top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Nobelity Project

Whew. 2016 was busy!

The Nobelity Project 2016 Year in Review


Completed 20 infrastructure projects in rural Kenya schools: providing new facilities for over 3000 students including classrooms, kitchens, libraries, playgrounds, dormitories.

Funded clean water systems at 3 Kenya school location through sales of The Turk Wine by Treana: with the support of Hope Family Wines we Turned Wine into Water for 1100 students.

Supplied 500 Austin area homeless students with backpacks and school supplies in partnership with CapCity Kids & AISD’s Project Help.


Pilot program of 2nd bookmobile was a huge success! The two converted buses visit all 33 public primary schools on Roatán island in Honduras on a three-week cycle, lending 19,880 books to 12,833 students from these mobile libraries.

Textbook grants to 11 Kenyan schools targeted bringing the student-to-book ratio down for all grade levels. Launched our Greeting Card Campaign that will provide reading libraries in 15 schools.

Staff support for Mahiga Hope High enabled the school to hire a librarian, lab tech and sports coach: Arts & Athletics for Kenyan Schools brings competition and creativity into a student’s life increasing curiosity, self confidence, and problem solving skills. Funded art classes and sent teams to Dance and Sports competitions to expand contact with neighboring regions. Proud to be supporting Mobile Art School in Kenya (MASK) by awarding prizes to 5 winning schools!


Jumpstart College Scholarship awards reached 20 recipients: students in programs ranging from Hospitality to Biochemistry, Education and Early Childhood Development received funding to attend universities. Scholars are enrolled at Maseno, Kenyatta, Dedan Kimathi, and Eldoret - to name a few!

Performance Incentive Programs award top-of-class tuition grants to Mahiga Hope High School students for every term, grades 9-12. Kids are competing and scores are up!

Buffalo Bikes from World Bicycle Relief were awarded to top scoring students graduating from grades 9-11 in all 4 high schools in our program. Laptops are awarded to the top scoring graduating seniors to continue their studies or help them in the workplace.


Shortfilms/BIGCHANGES series released 3 new films

  1. To Ringo with Love documents Sudan, one of the last remaining male northern white rhinos in captivity. We lost baby Ringo the Rhino this year, but we haven't lost the battle! In partnership with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, we continue to fight poaching and improve community engagement.

  2. Flamingo Factory was accepted to the Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival! This short promotes glass recycling and explores the endangered habitats of East African pink flamingos whose breeding grounds are being mined for volcanic soda ash, the main ingredient in glass making. Special thanks to partners The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP), and Birdlife International.

  3. Monarchs: The Milkweed Mission tracks monarch butterfly migration across the US into Mexico and encourages planting butterfly gardens at home, with schools, and neighborhood parks. Official Selection American Conservation Film Festival!

Treeplanting and Gardening Programs


Planted monarch garden of native milkweed at West Ridge Middle School. 2016 was year 4 of our commitment to bring high schools students to Texas Parks & Wildlife's Bastrop State Park to learn about global deforestation challenges and replant the unique Loblolly Pines lost to devastating fires. 9 in-school workshops followed by 7 planting days in the park engaged 750 students in planting over 10,000 trees. Over the course of this program, thousands of students have planted tens of thousands of trees and experienced that their local acts have global impact.

Presented at National Conservation Training Center Student Climate and Conservation Congress (SC3) which brings 150 high school students from around the world to learn more about environmental protection.


Tree Nursery install at Macheros Primary School in Michoacán, Mexico to educate students about the impact of logging on the monarch butterfly population. Trees will be planted in the forest reserve with Alternare AC.


Mahiga Hope High School expanded their agricultural classes to include greenhouse management. Kenyan Scouts and other wildlife excursions educated students about natural resources and ways to protect them. Reforested 3 hectares of the Eburru Forest of Kenya in the Rift Valley, helping restore critical ground water recharge. Local schools receive presentations from naturalist Joseph Mutongu.


  • 1500 sixth graders attended a screening of the educational version of our film Building Hope at the Paramount Theater as part of their World Cultures Studies. After the film we connected live with Kenyan students via Skype; kids learned how similar they are regardless of location.

  • 120 Pioneer Youth Leaders from the State of Texas attended Building Hope screening and workshop to discuss global challenges.

  • Christy spoke at TEDxLakeTravisHigh: Everything Moves The Needle

  • Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Instagram Takeover! We were invited to share our work and trip to Kenya with their friends—20K viewings!

EVENTS and other highlights:

  • KUT radio celebs, Hawk Mendenhall and John Burnett, ride across Texas to raise awareness for Kenyan Scholars and funding for our Textbook Grants! Austin American Statesman's Pam LeBlanc joined them for part of the trek and we made front page news! Bicycle Sport Shop on S. Lamar kindly hosted an Earth Day Bike Bash cheering the guys on through Austin, onto the last leg of the journey to Louisiana.

  • Feed The Peace Awards & Concert 2016 honored Darden Smith's SongwritingWith: Soldiers and Austin Hope's partnering with The Turk: Wine to Water Program. It was a lovely Valentine's Day with a great show by Ray Wylie Hubbard and some of the Lost Gonzos.

  • 4x4 Concerts with The Trishas, Suzanna Choffel, Jeff Plankenhorn, Big Cat, Dario Valderramma, Monte Warden, Folk Uke, Marcia Ball’s Pianorama. Together we funded 2 Kenyan school projects for 250 children!

  • The 2016 Pirate’s Cup Golf Tournament raised $10K for Roatán

  • Jack Allen’s Kitchen and The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen competed for highest sales of The Turk wine, making our partner schools in Kenya very thankful for new clean water systems!

AM I NOT LUCKY? Thanks to:

  • Global partners, staff, teachers, principals, communities

  • Volunteers and interns (looking at you, University of Texas TRIBE)

  • Musicians and crews for 4x4 Concerts, Gala performances, and more

  • Venues and event caterers

  • Sponsors, grantors and charitable trusts

  • Press, celebrity endorsements, photographers

  • Artists, donors, supporters, friends, and family

Cheers to a full year and #EducationForAll

See you in 2017!

Turk & Christy Pipkin

The Nobelity Project

bottom of page