Local man travels to Rwanda to help orphans

Many area residents donate their time and money to help others.
Warriors Mark resident Aaron Lake has taken this to the next level, combining his love of helping others and his passion for traveling.
Lake, a 1999 graduate of Tyrone Area High School, knew he wanted to help others and learned he especially enjoyed working with children.
Over the past several years, Lake has traveled all over the United States, from Connecticut to California working with kids with special needs.
Last summer, he traveled to Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Ireland where he worked at the Barretstown Camp at Barretstown Castle.
While there, he worked with children from over 23 countries. Barretstown is a specially-designed camp for children with serious illnesses, primarily cancer and serious blood diseases.
The camp provides a unique program of adventure, activities and fun, backed by the medical world, which helps children with serious illness regain their confidence and self-esteem.
In mid-May, Lake once again set out to help children, this time in Rwanda, Africa where he is working with children living in an orphanage there.
Between April and June 1994, in the space of 100 days, over 800,000 Rwandans were murdered in one of the worst genocides of the 20th Century.
As a result, many Rwandan children are living in orphanages or on the streets.
The orphanage where he is working was started by two brothers after several family members were killed in the 1994 genocide there.
The pair ended up in this area while attending Penn State University, and gathered support from the surrounding community.
Many area individuals and organizations, including the Warriors Mark United Methodist Church, helped the effort by collecting items and supplies for the orphanage, which is currently home to 16 boys.
Previously, area donations helped cover the cost of building the orphanage as well as providing electricity.
The hope is to build another orphanage to house girls, as well as a medical facility. There is also plans to add running water to the facilities.
After arriving in Rwanda last week, Lake reported home saying he has been spending time at the orphanage and has made great connections with the kids, playing soccer and other games.
He said not only are the children at the orphanage enjoying the visitors, but the neighborhood children also like to join in the excitement.
Lake will continue working at the orphanage for several weeks before returning home.
He said he plans to continue working with children in third world countries in the future.