Empowering the People of Africa to Survive and to Thrive Beyond the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

aka HEART   |   Auburn, CA   |


HEART and our partners are empowering current and future generations of Kenyan people through disease prevention education and economic development.  This is accomplished through Christian compassion, health intervention and resources as we promote physical, spiritual and emotional health.

Notes from the nonprofit

HEART believes the verse, “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” NASV. We will accomplish great things as we see lives empowered, communities developed, individual potential unlocked in the lives of the women and children we serve. HEART is creating a generational impact in Kenya!

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Lori Powell

Main address

11960 Heritage Oak Place, Ste. 21

Auburn, CA 95603-2403 USA

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Formerly known as

Health Education for Africa Resource Team



NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (G01)

Women's Centers (P83)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The world has been turned upside down with COVID-19 and its impact on humanity worldwide. For HEART and our work in Kenya with HIV positive mothers and their children, the immediate (the next several unforeseen months), as well as 2021 and beyond, our goal is to continue working to help these women and their children, which numbers just over 300 and 1,000 respectively, to receive monthly provisions of food, as well as long-term food security through a poultry management program that is being implemented in upcountry Kenya with the financial support of individual and corporate donors from private and public sectors. In broader terms, HEART has been dedicated to helping mothers not only survive with HIV/AIDS, but to Thrive by being empowered with knowledge, skills, and transforming faith for the purpose of caring for themselves and their children. Since 2000, over 600 women have been helped, most of whom are thriving as a result of training and coaching they have received from HEART.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP)

Our project saves the lives of mothers
suffering from advanced stages of AIDS; therefore, their children are
spared from becoming orphans. Operating in impoverished areas, the Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP)
identifies mothers who have been widowed or abandoned.

WEEP commits to providing medical care,
nutrition, vitamins, rent assistance and access to ARV drugs; it also assures that their children continue with their school with assistance in tuition, required uniforms and needed educational supplies. Once physically stable, the mother is taught
a trade at a WEEP center where she becomes self sufficient and breaks through the impoverished cycle.
In a country where the unemployment is estimated to be close to 70%, a job allows the WEEP women to provide for their families in a way that would be impossible without this project. Beyond the devastatingly high unemployment level, the lack of information and the stigma associated with AIDS thwart any efforts for an HIV positive woman to secure
employment, support her children, or access ARV drugs. WEEP’s objective is to keep mom alive, healthy, and employed and prevent her vulnerable children
from becoming orphaned.

Population(s) Served
People with HIV/AIDS

The project is committed to providing education and hope for the next generation of Mothers with HIV/AIDS served by HEART.  The project provides school fees, educational support and uniforms for the children at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education.

These children, many of whom have been reared by elderly grandmothers, would not have the opportunity to attend school because they cannot afford a uniform or tuition cost.

HEART believes that mothers with HIV/AIDS have a great chance to not only survive but thrive if their children are cared for and have a fair chance to receive an education, thus breaking the cycle of poverty

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Through the Freedom for Girls Program, adolescent girls are provided with undergarments, sanitary napkins and education on their monthly cycle and the importance of waiting for sex until marriage.

FFG has enabled thousands of girls who would have missed upwards of five school days every month for lack of protection during their monthly cycle. Without HEART's provisions, these girls most generally fall behind in their studies and eventually drop out of school.

Studies show that educated girls are less likely to contract HIV and less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior that can lead to HIV infection. A Kenya study finds that girls who stay in school are four times more likely to be virgins than those who drop out of school.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

HEART’S goal is to saturate rural Kenya with the prevention message of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Typhoid, and Hepatitis B and testing for HIV through Mobile Voluntary Counseling and Testing (MVCT). HEART staff and volunteer teams travel throughout rural Kenya teaching age appropriate messages to adults, youth and children simultaneously.

Seminars about HIV transmission separate facts from myths and encourage alternatives to traditional African lifestyles which facilitate the spread of HIV.

HEART seminars are often the first exposure to basic disease and prevention facts. All teachings are based on basic public health messages and Christian principles. All adults receive a HEART health manual written in both English and Swahili; this publication can serve as a health resource manual for the entire family. HEART believes that education is the best vaccine for HIV/AIDS.

Population(s) Served

HEART is committed to providing clean water to Kenya.

According to The World Health Organization, three out of five infant deaths are caused by water-borne illnesses. Additionally, two-thirds of the 72 district hospitals in Kenya do not have access to clean water.

HEART is enabling Kenyans to purify their water through distributing a product called water guard, which kills bacteria responsible for killing so many children in the slums of Nairobi. We have also received grants from Rotary to purchase “PUR” for water treatment up country.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of adolescent girls who benefitted from our program designed to keep them in school without interruption because of a monthly menstrual cycle.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Freedom for Girls (FFG)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Total number of adolescent girls who have benefited from this program since 2000, 313,501.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

When HEART was established in 2000, the goal was NOT to be among the biggest and most expansive of ministries in Africa. Rather, the goal was to focus sharply on the desperate condition of women with HIV/AIDS, with the realization that if they could be rescued from the fatal grip of the pandemic in Kenya, if they could be coached and encouraged to take their life-saving medicine, to eat nourishing food and practice good hygiene, if they could be taught revenue-generating skills--like sewing, making jewelry, poultry management and farming--these ladies could beat the odds and Thrive, in spite of a society that has shunned and stigmatized them. If they could thrive, then they would have the ability and capacity--with HEART's assistance--to care for their own children. When their children are nurtured and encouraged to stay in school, then their chances of a better life and brighter future extend beyond a dream to a come-true reality. Now two decades later, HEART is seeing the fruit of this commitment in a second generation of young people--the children of these mothers--who are now leading responsible and productive lives. HEART's Founder and Executive Director, Vickie Winkler states the goal in this manner: "The aim of this ministry is not to be shallow and wide; the aim is to be narrow and very deep." The ultimate aim is to see women empowered in such a way that their lives are transformed spiritually, physically, economically and emotionally, so much so that they can provide for their own children and literally impact the next generation and beyond.

HEART’s overall strategy for reaching targeted program goals will be accomplished by unwavering commitment to embracing and building upon these corporate-wide strengths:
• A funding strategy that includes a broad-spectrum of individual giving from smaller giving levels to major gifts, monthly pledges, multi-year commitments. The scope of support includes: corporations, foundations, service clubs, schools and colleges, churches and partnering Para church organizations.
• A structure of leadership and management that: 1) keenly integrates the vision, purpose and decisions of a U.S.-based Board of Directors (BOD) and a Kenyan-based Board of Trustees (BOT); 2) fully integrates the strengths and contributions of Kenyan and U.S. staff members, engaged teams of volunteers, donor groups/individuals, and BOD/BOT, partnering support entities (i.e. Rotary International, Soroptimist, Lions, USAID, etc.); 3) employs frontline workers with knowledge, skills, experience and mission-driven passion to assist in myriad ways with program and management functions of seven HEART-supported Community Business Organizations (CBOs) throughout Kenya; 4) maintain a first-class for-profit lodge (HEART Lodge, Nairobi) for the purpose of a) generating profit to support the mission and programs of HEART, b) providing a well-suited headquarter location for the staff of HEART in Kenya (and visiting staff from the U.S.), c) to offer HEART volunteers and visiting teams a safe and centrally-located facility that comfortably meets the lodging needs over 100 volunteers and guests who come and stay annually at HEART Lodge.
• A programmatic commitment to excellence in every dimension of work and service that aspires to achieve the highest ethical standards and professional best practices possible. This is accomplished by cross-functional team efforts that pay diligent attention to financial accountability and stewardship, accurate and detailed standards of reporting and monitoring programs, events and activities orchestrated by HEART throughout Kenya annually.
• A faith-based, corporate-wide belief in this simple statement: “Jesus Christ is our CEO.”

HEART has been in existence for 20 years with a strong and highly respected presence in Kenya that has partnered with these international service clubs, Rotary, Lions and Soroptimist. These organizations, all of which have a presence in Kenya as well as California where HEART's U.S. office is located have all been part of HEART's past endeavors, as well as current programs of highest priority, including the present food crisis exacerbated by COVID-19. HEART has also maintained solid relationships with many churches, from mega-size to those of smaller size; these entities give not only annually but also on a case-by-case basis depending on the urgency of need. A number of major-giving foundations generously support the work of HEART, as well as a growing donor base of individuals who make one=time gifts and monthly pledges. On the programmatic side, HEART has been committed to leveraging financial support through the engagement of over 100 volunteers who have annually traveled to Kenya, providing labor, donations, instruction, medical assistance, training in nutrition and hygiene, as well as other identified priorities, determined by HEART's professional team of Kenyan specialists, that focus on improving the quality of life for HEART's mothers and children. The Kenyan team operates from an administration base in Nairobi and is supported by a field staff of coordinators in rural areas such as Kisii, Kakamega, Manga, Gucha, and Nyakach.

Orphan Prevention and Self-Sustainability Projects: As of December 31, 2022, the following metrics for cumulative impact since inception (2000) to end of year 2022 have been recorded.

695 HIV positive women (84 new mothers in 2022) and 2,400 children/dependents (355 children in 2022) have been served in the Women Equality Empowerment Program (WEEP); An Orphan Prevention program that provides health care, nutrition, shelter, education, protection, psychological support, income generation and coordination of care.

330 WEEP mothers and 10 NextGen youth have been trained on fundamentals of Bible study and living Godly lives through discipleship.

483 WEEP mothers (93 WEEP mothers in 2022) trained on COVID-19, mental health, nutrition, hydration, immune system, physical activity and improving antiretroviral drugs treatment.

470 WEEP mothers reached through medical assessments and cancer screenings in all HEART locations.

130,704 (7,379 nets in 2022) Malaria prevention nets made by WEEP alumni and distributed by HEART to cover 392,112 children.

20 Community Development Organizations (CBOs) have been trained on governance, leadership and financial management to serve their communities efficiently in 12 regions of Kenya. Six WEEP Centers and one Graduate Resource Center are managed by WEEP graduates.

313,501 adolescent girls (18,272 girls in 2022) have benefitted from Freedom for Girls (FFG) project, which provides a year's supply of sanitary towels, 4 undergarments, and an educational pamphlet for the purpose of keeping girls in school.

886 children (74 new children in 2022) supported with school fees; 4,231 children (334 new in 2022) have been supported with school uniforms and/or scholastic materials; 1,888 children (469 children in 2022) have been mentored and offered psychological support.

255 Maasi girls (16 new in 2022) have been supported with primary school education. The 64 bed dorm protects them from early marriage and gives them the opportunity to continue on through high school and college.

10 youth from WEEP households in Manga empowered in business skills, woodturning and carpentering and now have sustainable businesses for income generation (motorcycle transportation, barber shops, brick making, grocery distribution, etc.).

25 young men from WEEP households have participated in HEART ministry. Lodge profits support HEART program. The Lodge provides vehicles, office space, internet, utilities, security, conference facilities, and a vibrant gift shop that sells products made by WEEP ladies.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 02/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Pastor Phil Sparling

Auburn Grace Community Church

Term: 2021 - 2023

Lori Powell

Executive Director

Doug Juday

No Affiliation

Phil Sparling

No Affiliation

Sandra Perkins

No Affiliation

Dave Page

No Affiliation

Audrey Murphy

No Affiliation

Lori Powell

No Affiliation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data