The Kithoka Amani Community Home (KACH) was the first Alpine Initiatives project, in fact, this home for children left parentless by HIV can be held responsible for the creation of Alpine Initiatives. AI Members spent over four months helping construct a kitchen, a garden and animal pens. The work performed was of intense manual labor and a very intimate connection between AI and KACH resulted. The hope for KACH, that would separate it from other homes in Kenya, is that it would become self-sustainable and would provide work for others in the community.

JP Auclair, AI co-founder, had a deep love for KACH and everything it represented from the children who would dwell there to the laborers who worked there. As an innovator, JP’s mind constantly circled the issues that KACH would face in order to sustain itself.

One day while building the kitchen with severely dehydrated lips cracking under the hot sun as he worked, a local woman named Karamana, gave him some of her homemade beeswax balm. The balm was like magic, the pain disappeared, moisture was restored and all the while an answer was provided. JP was sure this balm, if offered to others, could become the foundation of support for KACH.

The idea was brilliant and it inspired the creation of the Kiamani MVMT (“Movement”), a group who worked passionately to make JP’s vision a reality: to make lip balm to create a new model of sustainable entrepreneurial activity in rural communities that is fundamentally based in local knowledge and leadership.

Although the vision is worldwide, Kiamani focuses on the community `surrounding Mount Kenya, employing local woman and empowering local beekeepers and farmers. The high quality lip balm is locally made using age-old knowledge of the native ingredients, including Honey Beeswax, sunflower oil and a flavoring agent coupled with skin benefits (Rosemary, lemongrass, coffee, etc).

Kiamani is donation based, so you choose your donation amount and receive lip balm as a thank you gift. 100% of each donation will in turn support the children of KACH ensuring they all have food, clothing, education and more!

Kiamani attributes JP Auclair as their inspiration. But for the man who said, “It’s not about doing less, its about doing more, it’s about being more creative to find a solution,” he would be the inspired one as the Kiamani MVMT exemplifies how to do more.

The Kiamani MVMT from Layne Vandenberg on Vimeo.

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