By: Haley Rademacher

In August of 2010, a group of about 20 students from Michigan State University (MSU) spent a day with CHOSA at Abaphumeleli children’s home, where we looked after the children while their caregivers celebrated Women’s Day. Our group was in South Africaon a study abroad trip designed especially for incoming college freshmen. We felt such a strong connection both to the children with whom we were able to interact, and to CHOSA as an organization, that we decided to start a student group to support the children we met in South Africawhen we returned to campus. CHOSA at MSU now exists to fundraise for CHOSA and also to raise awareness about greater issues of orphans and vulnerable children in East Lansing. The group is very connected with the African Studies Center at MSU, which has been an excellent resource in assisting with events and guidance. Although we are a brand new organization, we are ambitious about the possible fundraising activities we can initiate this year. Last year, we raised nearly $400 for CHOSA through a “change raid” in our campus residence halls, and we are planning multiple holiday-themed sales as well as a spring concert to benefit the work of CHOSA this school year. Although we were only in South Africa for a few weeks, the children touched our hearts in a way that we will never forget, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them, even from across the ocean.