7th grader helps AIDS orphans in Africa

December 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
On World AIDS Day there is a reminder that you're never too young to make an impact. A San Francisco boy makes a difference in Africa.

In many ways he's just an ordinary kid, but Stefan Lyon is also an activist who is changing lives half a world away.

"I wanted to contribute to the less fortunate. There's a lot of aids orphans and poor children in Africa without a home and I decided to build a school for them," said Stefan.

In fact he helped build two schools. One is called Stefan's Wing in a village in Western Kenya and the other is called the Stefan Lyon Academy. So how did this 13-year-old San Francisco boy come up with the money?

"We sold cookies, sold them for a dollar. It went okay, but we needed more money and faster, so I decided to write books," said Stefan.

The books are about the adventures of his pet rat, Stitch. The sales have raised about $30,000 so far and Stefan just published his third one called "Stitch and Friends Go Green." It's captured the attention of a local law firm which promotes environmentally friendly business practices.

Mike Moye from Hanson Bridgett LLP is shown in a picture with one of Stefan's rats. Moye is organizing a book signing for Stefan on Tuesday.

"Just the fact that a kid would think outside of himself, think about others, and then actually follow through on that in the manner that he has followed through on it, I just thought it was truly inspirational," said Moye.

ABC7's Carolyn Tyler first met Stefan three years ago in U.N. Plaza in San Francisco where he was busy with another humanitarian project, passing out blankets to the homeless.

"I helped the homeless people. Now I want to help the AIDS orphans, so they can grow up and raise a family," said Stefan.

The teenager hopes his latest book sales allow him to expand his academy, so more children can realize the dream of an education.

Foundation web site and to donate: www.stefanlyon.com