Kendall Ciesemier is an 11-year old girl, working to raise money to help AIDS orphans in Africa through World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization working to promote the well being of all people – especially children. Kendall’s goal is to support a project in Musele, Zambia with an annual budget of $60,000. To date, Kendall and her supporters have raised approximately $13,000 through garage sales, lemonade stands, bake sales, and outright donations.
After viewing an Oprah Winfrey special in the winter of 2004, Kendall decided that she had to do something to help the 14 million AIDS orphans of Africa. She began by adopting a child through World vision with her own annual contribution of $360. In June, as Kendall faced an upcoming liver transplant, she organized her effort, Kids Caring for Kids, asking friends and family to send donations in lieu of flowers or gifts. Through the help of World Vision, Kendall has adopted a project and set up a Web page for on-line donation (www.justgiving.com/pfp/kendallc).
In her own words Kendall states: I’m just and 11-year girl who wants to make a difference for other kids. I first became aware of the African AIDS epidemic and the orphaned children when watching an Oprah Winfrey special last winter. I couldn’t believe that there were so many children living alone. I couldn’t believe that when their parents died there was nowhere for the kids to go! Kids, I realized, were caring for kids. I knew then that I wanted to do something to help. Kendall knows firsthand how fragile and challenging life can be and how important love and care are. Kendall does not want attention for herself and her trials, but wants people to focus on what millions of kids in Africa are going through who don’t have the benefit of a loving family, supportive friends, and superior medical care.
Kendall has become an example for so many people. She underwent not only one, but two liver transplants during the summer of 2004. Even as she was struggling for recovery, she began making and selling dog necklaces (Bow Wow Bling Bling) to support her effort. Kendall ahs inspired kids on their own and in groups to actively work to raise money in a variety of activities. Kids have set up lemonade stands, washed cars, cleaned housed, donated their allowances, etc. By watching Kendall thinking of others during her time of need, many kids have been inspired to look at how they too can be a kid caring for kids, seeking to make their own positive impact on the world.