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October 28, 2014

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October 28, 2014

I volunteered for Young Heroes earlier this year and was totally impressed and inspired by their work. My role was to raise money for AIDs orphans and participate in a cross country cycling fund raiser. That was the easy part. The Young Heroes team did the hard work e.g.,

1) Organizing
the entire fundraiser with all its challenging logistics including:

* Getting a team of people from all over the US to remote Swaziland, kitting them up with gear, getting them across the country on a mountain bike and providing food and shelter along the way AND
* Getting a second team of volunteers from all over the US to remote Swaziland, organizing their daily trips into remote Swazi villages to sign hundreds and hundreds of local AID's orphans into the Young Heroes programs, AND providing that team with food and shelter along the way

2) And most important - providing food, clothes and education to the vulnerable Young Heroes of Swaziland giving them dignity, hope and a chance for a safer and better future.

I was tremendously inspired by the young Swazi children we met. They were gracious, respectful and happy (despite living in unbelievably difficult circumstances). Having the opportunity to meet these kids was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Equally impressive was the dedicated staff of Young Heroes...the great team in Swazi, the Young Heroes Board and of course Steve Kallaugher, an inspiring man with a heart of gold.
October 24, 2014

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October 24, 2014

Swaziland in Southern Africa has the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the world. Young Heroes works directly with orphans who have lost both parents to the disease by providing a monthly stipend to cover food, clothing, medical testing and treatment. I have been on the ground with Young Heroes volunteering each year for the past five years. I have seen it grow to include more children and services, including bereavement counseling, summer overnight camp and vocational training for those who age out of our system. I have been in these children's homes and communities, talked on their grass welcome mats, hugged them, seen their school work, danced with the caretakers, laughed and cried with them. And every year I return with more enthusiasm to continue the excellent work Young Heroes does and to reconnect with the amazing children and families who receive our support.
October 23, 2014

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October 23, 2014

Swaziland is a poor country, on a subsistence economy, and the plight of an orphan is dire. Young Heroes is unique in that it takes a holistic approach to caring for the orphans, with a strategy to keep the children in their homesteads, where they can eventually take over providing for themselves, while giving them support and encouragement to continue in school, psychosocial support through camps and teen clubs, medical support with HIV testing and medications, and ultimately leading to vocational training support for those who choose to pursue a vocation when they "age out" of the program as young adults. It is immensely gratifying to see kids coming through the program with confidence and hope and positive outlook towards their future.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to find ways to grow to reach all the orphans in Swaziland.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 20, 2011

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April 20, 2011

While working as a volunteer in Swaziland I spent some time working with Young Heroes. I identified and registered children in need and I even went out on a trip with Young Heroes to see how the assistance was being put to use. They are a wonderful organization & they really do a great job of making sure that your money ends up helping the children with their specific needs. I have seen first hand the way this Nonprofit changes the lives of the children it helps. I will always support Young Heroes.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the community I lived in in Swaziland. I've seen Young Heroes change the lives of families in need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to help organize a fundraiser for it.

April 15, 2011

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April 15, 2011

I've been a contributor for a number of years but this year got involved in fundraising. I like the fact that, because they are underwritten, every dollar contributed goes to feeding and clothing the AIDS orphans. They serve a need that is otherwise unknown in the US. The staff are extraordinarily dedicated and caring.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've spoken with people who have been to Swaziland and witnessed first hand the great work that Young Heroes is doing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only thing I would do is try to help it grow.

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

The goal of Young Heroes is to help the orphans of families in Swaziland affected by AIDS. Donations are used to help with basic needs such as food, clothing and education. Swaziland has a very high aids mortality rate, and children are left orphaned. What will become of these children?
I
feel like I am giving them a chance to live a somewhat better life. And I feel that my money is being used to assist the children directly and not used for administrative reasons. Bravo to Young Heroes for the work they do!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

knowing that something is being done to help children that cannot help themselves. The organization has grown alot since it started and now the number of families being helped is in the hundreds

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to publicize it more so more people know about it.

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

Young Heroes is now regarded as a model program in Southern Africa. Recognized by the UN and USAID as overwhelmingly effective and sustainable, the organization is both scalable and representative of the best in public-private partnership.
The scale of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland can
lead to feeling of being overwhelmed. Young Heroes takes such a grounded approach to its implementation methodology that it lends hope to a situation often cast as hopeless.
Offering the essentials (food, clothing, school) to orphans on the one hand, and on the other constantly strengthening a nationwide network nested in the local HIV/AIDS government coordinating body, Young Heroes epitomizes all the core tenets of effective global health programming.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen this organization running first hand, in Swaziland, and have met with a board member in the United States.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It's tempting to constantly tweak organizations like this, but often that is unnecessary. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Young Heroes does what it sets out to do: raise funds to provide a better life for orphans, while keeping them in their communities. I do hope that the organization is able to scale up further, and they achieve greater representation in the US and other countries.

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