Dick Cameron, filling in for Janet, introduced our speaker, Paula Van Zyl who was born in Glendale, CA. She moved to Africa in 2003, to volunteer with Primates in South Afri-ca then traveled up to Zambia where she met her late husband, Dan Van Zyl, who was, at the time, working for the U.N. When his contract ended in 2004, they went back to South Africa and worked with the baboons at the sanctuary until 2005. It was decided they would start a volunteer organization and drove international volunteers from Phalabora, South Africa to Mwandi, Zambia, Dan’s childhood home. They worked in and around the mission, helping where needed. 

In 2015, they started a non-profit organization called Home for Aids Orphans. In 2016, they started building a community school which opened in January 2019. They now have over 280 students from pre-school through 3rd grade and are working on building a 4th grade classroom which will open in January 2022, after which they will begin work on the next phase, upper primary grades 5th-7th. 

Compass Zambia is a California registered non-profit organization that was organized by Paula and her daughter in 2020 to help support the efforts of Home for Aids Orphans a registered NGO with a focus on building homes for extended families that had been displaced by AIDS. Together, the two companies work to improve the lives of people in the area by improving the community. 

Julie Jenkins, International Committee Chair, presented a check for $1,000 to Paula Van Zyl, Founder & Chairperson at Home For Aids Orphans. This organization works with the local community to im-prove the living conditions for those most vulnerable in society, es-pecially young children who have been orphaned by AIDS by provid-ing housing and building schools in Zambia, where AIDS is still at ep-idemic proportion. (homes4aidsorphans.com)