Soul Sanctuary is excited to join as a Community Partner in the "Be A Difference Maker" Program empowering children to access an education at Love Orphanage, Haiti
"Be a Difference Maker" for the kids of Love Orphanage
Adopt a Child - Funding Basic Living Needs
Empowering Education as a Way Out of Poverty
Explore the Be a Difference Maker Program here and below
This page chronicles Sami's Girl Scout Silver Award Project.
You may visit www.loveorphanage.org to see their new website!
Be A Difference Maker Program
If you are familiar with the program, check out the links in the next section for Sami's Blogs, Meet the Kids, and explore how to Be a Difference Maker. If you are new to the program - WELCOME! Enjoy the background information below these links.
Contact Kathy or visit the Love Orphanage website directly if you would like to sponsor education for Love Orphanage kids.
Meet the Kids, Follow Sami's Silver Award Project Journey, and explore the "Be a Difference Maker" program!
Relevant Haitian History:
How Haiti's History has Contributed to some of its Current Problems
Research Paper by Sami
Sami's photo-filled Be A Difference Maker Blogs update you on her Silver Award Journey!
Share your Gift of Love
Be a Difference Maker
The Love Orphanage Kids are Going to School!
Sami and Ahaji present at The Center for Conscious Living
First Presentation - Share Your Gift of Love supply drive
Second presentation - Be a Difference Maker Program
"Become A Difference Maker" Program
created by Sami (with help from Gabriel and Ahaji)
Sponsor a Love Orphanage Child's Education
"Be a Difference Maker" Program - Adopt a Child, Kitchen, & Educational Projects
"Be a Difference Maker" Program
"Be A Difference Maker" Fund-tastic Event
was a Success. This LoveFest was held at Live in Joy Yoga and Wellness, Audubon, NJ
Take a look! Love Orphanage has a NEW Kitchen and a Garden!
Meet the Kids of Love Orphanage!
Ahaji took the pictures on her 2014 summer service trip. Gabriel translated Sami's questions for the kids and we can read their answers. As you read their answers, remember that most of these children were malnourished and homeless when they arrived at LO. Most of them have never been to school or had very little education. They know they are healthier and have the opportunity to live a better life because Gabriel gave them a home. Love Orphanage does not have transportation and Gabriel is not able to safely take all of the children on public transportation. The dreams the children have for themselves and the orphanage are especially poignant given these facts.
Kids #1 - 9
Kids Singing Haitian National Anthem
(This gift was shared after the LO kids viewed a video of their second grade pen pals singing the Star Spangled Banner)
Gabriel Fedelus' Thank You Letter to Sami (it is for everyone who helped!)
Sami's Silver Award Project Background
Sami hopes to help Haitian children affected by poverty and the earthquake access education. She was deeply moved by a movie seen with her Girl Scout troop called Girl Rising which spoke of challenges faced by girls around the world. In this movie, little Webly in Haiti couldn't attend school because her mother had no money to pay tuition after losing her home and job in the earthquake. When Sami met Ahaji, who had been working with Love Orphanage and Gabriel (who you will meet below), the desire to help Haitian children access education was made possible. Sami is completing her Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award possible for a Cadette, which requires over 50 hours raising awareness and/or creating change at the root cause of significant challenges facing communities. It became clear to Sami that meeting basic needs, such as shelter, food, medical care, and love, was essential for the Love Orphanage children to grow into healthy children. Ahaji is focused on helping Gabriel meet these needs. More than that, however, was the significance of getting a solid education as a means to rise out of a life of illiteracy and poverty. This led Sami to create a two phase project for her Girl Scout Silver Award. Here is her focus in her own words:
"I want to make a difference in the lives of Haitian children at Love Orphanage by creating a sustainable project to empower the kids to access a well-rounded education which will support their overall wellbeing. The project has two main areas of focus which are interdependent: 1) raise awareness about the educational challenges faced by Love Orphanage children affected by poverty and the earthquake, and 2) collect school and art supplies to support the children access traditional education and supplementary art education."
Gabriel Fedelus is an amazing man in Haiti who created Love Orphanage after the 2010 earthquake traumatized a struggling island. Many children were left orphaned or abandoned when lives, homes, and infrastructure were lost. Gabriel was once a professional translator on the island and is now the full-time father of 17 children ages 3 - 16 who have come from the streets to be nursed back to heath. Ahaji Schreffler, who is a study abroad coordinator for Drexel University in Philadelphia, met Gabriel on a trip to Haiti after the earthquake. Serving as translator for Ahaji's group enabled Gabriel to share his vision to create a thriving orphanage which could offer children a chance for a new life. Ahaji's experience with the children has led to her to a powerful commitment and positive action. Her amazing work has allowed Gabriel's vision to become more fully possible. With five service trips to Haiti and more planned, Ahaji assisted Gabriel in registering Love Orphanage as a formal entity in Haiti, although there is no government funding for such organizations. Ahaji has raised funds for rent, food, basic needs, and recently to purchase land outside the overpopulated city of Port-au-Prince.
After hours of research and meetings with Ahaji, Sami chose to design the Share your Love supply drive collections and the "Be a Difference Maker" program to support the kids dream to go to school become a reality. Sami led an amazingly successful supply drive and is close to completing her educational portions of the project (website contributions, presentations). She is now waiting for the volunteer marketing firm to construct the Love Orphanage website. As a staffing change led to a delay in the timeline for completion, Sami had to identify another way to share her Be a Difference Maker program. Thus, here is a temporary home for this information until the official Love Orphanage website is up and running. Also, for your information, Ahaji has just created a nonprofit and filed for tax exempt status, although this may take some time to be approved. In the meantime, Ahaji has partnered with the Center for Conscious Living who is committed to the educational project for the LO kids. The Center for Conscious Living has a long history of supporting worthwhile projects around the world and this community has truly been the greatest contributors to make a difference in the lives of the children at Love Orphanage.
Feel free to contact me if you wish to learn how to become a Community Partner or "Be a Difference Maker." I am happy to discuss with you ways you may make the perfect contribution to the future of these precious children. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many Thanks to Sami's "Be a Difference Maker" Project Community Partners
Ahaji Schreffler, Sami, Rev. Carol Lawson
at The Center for Conscious Living, Moorestown, NJ (left photo)
Ahaji Schreffler, Sami, Kathy and Lou Milano, Julie Fischer (Live in Joy Yoga), Mary Law (Shine!)
at Soul Sanctuary, Moorestown, NJ (right photo)
GS Troop 22403
The Second Graders, Teachers, and Principal at Hillside Elementary
Live in Joy Yoga and Wellness
The Center for Conscious Living
All of the extended volunteers joining through the above Be a Difference Maker Community Partners
Ahaji, Sami, Janet Watkins & Julie Fischer ( Live in Joy Yoga co-owners), Live in Joy Volunteers & Participants
GOOD NEWS: the official Love Orphanage Website will soon be launched. Stay tuned!
Would you like to Be a Difference Maker?
building the new Love Orphanage
Creating a classroom and library for in-home, supplemental education
Contributing to a sustainable educational plan through High School for all 17 LO kids
There is plenty of work to do! Open your Hearts and Join us!
After school Tutoring at Love Orphanage, Haiti
Thanks to the Be a Difference Maker Program!