Blazing a trail for a cause: man and goat set out to help orphaned children in Africa

Back in May, Steve Wescott walked across the nation with his goat, Leeroy Brown, to raise money for an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Wescott traveled through Boonville on his trip from Seattle to New York, resting at the Phoenix Restaurant to rest and regain his energy. He traveled through territories with large spiders, nasty thunderstorms and risking heat exhaustion.

Wescott started the project after he finished touring with a Christian band. After his best friend visited the orphanage in Nairobi, Wescott decided that the best thing to do was help the children. Wescott’s original goal was to talk to 10,000 people and raise over $200,000 to buy a farm so that the orphanage, which houses 40 children, could generate money.

His original goal changed when they were told they only had until March 1, 2015 to move the orphanage to a new location as the Kenyan government wants to take over the land they are currently occupying. Wescott, however, has been blessed with good news when he found land for $75,000, but needs an additional $30,000 to complete construction. Wescott also anticipates on buying additional land for farming.

The duo has been stuck in St. Louis since June, after a dog attacked Leeroy, a seven-year old goat.

“It is a complete roller-coaster of emotions. When we get ahead, we have 10 more obstacles. For example, when the production deal was presented, Leeroy got attacked by a dog and the Kenyan government forced us to move to a different location,” Wescott said.

Although Wescott has experienced many obstacles and setbacks, including being stuck in St. Louis for nearly seven months, Wescott has not lost hope yet. He is already planning to do a nationwide speaking tour, where he will discuss the progress of the project.

This story originally ran in the Boonville Daily News on December 23, 2014. I was a sophomore in high school at the time of publication. Minor edits have been made in this edition.

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