Malerie Pratt

After working as a volunteer with children in Zambia in 2005, Malerie Pratt, a college student and native of Bend, Oregon, realized that something needed to be done to help orphaned children in vulnerable and abusive situations. Returning to Bend, she and Marlena Bellavia founded a non-profit organization called VIMA LUPWA HOMES, raising funds to build the first home, not an institution, but a family-style home. The first VIMA LUPWA HOME, Lupwa meaning “family” in the Bemba language, provides education and medical care, leadership economic opportunities, and environmental awareness that facilitates self-sustainability for these children, the family, and their community.