After my first visit to Huruma, I knew that I wanted to return. So, one year later I find myself anxiously awaiting my second visit. Only this time, not only would we be working with the high school students and the sports camp, but we would also incorporate some time with the older students who have had to leave Huruma and are out on their own.

Some of them, with the help of sponsors, have had the opportunity to attend either a trade school or university. But sadly, many of them are still waiting for sponsors to fund their education. While they wait, they take on whatever work they can find, which barely pays enough to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Imagine having to leave the home in which you have grown up with over two hundred other children and suddenly be faced with living on your own. Imagine not knowing if you will have enough food for the day. Imagine feeling alone, scared, and thinking that no one cares for you.

These are the things that these older children face and these are the things they shared with me during our time together. They were very grateful that we took the time to spend with them, to eat with them, to provide some fun for them, but most importantly to let them know that they are not forgotten.

I was reminded of a quote by Benjamin Franklin, which says, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin understood that knowledge is power; knowledge is the key to independence; and investing in the education of our youth is well worth the investment.

In Swahili, the name Huruma, means compassion. What better way to show compassion for these kids than by investing in their future? Out of this epiphany was born the, I am Huruma College Fund. I am Huruma…I am compassion.

It is my desire to raise enough funds to send each and every child at the Huruma Children’s Home to either a trade school or university. The numbers of youth leaving the orphanage each year increases and the need is greater than ever.

This is the time…this is the place to make a difference in the lives of these youth. I am one…only one and alone I can do nothing, but together we can change the lives of these youth. Together we can help them change not only their lives, but they can then in turn be agents of change in their country.