Moving Mountains: an interview with Hellen, leader of Mt. Elgone CarePoint in Kenya

Eighteen years ago, Hellen Makani was told she had a short time to live. Today, she has long outlived her doctor’s prediction and spends everyday advocating for the vulnerable children at Mt. Elgone, teaching guardians how to work together and build small businesses, and leading community transformation.


“We want them to break that tribal fighting that they have had for many, many years and put it behind. When they unite together, they will be able to defeat the poverty that is there. In the beginning, they have to work together.” Hellen Makani


In this dynamic conversation Hellen, leader of Mt. Elgone CarePoint, and Nate, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, discuss how humble beginnings have transformed into monumental community transformation in Mt. Elgone, Kenya. Hear about the remarkable progress that has happened since the CarePoint’s beginning, and how the pandemic is providing opportunities to build trust with the surrounding community.


“Now, at this point it was not only the children who were being fed, but the food that we bought went to the whole community. A community of about 350 families. And I’m telling you, these families, they are not like my family of four kids. The least is probably eight kids. From eight to 15 kids. The highest family has about 19 kids…they walked away with a bag full of food that lasted them two and a half weeks.” Hellen Makani


The transformation that you hear about in this month’s podcast is possible because of people like YOU who come alongside leaders, like Hellen, and empower them to be a force of change in their communities. As you listen to Hellen’s stories of how food support has saved lives at Mt. Elgone during the coronavirus pandemic, we ask that you consider a meaningful donation. 



Nate Kaunley, HopeChest’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, has been working at HopeChest for five years. Before working for HopeChest, he lived and worked in Nairobi, Kenya for six years doing anti-human trafficking advocacy work.  In his role at HopeChest, he is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring the overall marketing and communications strategy of Children’s HopeChest. He also works to educate current and potential donors on unique ways to support the HopeChest mission.



Hellen Makani leads Mt. Elgone CarePoint with her husband, Pastor Richard. Mt. Elgone CarePoint, located in Kenya, lies on the gentle slopes of Mt. Elgone. The CarePoint is about an hour northwest of Kitale, Kenya and serves an impoverished rural area. This project is highly committed to serving the children, as well as their parents and guardians. Mt. Elgone is HopeChest’s first CarePoint in Kenya in partnership with Seeds Ministries. Seeds was founded by Pastor Richard and Helen and through their tireless work they are seeing despair, hopelessness, abandonment, and abuse being replaced by a sense of hope, love, and belonging.



“Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” is a podcast that challenges the Western perception of international poverty by elevating the voices of local leaders and processing how we can help to alleviate poverty without harming those living in vulnerable communities.

You can download and subscribe to “Build Relationships. Break Poverty.” here:

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