HEAL Raising Our World Foundations
"HEAL Raising Our World Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to raising our world, one child at a time. Currently, we are developing a children’s home and secondary school in rural Kenya called Rapha Community Center. We care for 50 children through our children’s home and educate over 80 students from the surrounding village through our secondary school. Our main focus is to provide orphans and vulnerable children the care and education they need to thrive.
As a senior in high school, I traveled to Zimbabwe to volunteer at an orphanage. After meeting the incredible children at this place, and witnessing the orphan crisis firsthand, I was inspired to do more to help. I returned home and shared the stories of the children I met, I helped to raise money and as a sophomore in college, I returned to Africa to volunteer again. This time I traveled to Kenya and had an equally impactful experience. I knew that I was meant to do even more. Seven months after returning home, I founded HEAL with the mission to create children’s homes that provide Health, Education, Ample Nutrition and Love to as many children as possible.
We are changing the lives of children and giving them the opportunity to have a brighter future. Samuel is an orphan who lived with his elderly grandmother after his parents passed away. She couldn’t afford to pay his school fees, so he was constantly being sent home from school. When he joined our community, he no longer needed to worry about missed fees. He focused on his education and discovered that he had a talent for art. Three years after graduation, he is teaching art at schools and children’s homes throughout Kenya.
Pauline joined our community a few months prior to one of my visits to Kenya in 2014. She had a smile on her face, but I could still see the pain in her eyes. At ten years old, she had already experienced the death of both her parents. She went to live with her grandmother, but she wouldn’t find the safety and support she needed. Shortly after, she was sexually assaulted by a neighbor. The crime was reported to the authorities and Pauline was rescued by the local children’s office and brought to Rapha Community Center.
It has taken time for Pauline to heal, but each year when I visit Rapha, I’ve seen joy and happiness replace the pain in Pauline’s eyes. I’ve seen her grow into a healthy young woman who is now in her second year of high school. Like Pauline, we encourage every child in our care to focus on their goals and to reach for their dreams. We teach them to believe in themselves and their ability to positively change the world. We empower them to become future leaders in their communities and in the world.
In three to five years, we would like to complete the infrastructure improvements to our center in Kenya. We need to build larger classrooms, a dining hall and kitchen. We plan to create a computer lab so our students will have access to more technology. We plan to develop more income-generating opportunities so the center will be sustainable one day. Most importantly we plan to increase our capacity to care for more children in need. To complete all of this we need to expand our fundraising efforts and connect to new donors and volunteers who will open their hearts to the work we’re doing for children in Kenya.
It’s been 14 years since I founded HEAL. The journey has not been easy, but I’m grateful for every challenge, for the lessons I’ve learned along the way and for all of the blessings that have positively influenced the lives of so many children. I hope that my story and the stories of our children in Kenya will inspire others to believe in their power to create change in the world."
If you would like to support HEAL or to learn more visit: www.healraisingourworld.org
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