Local Nonprofit, Arise Africa, Goes Beyond Our Borders

A local nonprofit teams up with former Cy Young Award winner to build a school in Africa.

After Alissa Rosebrough graduated from Texas A&M, all she wanted to do was capture life through her camera lens. Making strides professionally as a freelance photographer for the National Basketball Association and as an in-house photographer for a large construction company, she soon began snapping shots for various aid organizations in Africa.

But, she could only do so much with her camera and subsequently established a nonprofit organization, Arise Africa, with fellow American John Rosacker to aid Zambian children in need.

“Our original intent was to hold one annual fundraiser and buy books,” Rosebrough says. “As we invited friends to join us in supporting these children, many of them began committing $30, $50 and even more every month to educate them.”

Today, Arise Africa has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, which has helped place 450 students in a child sponsorship program, where, in addition to receiving an education, they receive the kind of treatment and items many take for granted: medical care, food and clothing. The organization also operates two orphanages, where 18 children who were either abandoned or living on streets reside and receive full-time care.

More recently, Arise Africa partnered with Kershaw’s Challenge, an organization fronted by former Cy Young Award-winner Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen, to build a school that can accommodate 700 students. Construction on the school began in August and will have room for 150 students beginning January 2019.

Eventually, Rosebrough aims to get students to continue their education in America or elsewhere in the world. “We already have one student whose SAT score qualifies for TCU,” Rosebrough says. “As we can find scholarship money for these children, we’ll be able to make enormous changes in the trajectory of their lives. The goal is not for them to live in America — the goal is to build and grow leaders for Zambia.”