LCA continues to support children in Africa

Jan Garrison

Work in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania


December 15, 2021

If the global population was the size of Culver Academies’ student body:

  • 549 would be Asian;
  • 126 would be African;
  • 99 would be European;
  • 81 would be Latin or South American;
  • and 45 would be North American.

Based on 900 students, that population breakdown would include:

  • 162 who would be unable to read or write;
  • 675 would be cell-phone users;
  • 567 would have inadequate sanitation;
  • 477 would live on less than two U.S. dollars a day;
  • 135 would be undernourished;
  • and 9 would have AIDS.

Faith Martinez ’23 (Mishawaka, Indiana) and Cellestine Harig ’22 (Deerfield, Illinois) presented those numbers at the Dec. 8 all-school meeting to highlight the issues of poverty, undernourishment, and unemployment facing people around the world. As the research and education chairs for the Leadership Committee for Africa, they wanted to update the students on the continuing impact HIV/AIDS is having.

World AIDS Day was Dec. 1 and LCA members wore red ribbons to show support for those living with HIV/AIDS and commemorate those who have died. Since Dec. 1, 1988, the Project Red Ribbon has served as reminder that 38 million have HIV and, since 1984, more than 35 million have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses.

Red is the official color to remind people that HIV/AIDS is a blood-borne illness and to also show love and compassion for those who have the disease, they said.

Since its inception in 2004, LCA has raised funds for the Amani Children’s Foundation, which supports children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Working with Amani, LCA has raised enough funds to support 35 infants for one year at the four New Life Homes in Kenya. The first-year funding is critical as New Life Homes works through the necessary adoption paperwork. By the age of two, nearly all the children are adopted into a Kenyan family.

Much of the support for Amani comes from LCA’s bead sales. Approximately 20 students regularly participate in the beading sessions, creating jewelry out of the Kazuri (Swahili for small and beautiful) beads supplied by Amani. Along with the beads, LCA also conducts seasonal bake sales. The winter event was held Monday and Tuesday.

Along with Amani, LCA supports Christel House South Africa and the School of St. Jude in Tanzania. Christel House supplies stationery featuring student artwork, which LCA offers during the sales. Jewelry and scarves that come from the markets next to the school are also available.

LCA also operates concession stands at several hockey and basketball games through the winter. All those funds are combined to help fund programs like the “Buckets of Hope” campaign at Christel House. At $14 each, LCA provided 40 Christel House students buckets filled with non-perishable food items for their long holiday break.

The Leadership Committee for Africa was founded by CGA students. It now has 140 active members from CGA and Culver Military Academy. Because of the size of the group, there are four subcommittees: fundraising, research and education, communications, and work projects.

The group also travels to Africa every other year to visit either Christel House or the School of St. Jude. However, those trips have been temporarily halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

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