Eugene “Gene” Krizek, Founder
Bread and Water for Africa® founder Eugene “Gene” Krizek with Lewa Children’s Home founder and executive director Phyllis Keino, Bread and Water for Africa® international Spokesperson
Eugene “Gene” Krizek proudly served his country in the military rising to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force, as a Congressional aide, in the U.S. State Department as President John Kennedy’s Director of White House Liaison, and following Kennedy’s assassination staying on at the State Department as Congressional Relations as Director of Congressional Services.
During his years of government service, Gene remained active in the Air Force Reserves as he continued his illustrious career in public service at the White House and State Department where he was able to champion humanitarian bills to aid foreign countries and refugee legislation for families seeking a better life in the United States.
When he retired from government service in 1985 at the still young age of 57 years old, Gene knew that “retirement” was not for him and he had plenty more to give in service to the country he loved as a private citizen.
Gene and his wife, Adeline “Addy” Krizek, his most loyal supporter of Bread and Water for Africa®
With the support of his loving wife, Adeline (“Addy”), Gene founded Christian Relief Services (the parent organization of Bread and Water for Africa®) out of his lifelong desire to help people in need and be “A Gentle Voice for Good.”
Today, the charity he founded with a $10,000 donation is a $50 million international which provides aid to Native Americans living on Indian reservations, struggling families in Appalachia, and orphaned and abandoned children living in dire poverty in sub-Saharan African countries.
Through Bread and Water for Africa®, which began in 1986 as a project of Christian Relief Services to promote positive change in Africa by supporting grassroots initiates for self-sufficiency, health and education – which has been our mission ever since.
In December 1997, Bread and Water for Africa® received IRS approval as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and with Gene’s leadership and vision over the decades has supported loving homes for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe for these children for whom otherwise would be facing a bleak future (to say the least).
Building on his leadership through the State Department, Gene teamed up with Phyllis Keino, a renowned humanitarian in Kenya, who remains today as founder and director of the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya and Bread and Water for Africa® international spokesperson.
In addition to orphan care, Bread and Water for Africa® work today includes providing medicines and medical supplies to our partners who operate free hospitals and clinics, constructing clean water projects, food self-sufficiency through agriculture programs, and much more.
Gene died on October 5, 2021, exactly one month to the day following the passing of Addy, his wife and partner in goodwill around the world.
Always humble, Gene attributed much of his success to Addy, his family, especially his three sons, Bryan, Bread and Water for Africa® President/CEO, Paul, Bread and Water for Africa® Vice President/General Counsel, and Neil, staff, volunteers and supporters from across the country, quoting a favorite saying: “No man is alone if he has a family and friends who believe in his dream.”
Looking back on these many achievements and vital partnerships, he summed up his entire life in just a few simple words.
“It’s an awesome legacy! I feel fulfilled. I feel we really have made a big difference.”
Gene with longtime Bread and Water for Africa® partner Esther Ndichafah, CEO of Hope Services in Cameroon, left, with her friend.
And as for Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem Tessema, “I remember fondly the first time I met ‘Dad’ Gene. My heart know I had found my quest to be working under his leadership to continue following in his footsteps to serve those most hurting people, especially children and women around the world.
“And I will never forget the words he once spoke to me which will remain in my heart forever as I seek to continue on his journey:
“’ Remember, every day is an opportunity to make the world a better place for everyone, and always continue fighting the good fight.’”
It is how Gene Krizek, with his loving wife Addy always at his side, lived his life. It is his legacy.