My name is Isaac Kuria, married and a father of two children Myles and Jasmine. I am an MBA student at North Carolina Central University in Leadership, Technology and Entrepreneurship. I graduated from University of Phoenix school of Business and Project Management Institute certification from North Carolina State University. I am currently a business contractor with a local transportation company. I have worked in banking, Wachovia Mortgage, Barclays Capital PLC and Project Manager with Taylor Family YMCA, formally Cary Family YMCA.
I love spending time with my family, socializing, land activities, cycling, traveling, music, gardening, camping, organizing events and I enjoy cooking.
I have served for four years as the Vice President of membership with the Raleigh Sister Cities, a Global Peace Initiative founded by Former US President Dwight Eisenhower. I also serve as an executive director with the African Diaspora Coalition of North Carolina, with the goal of enhancing African Economic Empowerment and Unity. I have been the lead liaison in cultivating the growing partnership between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the National Museums of Kenya. Working with incredible high-level officials and scientists has been a very humbling experience.
My past experiences have seen me establish a Kenyan local soccer club in Raleigh, and a Triangle Kenyan Kids Heritage group. These groups enhanced the kids’ talents and skills while sharing a common culture and heritage. I have also served as a board of Trustee with the Talanta Awards which has a lot of presence in different States around the US.
My country Kenya is beautiful and is home to the most amazing hospitable people you will ever find. There is so much to enjoy, visit, eat, weather, sports, agriculture, lifestyle, discoveries, night life, ocean water activities etc. However, Kenya has a good share of challenges due to lack of clean water especially in Arid and semi arid lands (ASAL) districts which covers a good proportion of Kenya’s geophysics. Such challenges to vulnerable situations in communities spoke deeply to my soul and finding a way to be a part of a solution in whatever smaller ways was critical.
In the matters of Water and Sanitation Hygiene, The United Nations / United Nations International Children & Emergency Fund (UNICEF classifies Kenya as a chronically water scarce country on the basis of having one of the lowest natural water replenishment rates, at 647 metres cubed per capita per annum which is far below the 1,000 metres cubed per capita per annum. Only about 56% of the population has access to safe water and approximately 80% of hospital attendance in the country is due to preventable diseases. About 50% of these illnesses are water, sanitation and hygiene related cases. Coverage of adequate sanitation has dropped from 49 percent to 43 percent in recent years. 16 million (50 percent) Kenyans do not have adequate sanitation; more than 90 per cent of the water and sanitation related disease outbreaks occur in the rural areas; 50 per cent of rural households have no toilet facilities at all, and where they exist they are generally unhygienic; up to 50 per cent of the urban populations reside in slum environments where sanitation conditions are appalling; on average, schools have only one latrine per 100 pupils compared with the recommended maximum of 40 pupils per latrine; more than three-quarters of Kenya is still vulnerable to disasters, especially floods, droughts and cholera. (https://www.unicef.org/kenya/wes.html)
I was born in a large family of ten siblings, five boys and five girls. At a very early age, we lost our dad to a short illness and our mother did an amazing job raising us. She was a prayer champion and instilled many christian values and principles to us. Most importantly, she taught us to be humble, appreciative, united, integrity, hard working, care for others and in general, to be people of good character. Our mum did not just say things. She put actions to her words every time. We lived in Ndunyu Njeru, North Kinangop and I remember many needy families in the village our mum would give (Unga) flour from maize in her posho mill. We also had many cows and most of the evening milk would be given away to such families. I was a child then, and many years down the line I see the significance of her actions. We lost our mum in 1998, but her legacy lives on, she was and still is our HERO.
After high school graduation, I had the opportunity to do an exchange program with YMCA Kenya and YMCA of Greater New York via Triangle YMCA– Camp Seafarer Camp Seagull. The characters that our mum had taught us as we grew up were validated on an international stage through the camp program. Our mum had prepared us well. I make friends easily, and I keep friends for life. The camping experience revealed to me that as the people of the world, we are all the same, with similar core goals and objectives in this life. My ambition to make a difference became even brighter, and especially having lost our mum and being a parent myself.
In 2009 after our son was born, I founded Myles of Great Hopes with the basis of giving back to the society through water, health and education. I had procrastinated with the idea of seriously making an impact but seeing the needs of my son and how much water he required for his care had me very concerned of similar cases in remote and dry areas in Kenya. This was a life changing moment for me. For the first time in history, I had the pleasure of changing his diaper, and luckily, friends and families had done a great job during a baby shower, but the question was, what about those mothers with similar little babies with no diapers and the clothe towels required to wash them? Some of my concerns were the incredible long distances some mothers and young children had to walk to fetch water. The water available was unsanitary for home use such as cooking, drinking, and care of newborns, just like my son. These reflections strongly affected me. Some soft and sharp internal voices kept reminding me I had the ability to stand in the gap even for one child, one family, or one needy school and help change the dynamics for the better. I had a good job, my life was settling well in America, but I just couldn’t help, my spirit was to looking back of where I came from, and I had to roll my sleeves. This is how Myles of Great Hopes started.
Lack of clean water results to sanitary health/hygiene issues and education is mostly affected. At MoGH, we have articulated on ways of approaching each agenda. According to The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell, I’ve never known anyone who said “I love problems,” but I’ve known many who have admitted that their greatest gains came in the middle of their pain.” Giving hope to the vulnerable, communities in rural Kenya and beyond, especially the semi-arid regions, focusing on clean water initiatives became my purposeful passion and I believed in the cause from inside, . My wife who had never been to Kenya became my greatest supporter and our trip to Kenya in 2008 added fuel to the fire.
It has not always been easy, nonprofit work is challenging, but the rewards are priceless and serving others is so fulfilling. I passionately love doing this, moments that empowers me when a united effort empowers a soul. It’s a calling for me. Dr. Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever had”. At Myles of Great Hopes, we are that small group, and as the leader, I have utmost respect and appreciation of my volunteer professional team both here in United States, United Kingdom, Turkey and across Kenya. We have an amazing team representing more
than nine countries who proudly serves in our board, all ages, and backgrounds. We welcome you to join us today, grow and continue making a difference together. WELCOME!