This project is much much more than just a book – much much more.


House of Friends 
Vision Yourself for Others

House of Friends is a collection of short stories which shares what happens when we look beyond our self-serving world. The stories will resonate with the reader because each story reveals a life changing “WOW” moment when we learn how real life works because we discover that our actions have consequences; we notice how even the smallest action converts to real change towards social justice; and, we relish the emergence of our real character as we reach our potential to be a vision for others. The reader will discover that this process is not all pretty, because these stories share the mistakes, the hardships, and the pains of life, as well as the successes.

Become a part of the story by listening to the collides of Western and African culture during a more than fifteen-year journey of Jamey, a Western mentor with his East African mentees. This visceral experience includes passionate and personal stories of the give and take of two worlds learning from each other, a process which not only shapes the mentees' creative thinking and problem-solving abilities, but also further develops the mentor.

Ultimately, the reader will experience the full growth and progression of Pato, the mentee, as he now becomes an African mentor with African and Western mentees. House of Friends bridges the world’s differences, addresses white savior syndrome, exposes mistruths between cultures, but mostly shares stories which reveal what it means to be human.

We are in need of donations to fund the scope of this project and ask for your support. 

You can pre-order your book here. 


The Authors

Patrick Othieno

Patrick Othieno

Patrick “Pato” Othieno is from Western Kenya, but grew up hustling in the streets of Nairobi. Before becoming a vital element of the House of Friends family, he completed school up to class eight. With difficulties with school fees, he figured he needed to make something else work, and created a life for himself without finishing school. 

Through hard work and a genuine spirit, he has become a youth leader that has played a crucial role in the launch of House of Friends. He works to create a welcoming space for anyone who gets involved with the organization, and puts the “friends” into House of Friends. He naturally becomes beloved member of any community he spends time in, and carries with him a big heart and the desire to make everyone feel like everything is going to be alright when it comes to any challenges that may arise. Pato made a quick climb from mentee to mentor both in Kenya and internationally where he speaks with students from elementary schools, universities and organizations. He works to live and tell a story beyond the struggles he has overcome, and instead inspires youths by sharing his story of being hard working, kind, passionate, and always willing to do what is best.

Pato is proud to call himself an advocate for wildlife, human rights and the environment. Whether it’s encouraging Kenyan youths to speak up for what they believe or being a rock for visitors to depend on, he uplifts the voices of everyone he meets. He simply wants everyone to do work that feels meaningful.

Jamey Ponte

Jamey Ponte

Presenter, explorer, change maker & social justice activist, Jamey Ponte uses his experiences living in East Africa to strive for youth empowerment. His perspective comes from more than 15 years of living in small towns, slum settlements, small villages and even the very rural bush around the country. Much of his work is empowering youth through mentorship. He is devoted to a life-long focus on quality of life issues and revealing what it means to be human.

Jamey is the founder of the Child Wellness Fund, a Cincinnati,Ohio, USA nonprofit dedicated to quality of Life needs; Founding member of Kenya United Against Poaching, a grassroots organization giving a voice to local communities living among wildlife; A core member of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, the largest global protests in the world for wildlife conservation; A past board member for the Jane Goodall Institute Kenya (JGI) as well as past mentor/leader for JGI Roots & Shoots Kenya.

He leads the House of Friends Vision Campaign. House of Friends grew from his informal mentoring and leadership started in 2003 when he first visited Africa. Over the years it became a more formal effort and transformed and morphed to be an incubator of addressing social justice issues in Kenya and around the globe.

Rosie Sansalone

Rosie Sansalone

Rosie Sansalone, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, completed her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis her graduate degree at St. Louis University. Since 2006 she has taught 8th and 9th grade English at The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati where she won the prestigious Schilderink Family Faculty Chair for Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011. That same year, she was the winner of the Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York City. Additionally, in 2014 she became a Teacher Fellow at the United Holocaust and Memorial Museum. Rosie is actively involved in Cincinnati’s Holocaust and Humanity Center.

These experiences created the foundation for her to develop a Pedagogy of Hope: Using Writing to Promote Social Justice, as part of The Summit’s Teacher Improvement Plan. One of the most profoundly impactful outcomes of this endeavor has been her yearlong capstone project, Hear My Story; Be My Voice, which began in 2012. Through the publishing of a book, this project uses the power of story via personal interview, as well as narrative writing, to give a voice to humanity by restoring justice to those in the local Cincinnati community who have faced injustice or who have spent their lives fighting for justice.