Third Lens recently completed a vision and survey trip to Kenya and Uganda in early September. During the nine-day trip, the team of three visited existing projects in various stages of design and construction, along with performing due diligence on a couple of new prospective ministry partners. Luke Newell of Dunn Building Company (Birmingham, AL) and Chris Routledge a commercial real estate broker with SRS in Atlanta joined Third Lens’ Executive Director, Brian O’Neil, on the trip.
The team visited the towns of Mai Mahui and Kijabe in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley to meet with Valley Light Children’s Home and Cure International. Third Lens is helping Valley Light and their U.S. funding partner, Just One Africa, in completing their design with hopes of commencing construction by the end of October. The team met and interviewed 5 contractors who have been invited to bid the project. Third Lens with the assistance of the architect is overseeing the contractor vetting and selection process for the ministry and will remotely supervise the project during construction utilizing an on-site supervisor called a Clerk of Works. This will ensure the project is constructed according to plans, on time and on budget.
Cure International operates a children’s hospital and surgery center in Kijabe and 8 other locations globally. Third Lens is working with Cure to evaluate existing renovation and updates for its Kenyan hospital and residences. Additionally, Third Lens facilitated delivery of a medical missions backpack designed by Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction. Cure has agreed to field test the backpack on behalf of the University and provide critical feedback for future improvements to the program which aims to resource medical staff working in remote areas of the developing world.
The team continued on to Nairobi where they met with current partners, Life in Abundance, which operates its holistic community development programs throughout the Horn of Africa, Jamaica and Kenya, and Vapor Ministries, which operates soccer venues in the slums of Kenya, Togo and Haiti as an avenue for discipleship to youth. While Chris and Luke headed back to America, Brian continued on to Uganda to meet with prospective partners, Harmony Life International and Jungle Medical Missions, and current partner, Hines Ugandan Ministries. Harmony Life is in the process of developing a medical campus and guest house in the western Uganda town of Fort Portal. Jungle Medical Missions is proposing to develop a maternity ward construction model to be built throughout the slums of Kampala and rural areas across Uganda to combat one of the highest rates of maternal mortality rates in the world due to lack of birthing centers. The trip was an overall success and has laid the groundwork for years of new and continued partnerships in East Africa.
Third Lens plans to coordinate several visions trips in 2020 for individuals, corporations and groups interested in visiting some of its projects and experiencing the cultures of these destinations. Preliminary discussion are in process for trips to Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti for next year. For more information, email Third Lens at firstname.lastname@example.org.