The Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children: A Tulsa-Based Agency Offering Relief to East Africa
On this edition of ST, we speak with Chris Gates, who is CEO of the Tulsa-based Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, or JBFC, a nonprofit that works to provide aid to, and combat extreme poverty in, East Africa. As noted on the JBFC website: "Janada Batchelor is JBFC Founder Chris Gates's grandmother. The organization carries her name because she is the woman who introduced Gates to Tanzania in 2002. Gates had nurtured a fascination with East Africa since kindergarten, when he proudly announced to his class on career day that he wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarian in the Serengeti National Wildlife Park. The precocious youngster talked his grandmother, Janada, into taking him on a wildlife safari when he was a teenager. When his fifteenth birthday arrived, Janada stuck to her promise, but the bargain had a twist. She required her grandson to perform community service in Tanzania, before his prized safari.... Gates grudgingly agreed, only to fall in love with the country and the people. After two years of volunteering at a boy's home in Mwanza, [Gates] realized the limitations of traditional orphanages and also the lack of services for girls. He decided to start his own non-profit, the JBFC, when he was still an undergraduate...." And this Friday, the 22nd, as Gates tells us, there will be a fundraiser for the JBFC here in Tulsa. (More details here.) Also on our program, commentator Janet Pearson has some thoughts on gun control -- or the lack thereof -- in America today.