Sarah Castor, Executive Director
In the spring of my junior year at Purdue University, I rode in a car with a boy named Dave. We both liked backpacking and mountains.
We spent eight hours together in that car and several more days in the beauty of the blue Smoky Mountains together. It turned out that we liked each other too.
That backpacking adventure led to a wedding and, now nearly twenty years later Dave and I are still living out our dreams of adventure here in the Midwest. Dave became an attorney, dad, and general rock star. I became a wife and a mother who still loves adventure and suffers from wanderlust most days.
I am a passionate person…in the best and worst ways. I love so many things and sometimes just don’t understand why someone else can’t love them too! I love riding horses, music, sports and reading. I also have a deep love for Africa–I respect all the dichotomies that exist there in beauty and brokenness, joy and bone-crushing sadness.
Through a series of beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking, and miraculous events my husband, David and I adopted three boys from Africa. Our sons were born in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic of Congo respectively.
My boys are amazing—full of life, strength and kindness. Being their mother is one of the greatest honors of my life and it was out of their adoption journeys that I founded JabuAfrica.
I am often asked, what the word “Jabu” means. “Jabu” is short for the Zulu word, “jabulani”, meaning “joy.” I have been to some of the most difficult places in Africa and yet the joy, perseverance, and beauty of the people there captured my heart. Even in the most difficult places…there is joy.
There is a Congolese proverb that says, “You can outrun what chases you but not what is inside you.” I think that best describes my love for Africa. For whatever reason, my heart has always been pulled there, even as a child.
It was my love of Africa that led me to adopt but it is now my deeper love and understanding that motivates me to empower families so that poverty does not determine a mother’s story, a father’s story or a child’s future.
JabuAfrica works as a partner walking alongside initiatives that empower Africans and provide the resources for leaders to rise up and lead their communities. There is no pity here. This is an investment into a positive future for all of us. This is the spirit of the African philosophy of Ubuntu—“I am because you are.”
Kelly is a mother of 4 girls and been married to her husband Scott for 15 years. Scott and Kelly began to experience a nudge and growing passion for orphaned children in Africa in their first year of marriage after traveling to Tanzania. Kelly was studying to be a registered nurse and did a month of community based health care teaching among mothers and children in small Tanzanian villages. Over the past ten years her eyes and heart have been opened to the plight of orphans as she has spent time in 3 other African countries focusing on orphan care. As this journey has wrecked her heart and dramatically transformed her life, Kelly and her husband opened their lives up to adopt their two youngest from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kelly is dedicated to advocate for the children of Africa through empowering them to be a catalyst for positive life change in their own countries. She has seen how transformation can happen emotionally, spiritually, and physically in the life of an orphan when they can catch a glimpse of hope for a brighter future. The will and spirit of the African people to persevere and overcome adversities amidst poverty and hardship has been a life altering inspiration to her. She is humbled to walk alongside Jabu Africa to partake in efforts to bring about life change and hope for the African people.
Megan Terry is a wife and mother who calls the Louisville, Kentucky area home. After having two biological children, Megan and her husband, Kamron, began to explore the idea of adoption and brought home their third child, a toddler from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in February of 2010. As a result of seeing both the startling beauty of Africa as well as the unimaginable need, Megan began extensively studying orphan care and poverty and began fiercely advocating for orphans and the reform of policies affecting orphans internationally. Her hope is to help shape policies and ministries that focus on maternal health as a way to combat the orphan crisis.
Megan studied marketing and public relations at both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. She currently serves as Deputy Director for International Orphan Sunday with the Christian Alliance for Orphans and as communications chair for Our Family In Africa. In her spare time, Megan enjoys writing her thoughts on life and adoption at Millions of Miles, and traveling with her children Sadie, Noah and Miles. She is also a certified foster mother who is eagerly awaiting her first foster placement.
Carolyn Herman, MA, LPC
Carolyn Herman is a wife and mother of two children living in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado.
Carolyn’s heart for Africa was born in the summer of 1996 when she spent two months in rural Kenya working with widows, orphans and struggling families. That summer changed her life in many ways; the most enduring of which was a heart that beats for the needs of African children.
Upon her return from Kenya, she graduated from Purdue University and went on to receive a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado. For several years, she had a private counseling practice specializing in adolescents and families. Carolyn currently serves as a pastor to middle school students at Greenwood Community Church in Greenwood Village, Colorado, where she daily tries to spark compassion in the hearts of students for people in poverty both locally and abroad.
JabuAfrica combines Carolyn’s passion for Africa and philanthropy, and she is excited to see how it can change the lives of many people throughout the African continent.