UDQuickly Home My Old House Snapshots UD Magazine
Send A Class Notes


University of Dayton Magazine
Nasaka Kadijja and Wabuyaka Aisha, Primary 3, Molly Daniels '12 (center), and Wambete Ayani (a student at a local government school, Buchunya Primary), celebrating the U.S.'s Independence Day on July 4, 2013.

Out of Africa

7:59 AM  Jul 11th, 2013
by Audrey Starr

In her first job since graduation, Molly Daniels ’12 has been busy. She facilitates meetings with government and community partners, creates programming and workshops, organizes mentors and volunteer services and supervises construction — all from a small office in rural Africa that, on most days, has no electricity.

Daniels, a human rights and international studies graduate, began last August a yearlong stint as outreach coordinator for Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH), a nonprofit based in Virginia but filled with Dayton spirit.

Classmates (and fraternity brothers) Richard Burk ’67 and George Molaski ’67 serve on the board of directors as president and treasurer, respectively, and Matthew Shank, former dean of the School of Business Administration and current president of Marymount University, recently joined AAH’s advisory board. Together, these individuals represent nearly a quarter of AAH’s staff and volunteers, a statistic that didn’t surprise executive director Maureen Dugan.

“At first I thought, ‘What are the odds that a tiny organization would have four links to UD?’ But, the more I learned about the University of Dayton, I realized it’s not that shocking,” Dugan said. “The UD community feels a calling to do something more, to make a contribution that matters.”

While Daniels was well-prepared for outreach, other aspects of Ugandan life came with a learning curve. Expecting a hot climate, she was pleasantly surprised to find daytime temperatures in the 60s. Prepared for a lukewarm greeting, Daniels was met by friendly faces who “love having visitors from other countries, especially the U.S.” She also had to adjust her animal expectations.

“I was hoping to get a pet monkey. But sadly, I’ve only seen monkeys in protected areas such as national parks and reserves,” Daniels said. “In fact, wild animals rarely exist outside the parks, and the closest thing to a wild animal I have seen in my village is a chameleon.”

Daniels is grateful for the opportunity, despite electricity battles (“I rarely have power, and lately I haven’t had power for three weeks at a time, coming on for only a few days then shutting off again.”) and meetings that can last all day (“Here, it’s not uncommon to wait two hours to start a meeting or event.).

“The most rewarding part of my time, without a doubt, is time spent with the children. Even though most of them go home to mud houses and no dinner, they understand the importance of a good education and want to work hard so they can live a better life. They give me hope for the future,” she said, noting that AAH also supports health care with a clinic in Bupoto, on the Kenyan border.

After completing her AAH service next month, Daniels plans to backpack through Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia before heading home to Cincinnati and beginning coursework in a master of public administration program.

Molly with lizardMolly and JennipherMolly and young girl in white dressMolly Daniels '12, ready to fly out of Dayton International Airport in August 2012 for a yearlong stint as outreach coordinator with Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda.Sanyu Kelly, Primary 2, and Molly Daniels '12 in her office in Uganda.Mandali Ronnie, Primary 5, and Molly Daniels '12 in her office in Uganda.Kabuni Leaze, Primary 3, and Molly Daniels '12 in her office in Uganda.Weleba Bashir, Primary 3, and Molly Daniels 12 at Arlington Junior School in Uganda.

One Response to Out of Africa

  1. Julie says:

    What an amazing volunteer job to be doing! Keep up the good work, Molly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • A yellow finch enjoys a quick lunch in a flowerbed near the front of Marycrest on Thursday, June 27. While the 82 degree, humid air and mostly cloudy skies have kept the pavers relatively quiet, the wildlife is still abuzz throughout campus.
  • 010510backtoclassb
  • Chipmunk praying by Larry Burgess
  • bowling at ku by Larry Burgess
  • beat xavier tee shirts by Larry Burgess
  • U-Mass vs LaSalle at Baujan Field A-10 Women's Soccer Champsioship by Larry Burgess
  • Grilling on the front porch of your house by Larry Burgess
  • Biology lab learning about spinal vertebra by Larry Burgess
  • Sample of chapel side windows on display in Chaminade Hall chapel by Larry Burgess
  • Squirrel reaches for an acorn in HM Plaza by Larry Burgess
  • 120810CoCScienceCenter
  • Whale's head puppet is moved into Boll Theater by Larry Burgess
  • opera costumes by Larry Burgess
  • Pocket Trumpet On The Porch.
  • band mannequin in heritage center by Larry Burgess
  • first snow of winter
  • wiffle ball on the law lawn by Stephanie Lefeld
  • Spider web on a KU window by Larry Burgess