The Coast News Group

Locals head back to Kenya to build success

COAST CITIES — In 2008, a year rife with recession, rising unemployment and innumerable foreclosures, Cory Glazier of Vista did the unthinkable: he started a nonprofit. Glazier trusted in America’s charitable giving and created a Sustainable and Comprehensive Humanitarian Assistance Planning, or SCHAP, model.
Like many bright-eyed, Western college graduates, Glazier traveled to Africa and upon arriving in Matoso, Kenya, he was struck by the intense poverty. From here the creative wheels were set in motion and Glazier codified his approach to sustainable humanitarian assistance in the form of SCHAP.
Glazier maintains that, “it’s more than just the name of our organization but it’s the name of a new humanitarian ideology: humanitarian work that revolves around sustainable and comprehensive solutions as opposed to just giveaways. And assistance and planning are the most critical components because it’s not about us just bringing in a cash donation or food. It’s relatively easy to be able to drop ship some corn or some clothes or some books. But in order to be able to create lasting, stable changes, you have to get your hands dirty; you have to wrap your mind and your heart around the concepts that are affecting the people. And you have to create an infrastructure in their own thinking and their own community development so that they can empower themselves.”
After raising the necessary funds and carefully planning with Matoso’s leaders, four SCHAP team members traveled to Kenya where they spent the next few weeks addressing Matoso’s problem areas through a comprehensive multi-tiered scheme. They built a community center equipped with donated computers run by solar panels, promoted health education, instituted a waste management system including community receptacles, land fills and composting pits, and established a micro-loan program.
In the short term, residents of Matoso are now suddenly brushing their teeth; throwing trash into handmade trash bins; and sending emails after their computer classes.
In the long term, the composting will continue to offer more stable farming conditions; the land-fills will keep their community clean for another hundred years; and the micro loans were used to purchase boats for a fishing company to make a profit whilst serving as a stable food source to the hungry masses. These long-term effects are not only for the benefit of this generation, but they will continue to be passed throughout the area for following generations. Already the model is appealing to neighboring villages, which have contacted SCHAP and Matoso’s leaders to apply these changes for their people.
July 25, SCHAP and a team of volunteers embarked on another journey back to Matoso. This year providing even more qualified volunteers, many from San Diego and some coming from as far as Seattle, Washington. The SCHAP team will continue its work with various development initiatives already mentioned, including agricultural development, business and leadership training, health and nutrition seminars, women’s empowerment methods, and expansion of the communities primary education system.
In order to insure a successful project, SCHAP sent the first volunteer six weeks early to being the necessary preparations. Upon his arrival, he was informed that due to the increasing number of students attending the previously built school, many of the classes were being held outside, which according to government officials visiting the area is not acceptable. This now means that significant additions to the school are required for the students to return to their studies this September.