We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathie Kreh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We wanted to help turn the tide for orphans and disadvantaged children in Africa through education — a staggering 97 million children don’t go to school.
The lack of resources and funding to educate children has perpetuated an unforgiving cycle of poverty. In the areas we serve, 50% of children don’t go to school. Africa’s median age is 19.7, and only about 25% of young people receive the equivalent of a high school education.
Without an education, and the coaching and encouragement of invested mentors, orphans and other disadvantaged youth are left without many options.
An education is empowering because it multiplies options. Expanded options offer hope.
We deliver hope in Africa through education.
What can you tell us about lessons learned during Covid?
We’re so glad you asked about lessons from the past year.
The challenges of the past year stretched us in ways we didn’t expect, but reminded us of a few things, too:
1. If acceptable solutions aren’t in sight – it may be time to innovate.
2. Stay open to new possibilities — we can achieve what we can envision.
3. Grow comfortable with constantly changing conditions.
4. No matter what we face, we stick to our values and principles.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
African Orphan Educational Foundation is led and run by a working board and all-volunteer staff. Without the undying enthusiasm and strong will of our leaders, advisors, youth volunteers and supporters, the children whose education we champion get left behind. And that doesn’t usually end well. These kids need support to cover their educational and personal development expenses until they can stand on their own.
To every one of our student sponsors: YOU are the ones who make dreams come true! Without you, none of the magic happens. To our board members, advisors, mission partners and youth volunteers– without your tireless dedication, the resources don’t connect with need — and hope begins to fade.
A mighty shout out to those who have volunteered their time and talents and those who continue to inspire us with their loyalty and hands in service: Josh Brown, Lauren Dean, Sophie Schneeberger, Cate Pracey, Katy Dickinson, Bonnie Siegfried, Dr. Ariella (Ariel) King, Wayne Philps, Michael Burrell, Sandra Stella, Nancy Ferraro, Hank Kreh, Ballaion Cadet Joram, Eno Okpo, Patrick Karekezi, Kakaire Collin, Abigail Oppong, Kate Halickman, Emily Winters, Melissa Carter, Lynne Deluca, Valerie Smith, Ron & Cheryl Wallin, Joshua Wepukhulu, Kelly Shaughnessy, Diana Mays, Augustine Wanyama, Tom Moher, Lea Peters, Christine Irizarry-Amoruso, Lori Boyle, Michael O’Rourke, John Linden, Jo Porter-Brockman, Millard Porter, Margret Nalumansi, Damali Birungi, and so many others.
Other: Top Rated 2020 Nonprofit: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/african-orphan-educational-foundation-inc Amazon Smile Charity: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/84-1893311 Silver Seal of Transparency with Guidestar: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/84-1893311