At just 24, Kristi Haddad is an extremely accomplished individual with a huge heart to match. That’s why it didn’t take much thought when Cambrian nominated her for the Colleges Ontario Premier’s Awards.
Two years after graduating from Cambrian College’s Early Childhood Education program in 2010, Kristi co-founded a non-profit organization, Heart of Ruth Mission, which pays 100 percent of the cost for orphaned children in Gede, Kenya, to go to private school (about $500 a year per child).
Heart of Ruth Mission also sends volunteers from around the world to Rainbow House Children’s Home, the Gede clinic, the Gede Special School or Jua Rescue Center for rape victims. The Mission has raised more than $12,000 to support Rainbow House.
Kristi organizes small-scale, grassroots fundraisers – yard sales, car washes and the like – and donates all the money to Rainbow House orphanage. She’s been to Kenya to volunteer three times in the past two years to teach, help with medical care, and assist in HIV and AIDS counselling.
When Kristi first visited Rainbow House in March 2012, it was in serious financial trouble and on the brink of closure.
She organized two yard sales upon returning to Canada and raised $1,200. That helped keep Rainbow House open and gave the 40 kids who called it home a safe place to live.
The orphanage offers free education to its children, as well as others in the community. By paying to send some of the orphanage’s kids to private school and one to college, Rainbow House is able to educate other children in Gede.