Rose Block Shatz – a sweetie – was a friend, a peacemaker, and a beautiful fun loving girl. She was tragically killed in a traffic accident at the young age of 10. Rose has helped teach us how one person can make a difference.  In her short life she helped others in many ways.

Rosie’s Rafikis was established to honor her memory and her good deeds. Rosie wrote My Greatest Wish in the fall of 2006, a few months before she died. The essay (link) describes her wish for peace.

Rose’s parents, Joni Block and Cliff Shatz, began Rosie’s Rafikis. On the first anniversary of Rosie’s death, they found out about the Apiche family, an orphaned family of eight living in rural Kenya. Across continents they reached out for each other and found comfort, friends (rafikis) and love. Joni and Cliff have supported the Apiche family by paying for school tuition, living expenses, food, health related costs and farming materials so the family can begin to thrive in a poor nation. The Apiche family gave Cliff and Joni a distant group of children to focus upon and help. The mutual relationship has grown into a strong and loving bond.

Rosie’s Rafikis was started to help others in the Apiche’s village, Nyabondo, with education, health related issues and community support.

A group of Rosie’s friends calling themselves Rosie’s Rafikis from Foxborough, Massachusetts began a service program, telling other children and community members about Rose, her Greatest Wish, and her desire to bring peace to others.  Rosie’s Rafikis not only raised awareness of helping others through community service, they raised nearly four thousand dollars which established the first Rosie’s Rafikis Scholarship for three girls in Nyabondo. The scholarships have enabled the girls to attend boarding school for one year. The founders have pledged to ensure that funds will be available so the three scholarhip winners will be able to complete their High School education.