Youth build chapters to aid African child soldiers

COAST CITIES — Tyler Crouch, a student at Canyon Crest Academy, and Reid Hollen , a student at Torrey Pines High School, will take over the job of running Xslaves.org, a nonprofit organization that engages high school students to raise money to help former child soldiers in Uganda.
Rancho Santa Fe resident and Xslaves founder Paige Hollen, a Torrey Pines graduate, passed on the every-day duties, as she began her freshman year at Stanford University. She plans to continue an active advisory position in the organization.
Xslaves.org is a nonprofit organization with the immediate focus on educational, vocational training and small loans to those in poverty designed to spur entrepreneurship and other sustainable assistance programs in Africa, while engaging high school students in the management and operations of fundraising.
Crouch and Tyler Hollen each lead a chapter at their respective high schools.
“We are living in a pretty protected environment,” Crouch said. “It was time to look beyond our horizon and try to make an impact on the welfare of kids displaced by war and disease within Africa.”
“We hope to bring awareness of the fundamentals of nonprofit organization to high school students and we’ve set the mission of setting up the Xslaves organization in at lest five to 10 new schools each year for the next five years.”
Last year the funds raised by Xslaves.org went to support a catering and baking vocational program through its local partner Friends of Orphans in Northern Uganda. This group is a nonprofit focused on rehabilitating, reintegrating and empowering former child soldiers, abductees, child mothers, orphans and others impacted by conflict and HIV/AIDS in Uganda. The baking program provided nine months of training to 30 students plus start-up capital for them to start their own businesses.

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