The 'Q' Fund is a registered 501(C)(3) U.S. tax-exempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of basic human rights for children in sub-Saharan Africa orphaned by AIDS. But it is also a testament to one woman's determination, caring and commitment.
It's Mission is: "To improve the quality of life for children in sub-Saharan Africa orphaned by AIDS by providing direct assistance with education, food, housing and clean water."
It's Vision is: "To transform world views and attitudes toward the treatment of children orphaned by AIDS and to effect lasting change by empowering those who will champion and carry this vision into the future."
Founded by Chellie Kew, a Palo Alto resident, in 2000 after she was witness to the devastating effects of the AIDS epidemic first-hand.
Kew sought to improve the lives of the AIDS orphans through education and providing clean water and food. The funding for the projects is entirely by outside corporate sponsorship, foundations, and on-going fund raising initiatives. Ms. Kew has also donated profits from her photographic book "African Journal: A Child's Continent," which is a collection of 71 photos of the AIDS orphans she encountered while in Africa.
Kew moved to South Africa in 1997 and visited areas that had been devastated by AIDS, including "villages literally run by children because all of the adults had died from AIDS."
The "Q" Fund provided most of the $30,000 for the construction of a school in Zambia. With the hope that the school will help to create a self-sustaining community, Kew traveled to Zambia to oversee the construction of the project, which was completed in conjunction with funds from the Zambia Ministry of Education. That school (The Chimoza Community School) is now a reality, attracting about 100 children a day in 2004.
In addition to the is a garden that grows food for consumption and commerce. Also, local widows produced school uniforms for the school children that were then purchased by Kew and supplied to the children. The idea, according to Kew was to make it "a collaborative community effort sustained by the school."
But Kew is not resting with her past accomplishments, on December 1st 2005 (World AIDS Day) she is planning to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro accompanied by five high school girls and five professional women role models in order to bring worldwide attention to the plight of the orphans and to raise additional funds. That project is expected raise $200,000.
Kew embodies the spirit of selflessness that inspires this Blog. According to one source: "She spent $30,000 - maxing out her credit card - to print 5,000 copies of "African Journal." And proceeds from the book go to The Q Fund. As of April that sum approximated $55,000.
In addition to funding the Chimoza Community School the Q Fund also donated $5,000 to Children's Harvest Ministries, an evangelical group whose project in South Africa was providing means for obtaining food, clothing and medicine, school fees and medical care for impoverished children in five African countries. Kew donated the money in gratitude for the help she received from a member of Children's Harvest Ministries who helped her move about the areas where she photographed the children whose pictures are in "African Journal."
Kew started an alternative health care practice as a for-profit business in 1994 but that has been set aside so that she can devote her time to her work on behalf of The "Q" Fund.
The United Nations estimates that by 2010 the number of orphans in sub-Saharan Africa will rise to more than 18 million. And Chellie Kew had resolved to do something about that.
For a really inspirational read, go to The "Q" Fund's web site and read how one inspired, caring and motivated person can make a difference in the lives of those in need.
The "Q" Fund can be found at:
Also, links to the sources listed below, and more, can be found at:
"AIDS expert to address young diplomats" The Paly Voice (3/7/05) http://voice.paly.net/view_story.php?id=2720
"Crusade Of Love" The Guide/ San Jose Mercury News (7/22-28/04)
"Eye on AIDS orphans: Photographer's book raises money for African kids"
San Francisco Chronicle, Friday Peninsula Section - (4/30/04)