2022 Red Cross Class of Heroes: Lynn Cole – Global Citizenship Hero

Lynn Cole of Chicago is the Global Citizenship Hero.

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Lynn Cole of Chicago is the Global Citizenship Hero. During a 1998 trip to Angola with her husband, Andrew, the Coles witnessed the devastating effect of 27 years of civil war in the country and were moved to help. They learned that the after-effects of the civil war in Angola had prevented many children from access to basic education. Believing every child has a right to education, in 2003, the Coles built their first school in Angola, and committed to building five more.

Together, the Coles founded RISE International, an organization dedicated to building primary schools in rural Angola to educate children, empower communities, and contribute to the rebuilding of the country. In 2004, Andrew died unexpectedly, and Lynn was left to carry out and expand their mission. Today, Lynn leads RISE International and the organization has built 192 schools and helped more than 138,000 children in Angola receive an education. In Angola, the organization works in partnership with local leaders and provides children with a safe place to learn. In the process of building schools, jobs are created, including construction workers, teachers, principals and more.

Lynn is now leading a project along with a team in Angola to build a 10-classroom school in an area where 1,000 children have no access to education.

Read more about the 2022 American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Red Cross Heroes and how you can join us in making a difference.