“Don’t give up, remind yourself to continue seeing the positives, and remind others that there is hope.” – Jacqueline Villeneuve
What does it take to be the change you want to see in the world? How can one person change the fate of many and leave a legacy for others to follow? Well, to accomplish any of these, one must start with the most basic of human capacities – LOVE.
Jacqueline Villeneuve is the Founder and Director of Operations at Zawadi la Tumaini Hope Homes. She has dedicated her life to support, educate, and empower young African women and orphan children. Her journey began when she first flew to Kenya as a volunteer with Free the Children when she was 15 years old. She was there with 26 other youth to build a one-classroom schoolhouse.
That trip was all it took for her to realize what she wanted to do in the future. After graduating high school, she then proceeded to work at a coffee shop to earn enough to go back to Africa. She started ZLT at 17 and opened the children’s home by 19.
She named the children’s home ‘Zawadi la Tumaini’, which translates to ‘Gift of Hope.’ She wanted to give vulnerable orphan children the hope of a new beginning – a safe haven.
Unlike larger NGOs, ZLT doesn’t measure their organization’s success by the number of children they support. Their focus lies in providing quality care and education for their children. Jacqueline and her team invest their time and attention to help the children cope and heal from past trauma. They currently have 25 children in their care.