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Kenyan Adoption Official at Culver Academies

April 1, 2011
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04/04/11 A member of the National Adoption Committee of Kenya will speak Thursday (April 7) on the campus of Culver Academies as part of a 19-day visit to the United States to build understanding, awareness, and collaboration in support of children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.

John Ondeche will be speaking at the Legion Memorial Building at 7 p.m.

on the topic “New Hope for Kenyan Families.” His Culver appearance is co-sponsored Culver Girls Academy’s Leadership Committee for Africa and the Global Studies Institute. The public is invited and there is no admission charge.  

Ondeche and his wife, Prisca Ondeche, are co-directors of the New Life Home in Kisumu, Kenya, launched in 2001. Under their leadership, the Kisumu site has taken in 500 abandoned infants. They arrive without a name or a home and leave with full legal rights as the children of their adopted Kenyan families.   

Ondeche’s first visit to the United States is sponsored by the Amani Children’s Foundation and the New Life Home Trust. Amani is a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based non-profit organization that brings resources and education to the challenge of caring for orphans in Africa. Amani’s work primarily supports New Life Homes.

A former banker, Ondeche was appointed to Kenya’s first National Adoption Committee in 2008. The nine-member body oversees all aspects of adoption in Kenya. On a continent where adoption has been taboo, baby-selling has been the norm, and child trafficking is ongoing, the legal adoption of abandoned children by Kenyan families is not only a life-saving miracle for the child, it has been a game-changer for children’s rights across Africa.

The Leadership Committee for Africa (LCA) was created in 2004 by six CGA students inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s efforts to establish the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. LCA’s mission is to respond to the AIDS and poverty crisis in Africa by supporting programs that promote the health, welfare, education and advancement of women and children.

LCA has raised over $11,000 and in support of Christel House South Africa and the Amani Children’s Foundation in Kenya. The group has also organized three student trips (2006, 2008, and 2010) in which 50 CGA students have visited Christel House to lead leadership and team-building activities. LCA also has visited students at Christel House Academy in Indianapolis three times with the same purpose.

About Culver Academies

Located on Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, Ind., Culver Academies is a boarding school offering a college-preparatory curriculum for boys and girls in grades nine through 12. 

Annually, Culver has an enrollment of 800 students representing more than 40 states and 25 countries. Approximately 17 percent of the students are international, coming from such countries as Canada, China, Ecuador, Germany, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, and Taiwan

Culver’s mission is to educate its students for leadership and responsible citizenship by developing and nurturing the whole individual through integrated programs that emphasize the cultivation of character.

Founded in 1894, the boys’ school, Culver Military Academy, is based upon a military-type system used to teach self-discipline, responsibility, and leadership. Culver Girls Academy, founded in 1971, and is based upon the prefect system, with girls practicing democratic, self-rule to achieve similar values.

The Academies and the six-week Culver Summer Schools & Camps, with an enrollment of 1,400 for boys and girls ages 9-17, operate on the same 1,800-acre campus in Marshall County in north-central Indiana.

For more information, visit www.culver.org.

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