There are 147 million orphans in our world. Seven hundred new orphans a day and 2.6 million of them reside in Kenya, Africa. This statement was enough to compel Erin Rosenlund, 21, and Mollie Maner, 22, to rethink the typical post-graduate plans and have a hand in what could be the most groundbreaking work the Auburn alumni network has seen. The two and the team at Choose to Invest are trying to raise $24,000 to open up an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, where they’ve seen the most need for this drastic change.
Essentially Rosenlund and Maner and their team are rescuing 25 children and raising them in their developmental years.
“It’s about a holistic approach and shaping a child’s life spiritually, mentally and physically,” Rosenlund said. “It’s common for mothers to register in hospitals in fake names and leave their children behind.”
Rosenlund and Maner tell of footage where orphans are in cage-like areas all together being tended to only when they need changing or feeding and otherwise ignored. It is not the fault of the social workers in Africa, it is just “survival mode,” they explained.
Kimbolio will show current African teachers how holistic teaching can be the starting point for a new generation. Alongside raising 25 children, the two Auburn students will create a curriculum mirroring this vision to show these Kenya teachers what learning can be.
Rosenlund and Maner are doing all they can in their last semester of college to raise the funds to make their dream happen. The two saw it important to be in Africa for at least a year to fully immerse themselves in the culture.
However, this is not solely a yearlong mission. Rosenlund, Maner and the rest of the group at Choose to Invest are setting up the groundwork for what could be the largest holistic-style orphanage in Nairobi by December 2014.
“Kenya was definitely not part of the plan I had for myself, so I'm thankful that God's plan trumps mine,” Maner said.
Degrees in hand, Rosenlund and Maner seek to teach all that Auburn University has taught them. They will be teaching number, colors, shapes and most importantly, a whole lot of love.