorer than what the kids would face is the place they were taken from...the place where so many still have families. I met Carol at Merica Hotel when she was sitting by the pool eating ice cream...a far cry from living in her car! A selfless person would be eating with the kids, even when times were tough. A selfish woman sits by the pool 10 minutes away eating ice cream as the kids miss school looking for water! I have SEEN this home, I have met the children, I have been in the building that had a huge crack, just waiting to fall down and I have met this woman that you claim to be a saint. Well, sorry, but if you truly believe the garbage you are throwing out there then you need to go and meet those children and see that home. If I had ANY person gain, I would not remain anonomous. There is nothing for me to gain here, it is only the children who can benefit if people start to see the reality of the situation here. If people recognise that this home has been offered help and still has not changed over a period of years, then another option must be looked at for the safety of those children. I hope that people will soon see the truth here
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:36 AM  
I think the best thing IHF can do is to address the problem ,lay out the facts and fix the errors. There's 3 sides to a story , his , hers and the truth. Maybe some mistakes have been made so fix them.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:54 AM  
do you know that 4 foreign IHF directors have been thrown in prison for working in the country illegally?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:46 AM  
I am a relative of a young woman who was just expelled unceremoniously from Kenya because the orphanage there is not officially registered (through their own choice apparently). Her mother was jailed for 5 days on a technicality, or for no reason at all (all is murky), and, we hope is finally leaving Nairobi tonight after the family had to bribe a lawyer with a very large sum of money.

Everything negative that I have found online about IHF in Kenya turns out to be true.

Abusive director, lack of organisation, too many kids, lack of security, no exit strategy (at the moment, the Kenyan orphanage was closed overnight. The children (some of whom are quite grown up (18) have either gone back to Pokot, to relatives if they have any, or are still in limbo. Tragic.

There are many issues here, not the least of which the IHF's (1) dishonesty and irresponsibility in not telling the truth about their legal situation and (2) placing the volunteers at risk and in danger in an unstable country.

All of this has been going on for at least the past two years [http://youtu.be/N77EZ4w92V4], with NO change.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:33 AM  
I sponsor a young girl and a math class at the IHF Kenya center and have donated to their Peace Farm and Survival Program. I find myself considerably disappointed by the lack of communication and transparency of this organization.

Despite having been told that I would receive monthly updates on both my sponsored child and class, I have not heard anything about the Kenyan girl I sponsor in months and not a single update on the math class I sponsor!

The financial statements for the history of the organization, the board member names and board member bios really should be publicly posted on their website along with regular updates on what the organization is doing with the money. It is not. On several occasions, I wrote requesting this information and each time was told that I would receive them within a few days and I never did.

At this point, I feel too uncomfortable with the lack of transparency and publicly available information about IHF and the lack of communication to continue my involvement when there are so many other organizations that are willing to have a completely open-book policy with their donors.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:05 AM  
Completely agree with all of the negative comments.

For anybody who is still up in the air about whether IHF is a good organization think about this. IHF has 5 orphanages on 3 different continents. If this was even slightly about helping poor kids they would pick a needy area and concentrate their resources. When I was there a couple of years ago, the budget was less than $60 per child per month while thousands of dollars were spent on the CEO jet-setting from place to place. Does this sound like an organization interested in the children's welfare?

There are lots of great charities. This ISN'T one of them.

Btw, this is a different anonymous from the one's who have come before.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10:01 PM  
I have been working as a volunteer co-director in IHF for almost a year now. I spend most of my time in IHF Jakarta Center but have been assigned to some overseas missions in our Kenyan center too. Honestly so far I am very satisfied with my experience in IHF.

In regards of above reports I would like to say that, the situation, although not perfect of course, had improved greatly in terms of hygiene, discipline and good governance. I can ensure and certify that the Survival and Famine program do exists, as I organized it myself when I was there, this was part of my duties. Please check by yourself: http://ihfblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/survival-and-famine-feed-program-october-2012/

IHF is a volunteer based organization where people choose to give their time to help. There is no regular paid staff as we believe that all the donations must go directly towards the children and the programs we run in each of our centers. For this same reason the short-term volunteers and volunteer co-directors placed in each of our centers are dedicated people who offer up to a year of their lives to help and also to learn how an NGO works; hopefully becoming future leaders in the non-profit sector. It is our mission statement that half of IHF's mission is to educate the poor and the other half is to educate the world about the poor.

This learning process for volunteers is part of our "Pass it on" philosophy and also sometimes the reason for the mistakes we make, which are few compared to the achievements and meaningful help we provide to almost 3000 people in 3 different countries and 6 centers. But we are never afraid to recognize our mistakes as we believe is the only way to learn and move forward.

Besides the answer we just provided regarding above comments, please see for yourself our blog and social networks, so you can make up your own mind.

http://ihfblog.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ihfonline
http://www.youtube.com/user/ihfonline
http://ihfblog.wordpress.com/category/press-review/

You can also contact us directly at ihf@ihfonline.org if you have any questions.

Thibault

IHF Co-Director
commented by OpenID ihfblog, 1:38 AM  
Well, just applied to IHF... but now I'm skeptical as to whether I'm wasting my time or not. I applied for either a Thailand Center or Kenya, and they placed me in Kenya. I'd really fucking love to help brighten someones life in any way I can.. but it's incredibly unfortunate that I have to feel an uneasy feeling when joining a group that offers volunteer opportunities.

A part of me feels the IHF really does sound too good to be true.. but there is hardly enough research to be found on the subject. The only things I have found are blog posts.. where is the real shit? Give me the facts.

My question then is, if not IHF you say, then where?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:06 PM  
Hi, after reading all the comments, I am so scared to start work with IHF in Nakuru Kenya, I recently got accepted to work as a Director in the Kenya center. Can anyone please give me factual information about IHF and Kenya center, whether it is bad or good. I have just come across a lot of comments and blogs about it, never facts, pictures and videos. Please do let me know, I am in need of making a decision very soon becuase i am meant to book my ticket to fly out in the next two weeks.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:54 AM  
To the latest anonymous - read my previous post, check out my blog, etc. Just GO. Make up your own mind. Kenya is a very complex place, lots of political and tribal subtleties. Things do not function like they do in the western world. All I can say as I've said over and over is that IHF is doing good work, I continue to support them financially, and also did more volunteer time at the Chiang Rai center. I know you are understandably concerned about these ugly rumors, but don't get caught up in the drama. Best of luck.
commented by Blogger Angela, 5:05 PM  

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