Greetings and thank your for visiting THREEafrica. My name is Eileen Roberts, the founder and director of this organization. I would just like to tell you a little about myself so you know where I am coming from and so you can maybe more fully understand my goals and intentions for this endeavor.
I have always understood the importance of paying it forward: if people have shown compassion and kindness toward you, it is important that you in turn show compassion and kindness towards others. I moved to Boston when I was 20 years old and at 21 had a son. I was a single parent on my own for 12 years. The kindness and compassion of a few people in Boston made it possible for me to go to college and graduate school and be Ben’s mom all at the same time. I married in 1985 and we had two more children. My husband’s job was very demanding and I wanted to stay home to provide some stability for our three children.
I did my graduate work in social policy and always thought that I would develop a career in that field. When my youngest child started 5th grade I volunteered for a national program called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). A judge in juvenile court appoints a CASA to the most difficult cases in the child welfare system. A CASA is responsible for investigating the issues, advocating for what is best for the children and reporting back to the judge. My plan for working in the field of social policy started to shift to working in the field of social service. I wanted to work directly with children and their families so they might have the opportunities and support I had years ago as a single mother. When I did return to full-time work I got a job as a caseworker in a foster care agency.
I loved direct service and the sense that I was making a difference in a child’s life. I knew better than to think I was saving anyone but I do believe that if I could make a child’s life better even for just one day, then I have made a difference. I retired early in 2010 and despite the free time, I felt that a large part of me was lying dormant. I missed working with others to help improve lives. I was quite fortunate in May 2012 to get the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of women and girls from the African country of Malawi. This is how THREEafrica came to be. For more specific information about how and why THREEafrica was founded, as well as it’s goals and mission, please visit the Creation of THREEafrica page.
Thanks again for your time and interest.