A Jump to the unknown

Viola's story
Viola was only 18 years old, when she visited Kenya for the first time. During her high school years, she had not created a clear vision of her dream profession or what she would like to do in the future. However, Africa as a continent had always interested her.
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A wild thought led to unexpected consequences

Viola volunteered in Makongeni village planting trees, in a slum orphanage in Nairobi and in a orphanage for the physically disabled in Nunguni. The trip changed a lot. Returning to Finland felt difficult and the life at home seemed scattered. Viola wanted to do more and continue the work she had done in Kenya in one way or another. “For a long time, I was researching for possibilities and I contacted several organizations, because I wanted to do something bigger. However, time after time the response was that they would only take people with a degree in higher education. My high school diploma was not enough.” This did not put Viola down, but rather offered her an insane idea. An idea that slowly began to shape into a plan. What if she would found a non-profit organization? “At first I laughed at the idea too, but I just couldn’t get over it.” Finally, Viola found herself googling different things and calling different facets. It took a few months to do the research and organize things. “During this time, I didn’t tell about my plans to my closest friends or even my mother. I wanted everything to be ready by the time I was ready to publish the organization.”

The founding event of the organization

In October 2014 the organization received the official permission to be a non-profit organization. “Now that I think of it, at that point I didn’t know anything. But maybe that is the reason why things have gone so well. From the beginning I have been very careful and precise. Everything has been thought of with great care. Not a single decision has been done without extensive research.” The founding event of Home Street Home was held in Jämsä, Finland in November 2014. After the event, things began spiralling. Viola organized events and spoke about the organization at different forums. Simultaneously, she updated the social media channels actively. “I was studying photography, so the brand and materials of the organization have been well-thought from the beginning. “

Time to gather up the team

During 2015 fundraising played a large role, but things were changing in Kenya as well. During the founding process I contacted one of my friends, who I got to know in Makongeni. Already then, I saw that Salim and I were on the same page. I admired his motivation to help children and work for the benefit of the community. That inspired me greatly! I sent Salim a message asking if it were an insane idea to start my own project. He shortly answered: “I’m in!” In the beginning Salim invited his cousin and good friend to join our team. Later his aunt’s family, both brothers, sister, friends and cousins have joined in. Each in their own way. The official paperwork in Kenya was arduous. “At some point I was about to give up hope as things did not proceed. But in October 2015, a year after the registration of the organization in Finland, we were finally official in Kenya as well. That was crazy.”

Even the small acts have a significance

When the paperwork was finished in both countries, it was finally time to begin the action. In January 2016, Home Street Home began their first project in Kenya. By 2019, the organization has aided over 5000 children and actively runs 21 projects. The work, projects and visions for the future have shaped throughout the journey. In the background there remains the passion towards aiding the children. “Many people wonder, how do I have the energy to do work that I don’t get paid for. And what I do in addition to my studies and other work. But the thing is, that for me this is not work, but rather a lifestyle.” “The best reward is seeing the development of a single child and realize that the change occurred, because of me. It is so rewarding and gives me shivers time after time. I understand that I cannot help everyone. I can’t save all the children or diminish child mortality, even if I wanted. But as seen, I have already affected the lives of over 5000 children, their families and the community. That already is something. The world doesn’t become a better place with a snap of the fingers, but even the small actions have a significance. By helping the children, we help the whole community and that is how development occurs. The world becomes slightly a better place.”
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Find Us

Please feel free to contact us

Home street home ry / Kenya

HSH Rescue Office
Next to the main road, Kona ya chief
Viola Wallenius
+254 798 068 223

Salim Abdalla 
+254 701 665718


Home street home ry / Finland

Home Street Home ry
Koivutie 18
42300 Jämsänkoski
Viola Wallenius
+358 400 857 305


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