Alumnus Dreams of Launching Orphanages in Developing Nations

by Ann Hayes

Southeast Missouri State University alumnus and former football player Kweku Arkorful has transferred his energies on the gridiron to serving the needs of orphans overseas.

Arkorful recently returned from Manzini, Swaziland, where he was part of a church group that shared their faith and helped serve the village’s material needs.

“I’m driven by always doing more,” says Arkorful, a native of Ghana Africa, who grew up in the Chicago area. “How can I help out and how can I be a part of a bigger picture than myself?”

The team of nine people worked with Well of Hope CarePoint. They played soccer and interacted with children while also helping to paint a multi-purpose building and plant trees and gardens for the village.

This was Arkorful’s second trip to Manzini, the first in 2015.

“Families in Swaziland are very grateful for people to come over and bless them with hope, prayer and blessings.”

Arkorful said he dreams of building orphanages and recreation centers in developing nations. He would like to either be part of building these orphanages or making enough money to support other orphanages overseas.

“I originally went to Swaziland thinking I would teach the kids about Jesus, but they taught me so much more,” he says. “They were so grateful for having food, water and life, while we are worried about not having enough.”

He enjoyed the beauty of Swaziland’s mountains. He relishes the joy and laughter he witnessed among the children who, he says, love life and smile, despite their lack of clean water or plentiful food. The region, he says, is impacted by AIDS and HIV, and the average age expectancy is just 51.

Arkorful has been very involved in the Cape Girardeau community after graduating from Southeast. He enjoys working with the Christian Boxing Academy and Salvation Army to help youth in Cape Girardeau.

He also is involved with two outreach initiatives in Cape Girardeau. He and colleagues founded the Honorable Young Men’s Club as a non-profit that mentors to students at Cape Central High School. The club began as a once-a-week volunteer program, but now has been implemented in the school district. In addition, he serves as chief executive officer of Chosen Fitness, LLC, which supplies athletic gear, products, youth training and life coaching to the community.

Arkorful graduated from Southeast in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in recreation and park administration. While at Southeast, he played cornerback for the football team and participated in Campus Outreach and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Upon graduating, he signed a contract to play Arena Football with the Florida Tarpons. After sustaining an injury, he returned to Cape Girardeau, served as a graduate assistant while pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration and serving as the coordinator of intramural and club sports in Recreation Services at Southeast.

This fall, he began a new position as a district mentor with the Cape Girardeau Public Schools, serving the Cape Girardeau Junior High, Middle School and elementary schools.


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