Orphans need a future, their communities need servant-leaders.
Our vision is to see the lives of African orphans and their communities transformed. We pursue this vision based on the belief that orphans can become STARS: Students Transforming Africa and Renewing Its Society. Since July 2003, our mission has been to educate and mentor orphans to be servant-leaders. We are a 100% volunteer-led organization.
Our vision and mission are driven by our values:
- We believe that each individual is valuable and has a purpose.
- We believe that we are interdependent and were meant to share our resources.
- We believe that getting a high school education and having strong role models empowers an individual to change his / her life.
- We believe that an individual’s character, as demonstrated by their character, integrity and service to others, must be developed in proportion to the education received.
- We seek to demonstrate love, commitment and service in order to bring hope and build trust with orphans and their communities.
- Our word is our bond: we place the highest value in personal responsibility, accountability and earning and building trust.
See What We Do to understand how we are making this vision a reality.
STARS Children Africa was founded by Ken Prussner and Allen Herbert out of their shared love for orphans and combined decades of experience working, serving and living in Africa. Their vision for STARS Children Africa emerged out of their conviction that orphans can become a future generation of leaders who positively impact Africa.
Raised on a farm in Illinois, Ken graduated from a tiny high school and was the first in his family to receive a college, and later, master’s degree. His life was further shaped as a US Peace Corps Volunteer Malaysia and subsequent decades of nonprofit and international development work in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the USA. His experience leading volunteer and professional teams, developing grassroots programs and designing national programs prepared him well to lead STARS. His work taught him the critical need to partner with local leaders to ensure sustainability.
Currently Ken Prussner leads STARS Children Africa. He administers the organization’s programs, leads fundraising efforts and mentors the STARS. One of his greatest joys is making annual visits to Kenya to be with the STARS and, with STARS Children Africa’s local partner, conduct character-development training for STARS.