Padox has been called the patron saint of Kibera, and that’s an appropriate name. He intimately knows the difficulties of life in Nairobi’s largest slum. He’s a father, a husband, a student, an educator, and an avid advocate for his community. Seeing the struggle that so many families have to give their children an opportunity to learn, Padox started the Seed Academy and now educates over 80 young children. At the primary school, they receive a healthy meal (and for many that is often their only meal), a basic education to prepare them for exams to qualify for secondary education, and above all, hope for their future.
Twin Cities & Somalia
None can deny the fact that Fatoun is a hard worker who will not stop until she gets what she wants. A native Somali now living in the USA, everything she’s accomplished has been by her own doing. She’s proud to be the Founder and Executive Director of the Somali Youth and Family Development Center in Minneapolis, where she helps settle Somali refugee families, and train youth and adults in vital skills and community building. Fatoun also has a dream to establish a school in Somalia where children can be educated and given a path towards lifelong success.
Fred is a rare combination – he’s sharp, smart, and has an incredibly giving and selfless heart. He’s spent his life working tirelessly to reach out to others in need, whether its his hometown in Kenya, or across his native continent in places such as South Africa and Rwanda. Fred is now working to help women forced by poverty into prostitution by connecting them to education and job training, by personally digging them toilet latrines so as to keep them healthy, and finding sponsors so that their children are able to attend school. He works hard to tutor children at the local school, to reach out to community members who are lost and without hope, and to advocate to those outside of his community for awareness and change.
Twin Cities & Haiti
Claude’s heart is for his people. He can be brought to tears when talking about the injustices that Haitians face daily. And he won’t rest until he can bring about change. His vision is to create economic opportunities for Haitians; to give them a hand up, not a handout. Claude’s dream is to establish a project that will train and support people to raise chickens so as to sell eggs and poultry, using a microlending model.
Twin Cities & Malawi, Mozambique, Congo & Tanzania
Joshua is a fighter. Born in the Congo, he lived as a refugee in Malawi before coming to the USA. He’s a pastor, a leader, and an advocate for his people. He created Emmanuel Foundation to serve Africa’s village communities. By working with refugees, widows, orphans, the disabled, those fighting HIV/AIDS, and the elderly, his programs address people’s economic, spiritual, and relational needs. Through job training, business support, feeding programs, and much more, he’s giving people a fighting chance to change their circumstances.
Martinho is a pastor, educator, and leader for his people. He not only teaches young women and men in the local seminary, he also leads community outreaches to slums in Maputo and surrounding villages. Through these outreaches, he provides education and skill training to orphans, vulnerable children, and girls who have been sexually violated. His desire is to lead the training and mobilizing of healthy people and communities with a focus on justice, freedom, peace, human and child rights. He is venerated by the people he tirelessly serves and educates. His biggest challenge is to find ways to share the stories of his community to the outside world, and garner awareness and support to sustain change.