RESTORE, EMPOWER, STRENGTHEN

Crazy Love Africa is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 to serve, restore, empower, and strengthen women in Uganda who are HIV positive, single mothers.  As a result, we will touch the children in their care, through education, community, and sustainable job creation. By working alongside women as global sisters, we create change, while addressing inequality, strengthening families, and communities. We believe women are deserving of our effort, attention, respect, and love. To date, 25 women have been empowered with a micro-business grant to provide an opportunity for a sustainable income for their families.

Our Crazy Love Africa sisters are encouraged to follow their dreams and use their gifts when starting their business. Women who are selected to receive a micro-business grant must meet the qualifications and be motivated to succeed. We have watched our sisters start sewing shops, small livestock farms, and dairies, and other businesses selling firewood, groceries, used clothing, shoes, and traditional food.

When women enter into Crazy Love Africa they join a global sisterhood. Working alongside their fellow Crazy Love Africa sisters in our artisan program, savings group, support circles; receiving education and mentorship and growing stronger together.

0M
Number of people living with HIV in Uganda
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Children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS in Uganda
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AIDS-related deaths in Uganda annually
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Single Moms in our Sisterhood & growing!

Source: UNAIDS Data 2019

Our initiatives build confidence in such a meaningful way in the lives of our sisters. We are able to address inequality while promoting economic and social transformations. This is giving women opportunities and elevating their voices.

Jess Wiederholt • Founder

THE STORY OF CRAZY LOVE AFRICA

After adopting 4 children from Ethiopia and Uganda who were orphaned by AIDS, the mission to empower mothers living with HIV grew in the hearts of the Wiederholt family. In 2014 Crazy Love Africa was born. Jess Wiederholt, happily married to Ben since 2001, is the mother of 7 children. Samuel, Luke, and Abe joined the family 1st by birth. Abiti was then adopted from Ethiopia in 2011. Joselyn and Joseph were adopted from Uganda in 2013 and Lillian adopted from Uganda in 2014. “Our eyes were opened to the injustices surrounding women living with HIV in Africa. HIV was not killing these young mothers. Instead stigma, poverty, fear, hopelessness was taking these women from their children. We had to do something about that.”  Jess began reading about micro business grants and ways to give women hope through empowerment and community. What started as a way for the Wiederholt family to empower a few women and keep their children involved in the villages where they were born has evolved into a beautiful movement of empowering women and strengthening entire communities. Through creating safe cooperatives, providing training, and teaching skills, our Crazy Love Africa sisters are now leaders in the villages where they live. “We are giving women opportunities and elevating their voices.”

OUR TEAM

JESS WIEDERHOLT

Executive Director
Denver, Colorado

Jess has a master’s degree in child & family therapy and spent many years working with the psychosocial needs of hospitalized children. She nows spends her days homeschooling her 7 children and running them to sporting events. Her heart is with the marginalized and she works passionately towards forwarding issues of justice for global brothers and sisters living in poverty, women, children, and as an HIV advocate both in her own community and with Crazy Love Africa in Uganda.

BRIGHT HERBERT

In-country Coordinator
Uganda

Bright grew up in the villages where he now serves the most vunerable women and children. He has a degree in accounting and has used his gifts serving many NGOs in Uganda including: Y.E.S. Uganda, Welt Hunger, and Crazy Love Africa.  He has been a huge part of the founding and coordination of Crazy Love Africa in Uganda.

NATUGOZA SUSAN

Field Assistant
Uganda

Susan is the mother of 1 handsome son and received her micro-business grant from Crazy Love Africa in 2016. It didn’t take long for us to discover her incredbile leadership skills as she became an officer for the CLA sisters.  Susan has a certificate degree in social work and does all our home visits throughout the year.

GINA WALTER

Board President
Arvada, Colorado

Gina is a Colorado native and mom to 2 Ugandan sons. She has a passion for our mommas in Uganda and our mommas. Gina has a degree in Behavioral Science and Psychology.  Favorite quote: “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

KELLY SCHAER

Board Vice President
Milwaukee, WI

Kelly is the Program Director for College Possible. Kelly has a degree in Biology and Psychology and has worked professionally in the non-profit sector helping at-risk youth prepare for college. Kelly is a mother to 3, including 2 sons adopted domestically, Favorite quote: “Only when we take ourselves lightly can we take ourselves seriously, so that we are given the courage to say, “Yes! I dare disturb the universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle

ANN KONIECZNY

Board Secretary
Denver, CO

Ann is a mother to 2 awesome sons and works as a Pediatric Physician Assistant.  Ann believes all human beings should have access to education and health. Favorite quote: “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan

KAREN SEAR

Board Treasurer
Denver, CO

Karen is a trauma-informed Psychotherapist.  She has 4 children both adopted and biological. Karen believes change and healing are possible for all human beings. Favorite quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

AMY FEIJOO

Board Director
Henderson, CO

Amy has a master of Arts in Education and is a 3rd grade teacher. She is mom to 2 cool boys and enjoys watching them play sports. Their family loves camping in the Colorado mountains. Amy believes all human beings should be able to live without being worried about food, shelter, or safety. Favorite quote: To make a school successful, surround yourself with people who share your vision and stand back and let them work. – Kurt Braginetz

IMANA CETSHWAYO

Board Director
Aurora, CO

Imana is an owner and instructor for C-KS Movement Masters.  She is a mom to 3 awesome kids and a beautiful force in our world. Favorite quote: When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on and go for ride. -FDR

JULIE TORZEWSKI

Board Director
Goshen, KY

Julie serves as the Executive Director for Down Syndrome of Louisville.  She is the mother to 3 amazing kiddos.  Julie believe all human beings deserve authenticity, the ability to be true to oneself. Favorite quote: To get more out of life, give more of yourself.  -Amy Liao

BETH DICKINSON

Board Director
Denver, CO

Beth is a graphic artist and owner of Kreimer Design. She is a mother to 2 amazing children and enjoys watching them play sports and being outdoors. Favorite quote: Words can inspire, thoughts can provoke, but only action truly brings you closer to your dreams. -B. Sugars

MIMI FINN

Board Director
Lakewood, CO

Mimi is a talented artist and owner of Wall Creations by Mimi. She has a masters degree in music and is the mother to 2 awesome boys. Mimi believes every human has the capacity to find beauty. Favorite quote:  Truth does not change because it is or is not believed by a majority of people. – Giordano Bruno

SHANNA SOLLA

Board Director
Arvada, CO

Shanna is the mother to 2 cool kids and has a huge heart to serve the Lord. Shanna has a Masters of Public Health degree and a dream to work to eradicate extreme poverty globally. Favorite quote: “To whom much is given, much is required” – St. Teresa of Calcutta

GABRIELA PINO

Board Director
Spanish Fort, AL

Gabriela is a busy mom to 5 kids both adopted and biological. She has a degree in communication and believes all human beings are deserving of love, respect, and peace. Favorite quote: I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls as sisters and brothers.” – MLK Jr.

SHONTE DANIELS

Board Director
Azusa, CA

Shonte is a mother of two young men ages 24 and 15. She is a dedicated Christian and devotes her time to helping underprivileged children. Shonte has her Masters in Strategic Leadership and focuses on a transformative leadership style that seeks to identify the leadership potential in everyone. Favorite Quote: “Don’t judge a man by the color of his skin but by the contents of his character,” MLK Jr.

CHANGE A LIFE TODAY

HIV infection in women not only affects their health but also has far reaching implications to their families and livelihood. Get in touch today and learn how Crazy Love Africa is working to strengthen and empower women affected with HIV.
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