When Dorothy Dulo returned home from college to her village in western Kenya, she found her parents had taken in many orphaned children.
The AIDS epidemic had ravaged her village of Alendu, abruptly orphaning dozens of children. Unexpectedly left with only distant relatives to provide for their basic needs, these children had little hope of living a good life.
Dorothy’s father, a retired education professional, began teaching a kindergarten class for these children who had no where else to turn. Dorothy’s mother prepared meals and provided other social services to the students. Without access to a classroom, the students started their education under the shade of a nearby tree. This is where Rafiki Africa Foundation’s story begins.
A year later a classroom was built. Every year one classroom was added. Twenty-one years later, we are still around.
While the needs of the students have changed over the years, today our first kindergarten students have graduated from college. Our under-the-tree classroom has grown into LightHouse Academy, a school with two-hundred kindergarten through eighth grade students. More than 75% of them are girls who would otherwise likely not have access to a good holistic education. These students are fed nutritious meals using produce from our own farm, while also receiving basic medical care, helping them stay healthy enough to attend school.
For the women and girls of the community who aren’t part of LightHouse Academy, we empower them with job training and trade programs, so they can provide for their children and families independently.
Out of the population of our students at LightHouse Academy, we reach out into the community to provide needed support and empower them to be self-sustaining.
We keep seeing hope grow: people actually believe their lives can be different and they are willing to work for it. And change really happens! We love it. We’re in it for the long haul with Alendu.
We are Rafiki Africa, and we want to see African communities thrive, holistically.
Invite Dorothy to Speak!