The Hope Raisers
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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, 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.
"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."
-Boniface Mwangi, Kenyan activist
"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."
-Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, Republic of Kenya, 2011-2016
"Suthar’s gift for inspirational storytelling and the courageous visionaries he meets in Korogocho should raise hope in all of us."
-Tim Crothers, author of The Queen of Katwe
"An incredibly inspiring story—you'll stand and cheer for Daniel, Lucy, and all the Hope Raisers!"
-Steve Sheinkin, New York Times bestselling nonfiction author
"An intimate portrait of life on Nairobi's margins—and of a group of youth who dared to create something bigger."
-Jonathan W. Rosen, East Africa-based correspondent