For years now, Kenya has been plagued by poverty, a seemingly uncontrollable AIDS epidemic and inadequate child-care systems. Over the winter break, eight students from Fordham’s Global Outreach program took small yet significant steps in an effort to alleviate some of these problems. Global Outreach, a non-profit volunteer organization, has been steadily building support at Fordham in recent years. Trips to Jamaica, Romania, Almost Heaven, W.Va., and several other areas in need of help have made Global Outreach a premiere community service organization at Fordham. By traveling to Kenya over winter break, the members of Global Outreach’s executive board expanded the reach of the program’s services. On their trip, board members met with a Kenyan youth group for one week and spent another week working in an AIDS orphanage in Karen, Kenya, just outside of Nairobi. Frank Rizzo, director of Global Outreach at Rose Hill, explained that they “did everything from feeding kids, to bathing them, to playing with them in the nursery, to cooking and cleaning.”
The participating students raised the necessary funds for the trip, as they do for all Global Outreach projects. Despite this financial responsibility, and the sacrifice of two weeks of the winter break, Global Outreach board member Greg Giangiulio (CBA ’01) felt that the trip was well worth the effort. “It was a huge cultural immersion,” Giangiulio said. “The people there were extremely welcoming and thankful that we had come to spend time with them and do service there.” This year, more students will now be able to experience a Global Outreach project than ever before, thanks to the introduction of three more programs. In addition to the Kenya trip, which will include more students next year, and the twelve other projects the organization embarks upon yearly, Global Outreach is now planning excursions to Haiti, Los Angeles and Florida City, Fla.
The group traveling to Haiti this summer will work in an orphanage for one week, and in a hospice for the destitute and the dying for the other. Two more Global Outreach projects are also slated for this summer. One group will work with street children in Los Angeles with the Stand Up For Kids organization. Another will build homes and schools for the Centro Campesino Farm Worker’s Center in Florida City, Fla. While in Florida, students will also act as tutors and mentors to the children of poverty-stricken migrant workers.