Ten years ago, I embarked on my first journey to Kenya. I was a college sophomore, searching for direction. Little did I know my experience would shape my future in such a profound way. It was during that trip, after witnessing the atrocious conditions at a government-run orphanage, that I decided to build a children’s home. I returned to college with laser focus, and 7 months later HEAL became an official not-for-profit organization.
The past 10 years have been formative. There have been seemingly insurmountable challenges, but with determination, courage and a lot of faith, HEAL has developed into an organization which affords vital resources to orphans and vulnerable children. At Rapha Community Center in Kenya, we provide complete care for 50 children, a majority of whom are total orphans and some who were rescued from abusive living situations. In addition, we provide quality education to over 80 students from the surrounding community.
Every day we see positive changes in our children. When Mary and her brother Kelvin were abandoned by their family in 2012, they were malnourished. Not only were they small for their age, but their hair had an orange tinge, indicative of children in Africa who lack proper nutrition. Within months of joining our family at Rapha where they ate a healthy diet, their hair began to change to its normal color. Now 5 years later, Mary and Kelvin are thriving. They are at the top of their respective classes in school, and demonstrate tremendous potential for future growth.
Along with the changes we see in our children, the facility at Rapha has developed as well. This past year, thanks to the effort of dedicated volunteers and generous donors, we successfully drilled a well and installed a solar pump, so our community has access to clean water at last! This is an incredible achievement, which has given us a new beginning filled with opportunity. Not only have we improved the health of our children, we have begun to irrigate our crops and develop income projects that were once impossible due to lack of water.
Everything we have accomplished has happened because of people like you. Thank you for opening your heart to help our children. Together we have changed lives, and it is my sincere request that you join us in celebrating this momentous anniversary by giving generously once again. Launch us into the next decade of our organization’s life with the resources we need to continue to develop the facilities and programs at Rapha Community Center. Our first goal is to raise $20,000 to construct 2 science laboratories, which will greatly enhance the educational experience of the students at our school. Your donation, in any amount, will help us to reach our goal. We need your support to continue the crucial work we have started. Here’s to many more years of raising our world, one child at a time.
Jennifer Musick Wright