When she was seven, Mackenzie Whitehead-Bust started raising money for Empower African Children, an organization serving orphans and other vulnerable children in Uganda. Now eight, Mackenzie has raised over $1,100 selling snacks with her four-year-old sister, Parker, and organizing neighborhood garage sales.
Mackenzie’s goal is now to inspire $1 million in donations to this effort by the time she goes to college. SEED Hope is helping her with this expanded vision.
Uganda is home to 27.6 million people, over half of whom are under the age of 15. Some 2.4 million of these children are orphans, left parentless by AIDs, civil war, poverty, disease, and other realities of often-harsh life in East Africa. By 2010, UNICEF projects that Uganda’s orphan population will reach 3.5 million.
Empower African Children is a nonprofit organization that cares for some of these orphans. It provides food, shelter, and health care in two locations in Uganda. But beyond that, Empower African Children aims to equip African children to become leaders in their own societies. It strives to provide secondary school education (in a country in which only 15 percent of primary school graduates go on to get more schooling), counseling, and other spiritual and emotional support. A new secondary school is being planned to serve 300 orphans and vulnerable children from Uganda and East Africa.
Some of the children tour the United States as part of the “Spirit of Uganda” tour, performing traditional East African dance and music. Others attend college in the United States under a scholarship program.
During the SEED Hope February 2008 exploratory visit to East Africa, we will hand-deliver Mackenzie and Parker’s latest contribution to Empower African Children. Please help these young philanthropists on their way to the $1 million mark.
Help connect us If you have an interest in, or know people or organizations we should be in touch with in Africa or about this kind of work please contact us.