Financial adviser Scott Sweat of Alpha Omega Group Wealth Management Inc. in Alexandria, Va., received the Global Community Impact Award for his work with David's Hope International, an organization that acts as support for a poor rural community in Kenya.
Mr. Sweat helped create the charity in January 2009 after a two-week trip to Eburru, Kenya, during which he and his wife saw a community lacking in basic necessities, including a reliable water source.
He has since raised $300,000. Working with a local ministry in Kenya, he and teams of volunteers have dug wells and built a clinic, an elementary school, an orphanage and a church in the village, which is about 60 miles northwest of Nairobi.
The $20,000 award from the Investment in Others Charitable Foundation will help David's Hope — named for a malnourished boy Mr. Sweat met on that first visit to Eburru — build a dorm so the school can accept boarders from wealthier parts of Kenya. Revenue from 200 boarding students will help the school and orphanage pay for the care of about 440 local needy students, Mr. Sweat said.
“Twenty thousand goes a long way in Kenya,” he said. “These funds will directly support the efforts to get the school and orphanage self-sustainable within the next five years.”
Alpha Omega has made large financial contributions to David's Hope, and its staff has given many hours of time to the cause. Alpha Omega president Fred Baerenz joined Mr. Sweat in Kenya in June and now sits on the charity's advisory board. Mr. Baerenz is considering bringing the entire firm to Kenya for a team-building business/service trip, Mr. Sweat said.
“The whole firm has rallied around this, and it's captured the heart of everyone,” he said.
After completing the dorm project, Mr. Sweat hopes the charity can support the construction of a high school and trade school so the children of Eburru can gain skills and be trained in a profession.