About When I Grow Up

In early 2006 a group of people from California traveled to Nairobi, Kenya and saw firsthand the devastation caused by poverty and disease to the thousands of children scraping out an existence in the slum of Huruma. We had seen it from a distance and had read about it, but to see it and smell it – changed us.

Within a few months of walking the streets of a desperate slum where extreme poverty trapped thousands of people, we had formed a non-profit organization that would reach and help children around the globe. It would partner with local organizations led by reliable and effective indigenous leaders who could use the resources we could bring.

We called it When I Grow Up because it centers on giving children a different future, a future that involves hope, a future where their dreams can be reached. It involves giving them life and enabling them to grow up and fulfill their dreams.

Who We Are

We are people from varied backgrounds and ethnicities who see our world as flat. Our neighbor is not just across the street, but across the ocean. We live in a global village. No one can be ignored; no one is beyond reach.  As a non-profit charity we work to give people an opportunity to help the most vulnerable in society – children, especially poor and orphaned children. Through effective global partnerships we have opened up effective channels for people in the Western world to be able to give and serve directly hundreds of hurting and helpless children around the globe who are now no longer beyond our reach.  By documenting their stories we hope to educate and inspire people to go beyond themselves to help others. Utilizing our partnerships and the resources entrusted to us, we strive to improve the quality of life for children and help them go after their dreams.

How we bring help

From the beginning we have relied upon the wisdom of people living among the neediest children to tell us how best we can help. Not only is this wise, but it ensures that we remain servants not saviors. Essentially we bring to our partners resources that they do not have. We bring money. We bring leadership support. We bring friendship. We stand alongside effective local leaders and help them do what they are uniquely positioned to do in ways we could never do.  All our programming is a partnership between our friends helping children in various countries and all those who contribute to When I Grow Up.

Board of Directors

WIGU Board of Directors group photo May 2015

Standing left to right – Jeremy Banducci, Rick Barton, Doug Rosenfeld. Seated left to right – Traci Parkinson, Gilbert Foster, Tim Curlee, Deborah L’Heureux.

Field Leaders

WIGU field leaders

Left to right: Gilbert Foster (Kenya), Tod Parkinson (Haiti) and Jake Harder (Guatemala)

Operations Manager

WIGU Operations Manager photo

Carrie Taves

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