Our Story

Janet Murnaghan and Sharon Ruddock are both adoptive mothers of children from Ethiopia and Ghana. These two countries alone are home to over 6 million orphans. While many children available for adoption are truly orphaned, many others are available for adoption, in large part, because their parents were unable to feed them.

Adoption saves less than 10,000 of these children a year. Having met many of these families through the adoption process, Janet and Sharon are committed to finding new ways of building family preservation.

In Ghana specifically, there is a shocking child slave trade that drives the fishing industry. Believing their children will be fed and educated, parents naively give their children into slavery when they cannot afford to feed them. The children are then subjected to a shocking life of brutality.

We decided to focus on one village in Ghana with the hope of changing the cycle of poverty existing there, and improve family preservation. By focusing on one village, we can have a personal relationship with the people and their struggle, and we can ensure that every dollar donated goes to meet its intended need. We decided the main vehicle for this effort would be school.

We enlisted the support of a world class teacher and educator, Claire Tierney, who is passionate about the impact that education can have on a child’s life. Janet brings her expertise in fundraising, public relations and communications to the effort, while Sharon brings her experience in business, finance and marketing. Douglas Kahn has 15 years experience in web development and design. He designed and developed the Jack Academy website and logo. Together as a team, they are dedicated to changing the trajectory of one village.

We have named the school after Sharon’s son, Jack Kennedy Ruddock, who died at the age of 4 from a brain tumor. Jack was a boy who enjoyed school so much that he cried when it was time to leave school each day. Our school is a fitting tribute to his memory.

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