Kipkaren, Kenya is split into two communities divided by the treacherous Kipkaren River. Without a bridge, it would take locals up to half a day to walk around the river. Such a trek causes children to miss school, while others are kept from church or from receiving medical care at the clinic. This dire situation was all too familiar to locals when river flooding in 2006 destroyed what was known as the Jesus Bridge. Thankfully, local prayers were answered two weeks later when the Faith Bridge was constructed with the help of volunteers from a visiting church group. The Faith Bridge served its purpose for the people of Kipkaren; however, it was designed as a temporary solution for those in need of urgent medical care. In fact, the first person to use the bridge was a mother whose timely access to the medical clinic saved her baby from a malaria infection.
Forward Advantage is honored to have been able to help the Kenyans by providing the funding for a permanent bridge. The Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group drafted the plan for the bridge, and MECHAI International generously donated the workshop and equipment. The Hope Bridge was complete by Thanksgiving of 2008 and was a cause for local celebration. Its success is due to many; however, the hard work and determination of the Kenyans was unparalleled during this time. The bridge is used by approximately 400 Kenyans each day and will be a safe and reliable structure for years to come.