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Kathe Padilla, 51: Founder of Zambian Children's Fund

Where did you get the idea for this charity?
I've been an activist all my life. On July 4, 1999, I read a newspaper article with a picture of Zambian children and a caption that said, "These are some of the 100 children being fed by this organization, which has 2,000 children registered." I was horrified at the thought of how a person would decide which 100 kids eat every day.

What was the next step?
It's always homework. I started going on the Internet and reading books and finding out everything I could about Zambia. Then I talked with other organizations working there.

What mistakes did you make?
I believed that I'd be able to write a few grant proposals, pull together a couple of hundred thousand dollars, and just go do it. But I have yet to receive any major funding from foundations or corporations. Many of the initial donors are still supporting me.
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