One Young World 2012 Summit is a place where every leader’s story leads to one common goal. To change the world one person at a time. Kiziah Philbert (Kenya) founder of a non-profit organization called Sponsor A Child-Kenya (SPAC-Kenya) deals with the natural, cultural, social, political, and economic issues affecting African children.
Back home he said he’s given the nickname Supertall ”because I’m taller than any other Kenyan who is there.”
SPAC-Kenya reaches out to sponsor different children through education, healthcare, feeding the hungry, stopping child abuse, and childcare. Philbert started the program in 2010. Now 24 years old, he has assisted over 217 children. He says “they pray for me and I feel when they pray for me; probably that’s why I got an iPad today.”
Philbert won an iPad by participating in Thought For Food, a vendor-sponsored project aiming to represent the future of food security among today and tomorrow’s thought leaders.
Philbert wants to help change the lives of more children from impoverished communities. His vision is “to ensure that children who have seen the worst that life has to offer get the best that SPAC-Kenya has to offer.”
One of the things he pointed out was that he started his organization in Kenya to protect children from child abuse, particularly Kenya’s numerous cases of female genital mutilation. Young girls are being taken advantage of, and being genitally abused due to their culture. Young girls are forced into marriages at young ages and their tribes believe if they aren’t circumcised they are at a higher risk of infidelity. When these procedures are done a sharp knife is used. The knife isn’t cleansed or sterilized, resulting in diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Each summer these procedures take place for a period of 3 days. During the 3 days as many as 300 young girls from different parts of Kenya make their way to have the procedure done.
SPAC-Kenya aims to educate the young girls by explaining to them that they don’t have to get this done to control themselves when it comes to sex. Even if they already had the procedure done, Philbert helps the young girls by giving them necessities such as menstrual pads, security, and protection from any further harm.
After hearing about this we decided that we wanted to help in any way we could. He started to talk about donating to his organization and we got right to the point and asked how we could help. We want to organize SPAC- Pittsburgh. In his country the things that his organization does can get him killed. He is risking his life daily trying to save the life of others. He let us know that if we could seriously partner with him he would be delighted because if he was to ever be killed his organization would still live on.
Kiziah Philbert does many many great things for the children back in Kenya and it would be great if Pittsburghers could help make a change there and here in Pittsburgh. Philbert has many other projects that he is working on. If you would like to know more about them you can check out his One Young World profile website or organization’s webpage or Facebook site.
He always dreamed of coming to America and he’s excited that for the first time he is a part of One Young World and that he has won an iPad that will help benefit his work. “It’s been hard really getting to America and now that I go to America I meet people like you.” Philbert describes Pittsburgh as the “Bomb.com” — the greatest place to be.