By Matt Ferrero and Maura Kelly
Our social innovator this week comes with a remarkable personal story. As a youth, Anthony Mulongo was selected by the Kenyan Government as one of the country's 18 brightest students. He was given a scholarship to study journalism, which lead to a successful and lucrative career. Everything changed, however, when he befriended Gift Hawa, a six-year-old girl who lost her mother to AIDS, and whose 10-month-old brother had died on her back while she carried him through the streets in search of food. His extraordinary achievement began with a single act of humanity. He adopted Gift, enrolled her in school and made her a part of his family.
The family has gotten bigger since then. His house, now known as Mudzini Kwetu, is currently home to over thirty young girls. With the help of Anthony and three live-in mothers, the girls do chores, go to school and learn to shape their own futures. Coming in from lives spent on the streets, the girls are often unaccustomed to living and getting along with other people, and can be hostile to helping. But given time and love at Mudzini Kwetu, they grow to behave like sisters in a large family.
Currently, all 32 children share a single four-bedroom house. In the hope of providing them a comfortable life, Anthony founded One Home Many Hopes, an organization dedicated to the lives of these girls. Beginning October 19th and lasting until November 20th, the organization has launched a campaign to raise the $70,000 needed for a larger house. The goal is a new three-story building, with each floor serving as a distinct family unit headed by a "house mother." They will also be provided with on-site schooling, free of the prohibitive private education fees that are common in Kenya. In addition to expanding Mudzini Kwetu, Anthony has great ambition for his children. He hopes to send all of them to college, where they can be given the same chances he was fortunate enough to receive himself. With help, he believes the girls are capable of becoming the doctors and teachers Kenya so desperately needs.
For more on Anthony Mulongo and One Home Many Hopes, check out Reporters Uncensored TV live this Wednesday at 6:00 EST at http://www.reportersuncensored.com.