Our journey begins!  

OPEN HEARTS and MINDS was founded. While living in Kenya Sarah and Phil Boyer met Edward Odhiambo who dreamed of building a school for the children of his village who were missing out on their education due to poverty. OHAM made Edward’s dream a reality and the children’s dream of an education come true.


10 children  


  • We opened Hearts and Minds School in an old borrowed building in the community.  Little did we imagine how we would grow from these humble beginnings.
  • All our children were given mosquito nets… so important in trying to prevent malaria.


20 children  


  • We squeezed a second class of 10 children into our school by putting up a dividing wall in the middle of the old building.
  • We also built a covered lean-to so the cooks didn’t get wet during the rainy season whilst preparing and cooking the children’s delicious food.



32 children  


  • How were we going to accommodate our 3rd class?  We built the annex!  This was basically a mud building with a tin roof added on to the original building.
  • We purchased the land for our permanent school and then started building the first classroom block… very exciting!
  • Our first set of 12 water filters were distributed to families in the community… so happy to be providing safe drinking water to them.


45 children  



  • … the new Open Hearts and Minds School was ready! 
  • The children had their lessons in their brand new classrooms in January!
  • Everyone was so excited, including us! 


57 children  


  • We had not built another classroom block yet so our new students used the church next door as their classroom.
  • We built and installed playground equipment… the children had never seen anything like it!  The laughter and joy could be heard all around.


69 children  


  • Our second classroom block was built, including a teachers’ office.  OHAM School was growing so fast.
  • Another 20 water filters, with a much improved design, were distributed… approximately 60 families now have access to safe drinking water.


82 children  


  • We built a new kitchen and installed 2 high-efficiency wood burning stoves. The cooks were so happy… no more smoke in their eyes.  
  • Also built a staff toilet block.
  • We installed two 6000 litre water tanks and guttering… now we can collect rain water so it can be used during the dry season. 


92 children  


  • Our third classroom block was added.  We now have enough classrooms for the whole primary school: pre-unit to grade 8.  Quite a milestone!
  • We purchased mattresses for all our children to ensure they can use mosquito nets effectively and get a good night’s sleep… happy children!


103 children  


  • We built another toilet block for the students.
  • Our first class at Open Hearts and Minds class graduated.  Such a proud time for all of us!  
  • The clean water scheme was expanded by distributing 30 more water filters in the community… over 100 families can now drink clean water.


107 children  


  • Our first cohort of students started secondary school.
  • OHAM committed to funding their fees for 4 years secondary education.


107 children  


  • OHAM School closed in March due to Covid-19.
  • A fundraising drive raised enough money to feed the families of our children during this difficult time.




All of this has been achieved through the generosity and support of a growing network of Open Hearts and Minds sponsors and donors…we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

Open Hearts and Minds

26 Grantwood Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1SB, UK


OHAM is registered as a non-government organisation in Kenya: No. OP.218/051/2009/092/5676.

OHAM is a 501(c)(3) public charity in the USA. Donations and contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

OHAM is recognised as a charity in the UK by HMRC for tax purposes. This means you can Gift-Aid your donations.