Bake sales and lemonade stands are good ways to raise money, but they pale in comparison to Adopt-a-Cot, Africa Outreach’s fundraiser for abandoned babies. The Adopt-a-Cot program allows Phillips Academy students to help children in Africa. For 40 dollars a year, donors receive bimonthly progress reports. They also see pictures of the baby that they are helping and read stories about his or her growth. And if the baby is eventually adopted, donors learn about the baby’s new home, too. The members of Africa Outreach, along with their faculty advisor, Instructor in History Christopher Shaw, collected donations last week at lunch and dinner in Commons. Africa Outreach President Haruka Maruyama ’06 said, “This program is unique. There’s an agile connection between the person donating and the organization.” The organization is called the Hope House Babies Home, and it is located in Nairobi, Kenya. It has been continually operational since Christian NGO African Growth Ministries founded it in April 2002. Running almost entirely on donations, money is in short supply, particularly because most of the fundraising happens inside the boundaries of the country. “Tremendous support” from the PA community has “been really great,” said Maruyama. “There aren’t many people like me to help from outside [of Kenya].” Maruyama hasn’t always been helping from the outside, however. She lived in Africa for about eight years, and that’s how she “got to know” the orphanage. Enrolled at the International School of Kenya, she had a teacher who worked with the babies. Before continuing her work at PA, Maruyama went back to visit Africa in January. Stopping by the orphanage, she recalled that many of the babies were “Abandoned just after birth, usually by their mothers…and a lot of them were really, really small.” Suggested a CNN article, “Infant abandonment is a problem in Kenya, where poverty and the inability to care for the child are blamed. Most people who abandon babies are never caught.” In order to survive, the babies must be taken in by orphanages, like the Hope House, which depend on monetary donations to stay afloat. This fundraiser alone has about three donations for each of the 18 babies. At $40 a donation, Africa Outreach has raised over $2100 for the orphanage. This is even better than their fundraiser earlier this year, which raised nearly $1000. As for the future, Africa Outreach will continue to hold fundraisers like this one, and anyone interested in helping or donating is encouraged to do so.