The poignant and inspiring true story of three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum and improve the lives of those around them.
Korogocho is one of Kenya’s darkest slums, plagued by gang violence, food and water shortages, and rampant pollution. Most children have no future except for scavenging through trash piles or resorting to lives of crime. One day, a boy named Daniel Onyango decided to do more, creating a band called the Hope Raisers to inspire the kids of Korogocho. His friend, Mutura Kuria, quickly joined in.
In The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community, Nihar Suthar tells the amazing story of how Daniel and Mutura turned the band into a platform for change. They started teaching children on the streets how to express themselves through art and established a skating team after finding a pair of rollerblades in the dump. Suthar closely follows the story of one rebellious girl, Lucy Achieng, who refused to get married off at a young age and instead used competitive rollerblading to reach for her dreams. Lucy continues to inspire girls to stand up for themselves and challenge the longstanding practices in Korogocho of early marriage and prostitution.
The Hope Raisers is an eye-opening look into a world of poverty and violence where children receive only a basic education and are left with little to no means to get out. Yet it also reveals the remarkable impact that a few determined individuals can have on their community, even in the most challenging of conditions.
Part of the proceeds from all book sales will be donated to the Hope Raisers and toward improving the slum of Korogocho.
Nihar Suthar is an author who covers inspirational stories around the world. He is the author of Win No Matter What: A Guide to Hyping Up Your Life and The Corridor of Uncertainty: How Cricket Mended a Torn Nation. During the day, he works as a product manager in the tech industry. Suthar has traveled to Kenya several times to visit Daniel, Mutura, and Lucy. He currently calls Tampa home.
A Glimpse into Korogocho
Chapter 1: Life in the Dump
Chapter 2: Dogs on the Street
Chapter 3: Birth of the Hope Raisers
Chapter 4: The G8 Summit
Chapter 5: A Failed Upgrading Program
Chapter 6: An Unexpected Road
Chapter 7: Fat Women Can Skate Too
Chapter 8: Emergence of a Skating Team
Chapter 9: A Difficult Debut
Chapter 10: Unsustainable Success
Chapter 11: Aspirations Beyond Skating
Chapter 12: Passport to South Africa
Chapter 13: Nyali Beach
Chapter 14: Adventures Across the World
Epilogue: The Hope Raisers Live On
Guide to Korogocho
For Book Clubs and Classrooms
Help Raise More Hope in Korogocho
About the Author
In this ambitious nonfiction volume, Suthar chronicles the adventures of the Hope Raisers, a group of Kenyan teens seeking to uplift their neighborhood through communal enrichment. High school student Daniel Onyango initially set up the Hope Raisers as a music troupe to bring joy to his hometown Korogocho, but he soon realized the impact that creative pursuits can have on social change. When Daniel sees wealthier children rollerblading for the first time, he and his friend Mutura Kuria pool their money to buy a secondhand pair and teach themselves, and other neighborhood children, to skate. Despite economic challenges and a lack of support from their elders, the Hope Raisers eventually enter and begin placing in rollerblading contests, garnering international acclaim.... Suthar thoughtfully celebrates the indomitable human spirit by indicating that consistent hard work and persistence pays off, and that "we too are capable of creating change."
Suthar’s storytelling doesn’t sensationalize poverty, and it highlights the value of change that originates within communities. He clearly respects his subjects. The young people’s perseverance is commendable: Their optimism contrasts with the realities of their environment. Cultural and historical information is woven into the narrative, seamlessly providing important context. An eye-opening account of undeterred resilience and hard-won triumph.
People who are born in Korogocho work hard to get out and never go back. The Hope Raisers is a story about those who refuse to leave, and remain in Korogocho to fix it. It’s a story about resilience, courage, and most importantly, hope. The Hope Raisers will inspire you to become a change agent. In the grim and dirt of Korogocho, The Hope Raisers restores our faith in humanity. A better world is possible.
The Hope Raisers is a deeply uplifting story that needs to be told. Daniel, Mutura, and Lucy’s journeys demonstrate firsthand the magnitude of impact we can create by working together, strengthening the solidarities among global citizens in the quest for humanity of the planet.
Suthar’s gift for inspirational storytelling and the courageous visionaries he meets in Korogocho should raise hope in all of us.
An undeniably compelling story of the incredible power of young people. Nihar Suthar’s book does not only celebrate the Hope Raisers, a group of young Kenyans transforming their community, it inspires all of us who seek to make an impact and contribute to progress in our communities. It is a must-read.
This story portrays the real life, consistent struggle of so many and is an exact representation of the mood of most days in this part of Africa. It's left me motivated to do everything I can to create change and assist in empowering those who need help. This story truly is a deep representation of this side of life.
An incredibly inspiring story—you'll stand and cheer for Daniel, Lucy, and all the Hope Raisers!
An intimate portrait of life on Nairobi's margins—and of a group of youth who dared to create something bigger.
One of the beauties of the book is that it is an easy read and suitable for young teenagers upwards. It gives insight into how the poorest children living in awful environments achieve the unthinkable. The book is inspirational in that it shows both youngsters and adults that it is possible to achieve ambitions in even the worst situations. The author clearly has a passion for inspiring people around the world to move forward positively and to improve the many aspects of life as we know it. His story of The Hope Raisers is just one of the ways he has done this. He is an author to watch.
The Hope Raisers not only presents one of the most inspirational life stories you will read, but also it’s written in such an engaging, personalized and eloquent manner that it’s bound to attract the wide, international audience that this extraordinary group of young people deserve.
Includes discussion questions for schools and book clubs.