Steve Kallaugher ‘73 runs Young Heroes, a foundation dedicated to the feeding and clothing of Swaziland’s AIDS orphans. Although it is a very small country, Swaziland has the world’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection. According to the 2012 HIV Incidence Measurement Survey, 31% of adults ages 18 to 49 have HIV. Steve made a decision to join the Peace Corps at 53 shortly after walking home from lower Manhattan on 9/11. He wanted to do something to make the world a kinder place. Steve founded Young Heroes in 2006 with help from the U.S. Peace Corps and the Swazi government. Young Heroes now supports over 1,000 orphans in more than 600 families with monthly stipends, comprehensive healthcare and vocational and business training.
In May, Young Heroes runs Swazi Cycle, a fund-raising service trip to Swaziland. This year’s edition, Swazi Cycle VI, has two components: a border-to-border bicycle ride and, for non-riders, a series of community visits including home, hospital, clinic, a girls’ club and other sites. Each year, the trip ends at BushFire, the country’s premier music festival and an original contributor to Young Heroes – a connection Steve credits his experience on the Wesleyan Concert Committee helping him make. Swazi Cycle is Young Heroes largest fundraiser of the year. You can support Swazi Cycle Vi here. They use a sponsorship model- your family, classroom, or religious community can support a family for $30/month.