Wake Forest University Faculty Member Helping African Orphans

Mary Martin Niepold, an instructor in the journalism department at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has developed the Nyanya Project to help Kenyan and Tanzanian grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren who have been orphaned due to their parents’ death from AIDS.

The project teaches the grandmothers how to form economic cooperatives through which they can sell their handmade crafts. The grandmothers are also taugh howt to grow cash crops which can be sold to increase the cooperative’s income. Niepold and seven Wake Forest students traveled to Africa last month to help build a home for several grandmothers and their grandchildren. Four other cooperative communities have already been built.

The Nyanya Project estimates that there are 1 million children in Kenya and a half-million children in Tanzania who are being raised by their grandparents because they lost their parents to AIDS.