[KHTS] – Santa Clarita resident Racquel “Rocky” Turner has 60 children, and it makes no difference to her that 44 of them are halfway around the world in Kenya.
She frequently travels back and forth between her two families, one in Santa Clarita, and the other at Saint Monica Children’s Home, an all-girls home near Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Saint Monica is supported by Turner’s nonprofit organizationMothers Fighting for Others, which provides the funds for the girls’ basic necessities, as well as school tuition.
“I always said I wanted to me a mom,” she said. “That’s what I ended up doing. That’s what I do now; I just have 60 children.”
It all started in 2006 with a simple Google search: “volunteer Africa.”
By October 2007, Turner was traveling to Kenya with the Global Volunteer Network.
She volunteered at Saint Monica and was approached by the orphanage director, who said that some of the girls needed money to attend high school.
So, Turner returned to the United States and raised $4,000. But after she sent the money she discovered that the orphanage director had not been honest about how much supplies and tuition cost.
That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Turner started traveling to Kenya three times a year to pay the school fees and buy school supplies herself.
By 2008, she had turned her efforts into the non-profit, Mothers Fighting For Others, and in 2010 they raised enough money to move the Saint Monica girls into a new building, away from the dishonest orphanage director.
The money needed for the move, $45,000, was raised within three months.
Saint Monica just celebrated their fourth anniversary in the new location, and come December they will be celebrating their first university graduate.
It’s a long way to come, Turner said, for girls who were barely going to school before MFFO stepped in.
Now they focus on making sure that the needs of each girl (as well as three boys) are met every day, while trying to find a more permanent home for Saint Monica, which is currently on rented property.
And while it might be overwhelming for Turner to divide her time between Santa Clarita and Nairobi, she said she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I would rather be overwhelmed and fulfilled and satisfied and love what I do, than not overwhelmed and trying to figure out what to do with my life…” she said.
Turner has no immediate plans to expand MFFO, but she hopes in the future to raise more money and fund the education of other underprivileged girls, beyond those at Saint Monica.
“Being able to educate hundreds of more girls, that would be it for me…” she said. “There are 66 million girls in the world that aren’t educated… That’s just too many.”
To learn more about Mothers Fighting for Others and how to get involved, click here.