Overseas Action Program Success!
- Alice Johnson, OAP Manager
June - September 2011 saw the tremendous success of 5 Overseas Action Programs in Kenya and Peru. A total of 27 volunteers participated on these programs and completed amazing community development projects under the phenomenal guidance of 3 team leaders and 2 assistant team leaders.
Ilan Goldberg and Diana Hull's team of volunteers in Peru lay 1025m worth of water pipes in Matinga, providing water access to half the village. In the community of Picol, they constructed a kitchen; the first phase in the development of a community centre.
In Kenya, the 5 week OAP led by Celia Boyd and Hannah Russell constructed the 'Happy Goat Farm' project in Odede, an income-generating initiative which will be managed by a local women's group upon completion. Over one hundred goats will be housed in the large pen, and will be used for breeding, meat and milk. The women's group will rotate responsibilities, including feeding and tending to the animals and managing all future developments of the business. The Happy Goat Farm will provide income, sustenance and (ultimately) empowerment to all of the women involved with its management.
Jackie Clingan and the 10-week OAP group built a kitchen and food storage area for a school in Hono. In Odede, they constructed a chicken coop at the recently opened WYI Mama Ann Child Development Centre. Click here to read about the experience of Kenya 10 Week OAP participant Jess Irons and Team Simba in the communities of Hono and Odede.
huge congratulations to all of our teams for their amazing work!
Learning to Dance Again in Odede
- Emily Pedler, OSP Participant, Kenya
"The last 7 weeks have been the most
challenging yet by far the most rewarding of my 25 years of life. And I don't
say that lightly! I arrived in Odede on my 3-month OSP with a vague notion of wanting to offer whatever I
could, and knowing that I would learn more from these people than I could ever
teach them, and I have been proven right every day..."
To read about what Emily has been up to with the Twiga Youth Group in Odede, click here.
10th Anniversary of WYI Sapana Dreaming Children's Home in Nepal- Ann Hoey, Sponsorship Coordinator
On the 14th of September my husband Ralph and I visited Nepal for the 10th Anniversary of the WYI Sapana Dreaming Children's home along with 30 guests other from Australia and other countries. Most were sponsors of children at Sapana Dreaming or at the World Youth International School. The Patron of Sapana Dreaming, Joanna Giles, a very special personal friend, was also in Nepal with her group from different parts of the world for this special occasion.
Ralph, myself, Lyn Schodde, Margie and Ken Boyce visited the children at their home a few days before the big event and all were very excited to see us. As we climbed the stairs to the home, their two pet dogs greeted us with a growl but soon accepted us as friends. The children had painted many murals along the wall leading up the stairs to the entrance which made us feel very welcome. We were then greeted by all the children and the house mother (Radhika) and father (Uttam) who had wide beaming smiles on their beautiful faces. Some of the older children welcomed us with a little speech of appreciation and to say how happy they were to see their Harjurama (grandmother) and Harjiraba (grandfather) again after a couple of years. These titles were given to us many years ago and we both feel honoured to be grandparents to over 30 children. I was really surprised that all the tress we planted when the home was first opened 10 years before had grown so high in front of the home, creating a sense of privacy but also making the home look beautiful.
Founders Day is celebrated every year on the 14th September. This day has special meaning for me as it was our son Robert's birthdate. Our school and children's home has been built in memory of him who unfortunately passed on in 1996. A bust of Robert has been placed in a memorial garden in the school grounds. Through Robert's spiritual presence, each year many students are empowered to achieve greatness in their own lives by achieving excellent results in their final exams at school.
On the day of the celebrations and as we walked along the path that led to the school and children's home, a sense of calmness and pride overtook me. Seeing what a group of passionate committed people could accomplish brought home the purpose of the work we all do. The changes that we bring to these young people's lives is ongoing and as they become older and leave our home to find their own way in our world, the cycle begins again with more orphan and abandoned children being given this opportunity of life all over again.
The day of the 14th was perfect. There were colourful tents placed around the outside area of the school yard with hundreds of colourful flags perched high between the tents and school. The river next to the school was flowing fast with lots of children and families bathing along with the buffalos and cows in the water. It took on a carnival atmosphere with the children's parents from the school watching their children perform. It was a long, fantastic day which concluded around 6pm with lots of celebration music where we all danced together. The children, teachers, staff and guests were having a fabulous time and it was clear that they did not want the day to end.
Your help is needed.
As the cycle in our home continues and the older children leave when they complete their final year of studies, new children arrive. This year we have five new children, three girls and two boys that have just arrived from Western Nepal requiring sponsors. The youngest being a girl aged four. Please email me for further details.
Click here to read more about board member Adam Whitefield's experience at Founders Day.
Odede: a Village Bursting with Hope
- Ralph Hoey recounts the recent opening of the WYI Mama Ann's Child Development Centre in Odede, Kenya.
The day dawned brightly in the community of Odede, with a few white and grey clouds floating across the beautiful blue sky. There was a gentle breeze blowing with the hint of a few rain drops as people made their way along the dirt road toward the World Youth International Mama Ann's Child Development Centre. It was a day that had been long awaited - the day when we would officially open our new home. Our centre has been established to cater for the most vulnerable children in the community aged from three to six years. The children are nurtured and educated within our centre while a program exists between the child development centre and the family to maintain contact and develop coping mechanisms for both child and family.
Bishop Johannes, his fellow parishioners and dignitaries arrived around 10am for the blessing and opening of the Centre and planting of the commemorative trees. The children's eyes appeared to get bigger and bigger with excitement as the Bishop made his way through their new home and into their bedrooms where he was greeted by pink elephants, yellow spotted giraffes, smiling lions, hippos and birds painted as murals on their walls.
Read more of Ralph's story here.
Click here to read an account of what is happening in Odede as perceived by Paul Petruccelli of Buy1 Give1, Singapore.
There have been some staff changes take place here in the WYI office in recent months. After 12 motnhs in the role of Marketing Coordinator, Tom Setchell has moved on and we wish him all the very best in his endeavours. In light of this, we would like to introduce our newest staff member Tim Butterfield, who has commenced in the role of IT coordinator. Tim introduces himself below: "Hi everyone, my name is Tim Butterfield and I have recently
joined the team at World Youth International. My role as the IT Coordinator continues to be very exciting. I will be working mainly on the World
Youth International website by updating materials and developing media to help
inform people about what we do here and the countries we work in.
My academic background is a B. Media Arts: Double Major (Film
& Television and Graphic Design) which I studied at the University of South
Australia. My passion is in audio and visual representation of data. I love to
create things - always have!
I have really enjoyed working here the past few months and
look forward to the journey ahead."
Step Out Update
- Kyla Raby, Step Out National Coordinator
Hi WYI crew,
My name is Kyla Raby and I am very excited to be the new Step Out National Coordinator.
I have just returned home from a 12 months stint overseas where I had the privilege of being a Team Leader with an amazing group of people on a WYI Overseas Action Program in two incredible Kenyan communities, and backpacked across South America for 6 months. I have now settled back into Australian life and am living in Darwin where I am working for the Australian Red Cross in the Tiwi Islands.
I am so excited to be back on board with Step Out Australia and am amazed at what teams across the country have been able to achieve in just 2 years. So far Step Out Australia has raised almost $60,000 through grassroots community events and campaigns.....AMAZING! This money has gone to a number of extremely worthwhile projects across WYI's program countries.
And I am even more excited about what the future has in store for Step Out. We have an incredible bunch of leaders on board and a huge network of inspiring individuals and together the possibilities are endless.
So on that note, I am very pleased to announce that Step Out Australia will be holding their first ever NATIONAL EVENT in January 2012 and we want you to be involved.
Click here to find out more about Step Out Australia's inaugural national event, dare2bare!
But for now, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the INCREDIBLE people who have been involved in Step Out over the last two years, from the people who took on leadership positions to those who attended the events and supported from afar.
If you would like to know more about Step Out and/or are interested in helping us out please feel free to contact me and I would love to chat to you.
Bring on January 2012!
- Step Out Queensland: Tip for a Cause
"WYI Step Out Queensland are proud to announce that our new and exciting campaign, Tip for a Cause, was successful in raising over $3000. Throughout the month of August, generous cafe employees vowed to donate their entire well earned tips to an OAP community of their choice.
Special thanks go out to all staff and management at Moray Cafe, Sisco, Ponycat and Sherwood Coffee Club. WYI and Step Out Australia would also like to acknowledge Nicholas Rodda for his fantastic work in creating this campaign and Danielle Smyth for her valuable support.
We're looking forward to bringing Tip for a Cause to a cafe near you in 2012!"
"Mario & Friends" Video-Gaming Marathon Fundraiser
- Toby Zerner, GameToAid coordinator
On the 22nd of July, a group of teenagers known as GameToAid begun a "video-gaming marathon" as a fundraising effort for World Youth International. Over 3 days, or 72 hours, the team played through a list of well-known Mario video games while broadcasting the game footage and a live webcam feed of the room over the Internet. Thousands of people from all over the world tuned in to watch and donate, and over $5,000 was raised for World Youth International. This money will go towards the construction of a Medical Clinic in Odede, Kenya.
Video-gaming marathons have become a huge means for fundraising on the Internet over the past few years. GameToAid's first gaming marathon raised $4,000 for WYI in December 2010, and their second raised $10,000 for charity: water in February 2011.
Click here to visit the GameToAid website for more information.