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zambia hope international

Man seeks to connect local seniors with African orphans

By Sonia Boin, Frederick News Post - November 11, 2007

Thomas Cromwell was on a business trip in Africa when he saw how dedicated a Zambian farmer is to helping orphaned children.

The children became orphans when their parents died of HIV or AIDS. They go to Zambia Hope International founder Adamson Musonda with nothing.

Zambia Hope works to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS through teaching responsible behavior to children, and has provided a local clinic that provides medicine to 18,000 people, according to its website.

Cromwell, president of the Civic Council Inc., a Frederick-based nonprofit organization, said Musonda tries to give the children a sense that they can do something with their life, to make them self-sufficient.

The programs focus on farming and producing food and money for schools, as well as training the children for jobs with computers and cars.

"There is a vast pool of need just in Zambia," Cromwell said. "The problem will only be solved when people take responsibility for the problems in their country. You would have to be made of stone not to want to help."

Cromwell was so impressed by the success and dedication of Musonda that he's starting a Frederick County chapter. It will be called Hope Mountain Foundation.

Participants are already collecting used computers to send to the schools in Zambia, as well as money to support the programs.

Also under way in Frederick, at the new Senior Resource Center at 1780G North Market St., is a program that connects seniors here to the orphans in Africa.

Cromwell is hoping to collect signed Christmas cards from Frederick residents that will be delivered to the children in hopes of starting pen pal relationships. The seniors and the children can benefit each other.

"It's a huge thing for the children to receive cards from America," he said.