“ The kids hang on to you and want ot be held … they crve that . When they see you , they just want to hold onto you ,” Chilman said , recalling seeing bruises and scars on many of the orphans and hearing stories of men waiting outside schools to sell the girls into prostitution . “ It ’ s a whole different way of life ,” Chilman said . But she said she is hopeful for at least one youngster , Isaac , who she first met when he was 17 living at Martha ’ s Orphanage . She said he is now 19 and keeps in touch with Chilman and her friends on Facebook and is planning a trip to visit them .
“ You could see that he ’ s someone that has been in the orphanage and is being supported ,” Chilman said . “ That was one of the most rewarding things to see that we had made an impact .”
Chilman will graduate from Valley Christian High School in May and will attend Cal Poly in the fall where she plans on studying economics . She plans to attend law school and would like to get into corporate or criminal law . She and five of her classmates are hoping to return to Africa in a year and hopefully stay longer than their previous 10-day trips .
She said the need is great , but even small amounts of money and time make a difference .
For more information about Save the African Kids or to contribute to its cause , write to : Chilman Financial and Insurance Services , Attn : Chelsea Chilman / S . T . A . K ., 8070 Santa Teresa Blvd ., Suite 210 , Gilroy , CA 95020 .