The Red Rhino Orphanage Project was born through the rugged travel experience in Africa of founders Greg and Susan Traverso. It began in 1983, when Greg Traverso set out on his own to travel across Africa, with only a daypack. Greg was joined for part of the adventure by his friend Susan Richardson now Susan Traverso). The trip became a source of great inspiration for their life. Out of this adventure, Greg, Dean of Students at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton and Susan, a school teacher created the concept of Red Rhino Tours, a small safari business based in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 1998 they organized the first tour and Greg asked David Saunders, his friend and fellow teacher to join them. Along with the breathtaking sweep of the land and the animals, they also witnessed the devastation and poverty that the children of Nairobi were experiencing. Street kids. Orphans. Extreme poverty. They purposed to try and help, someway.
In 2005, after a struggle with cancer, a long convalescence, and a re-envisioned future, David approached Greg and Susan about their old idea. Maybe now was the time. And in January 2006, they sent David to Kenya to do the work they had imagined seven years earlier. To secure the title to the five acres they had purchased, to build the orphanage and to fill it with some of the most vulnerable and needy children in the world.
Creating a Better World
In the late 1990’s, people began to refer to the world as a global village because of the growing ease of communication and travel, the overlapping and intensifying relationships. People were beginning to learn about the effect they had on each other and their environment.
We all strive to have a positive impact in our hometowns, and increasingly in the world of which we are all members, yet in this age of globalization it seems increasingly difficult to have a lasting effect: the problems of poverty, disease, and environmental degradation loom in front of us forcing us to wonder what one person can do. However there are those that strive beyond these challenges and roadblocks to attempt to make a difference and make a difference in a way that not only changes the life of one small child, but makes a difference in one small child that will reverberate through that children’s community and begin to change everything around it.