The episode featured a woman, India Howell, who grew up in New York and took a trip to Northern Africa (against her will) for a friend's 40th birthday. To her surprise, she found home. India quit her job as a big time CEO in the finance world, moved to Tanzania and found work at a safari company. She soon realized the harsh poverty, abuse, and homelessness that surrounded her. She took careful notice of the "street children" - ragged little boys who clearly lived at risk - and was drawn to helping them.
One day, an employee at India's safari lodge told her he was quitting his job... and he was planning to abandon his three-year-old son, Doctor, too.
What happened next was just the beginning.
India took in Doctor. But she also took in Juma and Riziki, other street children. And soon enough, word spread - "There's an American lady taking in children!"
India became "Mama" to 17 African children.
India quit her job at the safari company to raise her family out in the countryside but stayed in close touch with her business partner, an African man named Peter.
Together, they had an idea: to create a community that could not only sustain itself but more importantly, enable children to thrive.
The Rift Valley Children's Village was born in 2004. And while "Mama India's" 17 children were the original family members, there are now 97 marginalized children living in this special place.
When the 60 minutes segment had ended, we sat silent and dumbfounded, but we knew we were both thinking the exact same thing: we NEED to visit this village when we travel to Tanzania for our honeymoon.
And we did.
This past February, we spent a day walking around, meeting the children, meeting the staff and learning everything we could about the RVCV. Our visit was fascinating, humbling, unforgettable and has absolutely made a lasting impact on our minds and hearts. The Rift Valley Children's Village is truly a loving and permanent home where children experience safety, joy, and laughter. There they are set up for a life of success in their beautiful country.
While we sincerely hope to get back to Tanzania one day to relive our honeymoon dreams and of course, visit and volunteer at the village, for now, we will do what we can.
That is where YOU come in.
The Rift Valley Children's Village is an incredible place. India and Peter are beyond brilliant. But they need our help.
There are many different pieces of the RVCV community puzzle that need assistance, from healthcare to education to their incredible microfinance program.
We want to make a mark on each one of these areas.
*Thank you to our first round of donors who have allowed us to raise $2,00 to sponsor the basic needs, medical care and schooling of a child for one year*
LET'S KEEP IT GOING!
No donation is too big or too small.
Thank you for your support.
We love you,
Rachel & Ilan
For more information, visit:
The Rift Valley Children's Village
60 Minutes - Rift Valley Children's Village
- Josh Straus
- Andrea Polsky
- Sharon Lynch
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