Serving the Children of the World –
In 2009 Natalie Crane journeyed to Africa to fulfill her life-long dream of performing community service in Africa, assisting women and children in need. Natalie settled in Uganda, one of the poorest countries in the World. Soon after her arrival, Natalie suffered a severe case of malaria and was hospitalized. While in the hospital, a niece of the family with whom Natalie had been staying with died of AIDS. Natalie learned the woman had left behind five children. Abandoned by their father, the children - Agnes, Richard, Beatrice, Sylvia and Rachel - had become orphans overnight and were forced to fend for themselves.
Natalie visited the orphans and found them living in squalor. They lacked a steady food supply, access to clean water, proper shelter and clothing. They had not been enrolled in school and required medical care, especially Richard who was nearly lame from Osteomyelitis, a chronic and painful bone infection in his right leg, worsening due to the lack of treatment and basic sanitation.
Natalie and a relative of the children, Ester Nabwire, rescued the children and moved them into a permanent shelter. Ester accepted responsibility as the children’s caretaker/guardian even though she had insufficient means to fully care for the children. To help Ester financially, Natalie established The Five Angel’s Snack Shop, a small eatery for Ester to manage. The proceeds from the snack shop and monetary assistance provided by Natalie helped pay for the children’s everyday expenses and basic medical care; however, profits were insufficient to fully cover the children’s needs, especially the medical needs of Richard who was in critical need of medical attention for his leg.
The Kiwanis Club of Tierrasanta learned of Natalie’s efforts and offered to assist her in the role of accepting, managing and disbursing donated funds. Through Natalie’s persistence and the aid of Kiwanis, including a $1,500 grant from the Kiwanis Cal-Nev-Ha Foundation, Richard received the surgery and care he needed to save his right leg and is now walking without the use of crutches. He was able to again join his sisters for their second term at boarding school after a long absence due to his medical disability. This year all of the other children were enrolled and are excited about their improved schooling and are more than grateful for the support of Natalie Crane, Kiwanis and all the donors to the project.