Saving Bibi

The name Bibi means “Lady” in Mali. Bibi also means “My Love” in Arabic. I like to call Madame Maly Sangho “Mama Love” because this is what she epitomizes. She is all of the above and much more.

I met Bibi through a kind hearted, enterprising teenager named Alejandro Ernst. Alejandro lives in DC with his family. He visited Bibi’s orphanage on a school trip to Bamako, Mali a couple of years ago. It was a long trek from DC to Mali but young Alejandro managed to navigate multiple countries with 5 duffle bags filled to the hilt with donations for Bibi’s orphans. The orphanage home is called Orphelinat Niaber and their registered NGO name is Asemali. In reality Bibi’s personal home has always been a refuge for asylum seekers and orphans. Bibi was born in the historic town Timbuktu. Growing up as a child she learned from her mother to never turn a blind eye on someone in need. In 1993 Bibi decided to formalize her efforts to help abandoned babies and founded a foreign non profit (NGO) called Asemali.

I was deeply touched by Alejandro’s story as he continues to help the orphanage to this very day. I visited Bibi and the babies in June of 2012. Nothing could have prepared me for the trip that lay before me. The abject poverty, dismal conditions and the tragic reality of new born babies being abandoned in hospitals and on the side of the road was more than I could bear. Through it all Bibi’s efforts to help her fellow countrymen/women and children has been unwaivering. Click here to see a video of Bibi during better health times at the orphanage. She has been an unstoppable force answering every desperate plea for help, hearing about sightings of babies who were being abandoned and doing spot checks in the middle of the night to make sure the recently arrived malnourished babies were receiving constant care. It was a wonder if Bibi slept 2 hours each night. I urged Bibi to take care of herself. To eat better, to unplug the phone, to go on a spiritual retreat or to do anything that would help re-energize her physical batteries.

But she was incapable of turning a blind eye and her breakneck pace continued as the war in Mali raged on. With her orphanage over flowing with refugees she started developing chest pains. Eventually her chest pains got worse and she was flown to Tunisia where she was admitted into a hospital. Fortunate for Bibi one of her daughters works for an airline and as such was able to provide Bibi with a family travel pass. When Bibi finished her treatment her daughter arranged to have her flown back to Mali so she could resume her role at the helm of the orphanage. Over the years Bibi has received many humanitarian awards. Years prior she received the Malian Chevalier des Ordres and on April 3, 2013 she was being honored as the Malian Mother of the Year in Istanbul, Turkey. While she was in Istanbul she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. This is when they discovered Bibi had a brain tumor and she had to undergo surgery. Bibi’s surgery was a success and she returned home to Mali. I marveled at Bibi’s resilience and ability to bounce back from one illness after another. I was relieved until I recently received a frantic call from her daughter, Tina Traore who lives in the United States. She brought Bibi to the States because she was retaining water, so much so that her skin was splitting. I could not believe my ears. I was dumbfounded and amazed that this brave woman and beacon of light for the downtrodden seemed to have no health respite in sight. My heart ached for her and what she was going through.

Today is Bibi’s turn to receive help instead of being the one to give it freely and lovingly. Please read below about the Saving Bibi Campaign as help comes in many forms:

1. Write Bibi a message on our blog. Talk to her. Learn from her. Get to know her as she needs to read your words of encouragement.

2. She needs a laundry list of medicine! If any of you have connections with the pharmaceutical industry, please let us know at [email protected] The medicine she needs for her seizures is called Keppra.

3. Make a donation so we can purchase the medication she needs. Here is our PayPal link to “Make a Donation“. After you enter all of the pertinent information, the second screen will allow you to specify that you want your donation to go towards “Saving Bibi” (ie purchasing her medicine and/or paying her doctor bills).

4. Make a check payable to Bridging Humanity and make a notation on the bottom of the check that it is for “Saving Bibi“. Mail the check to Bridging Humanity at 3426 Franklin Avenue, Miami, Florida 33133. Upon receipt we will send you an acknowledgement letter and tax receipt.

5. If you have any additional ideas, doctor connections or suggestions please email tinacorn[email protected]

Bridging Humanity is a volunteer based 501c3. Our Federal ID number is 45-5515265. All proceeds and donations go directly to fund the projects we support as specified by our donors. None of the funds donated are used to cover administrative costs.

On behalf of Bridging Humanity, Bibi Sangho, her family and the Orphelinat Niaber orphans, we THANK YOU!

May God and Allah bless us all.

Tina Cornely
Founder of Bridging Humanity

Iyoba – The Benin Queen Mother’s Ever Watchful Eye

In the early 15th century in Africa to honor the passing of a Queen Mother, the Benin and Yoruba people constructed altars adorned with ceremonial pieces of tribal art. One of the most prized pieces on the altar was the Iyoba Sculpture. This tradition as well as the Queen Mother Bronze has been passed down from generation to generation from family head to family head.

The Nigerian-Biafran war started in 1967. Another tragic war much like the one going on today in Syria. Brothers killing brothers, a country fighting within itself against itself. The Nigerian war was a tragedy of epic proportions as over 3 million people died. In fact, Doctors without Borders was started because of this war. The Nigerian-Biafran conflict was the direct result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions. And primarily because Biafra was threatening to secede and eventually went on to declare itself as an independent state. When the world could no longer stand by watching idly as the tragedies unfolded before their eyes, people from all corners of the globe started getting involved. Foreign mercenaries, former war heroes and even European Counts. My father Edward Cornely was asked to head the Red Cross’ efforts to get desperately needed medicine, emergency supplies and food into Nigeria and Biafra. A noble charge indeed but the very people he was trying to help considered him to be a traitor because he was providing supplies to the “enemy“. Undeterred he continued to provide supplies to both sides and brought in food on pontoons up the Niger River and the Cross River to remote and far to reach villages. My father stayed in Nigeria for the duration of the war and befriended many village chiefs from both sides. One day while visiting one of his Biafran Chief friends they were surprised to hear war cries in the not too far off distance. The yelling was getting louder so my father radioed his helicopter pilot and told him to meet them at a soccer field located 3 miles away. My father and the chief ran to the clearing only to see the helicopter slowly making its descent. They looked behind them and a group of about 30 men wielding machetes, clubs and knives were quickly gaining on them. With the helicopter barely hovering above them my father grabbed one skid and his friend grabbed the other. The marauding horde reached them just as the helicopter began its ascent. One of the men managed to latch on to my father’s leg but slipped and fell while he was left holding on to my dad’s shoe. My shoeless father and his friend had to hold on for dear life until they finally reached the base camp. My father began to step up their distribution efforts until Nigeria blockaded all relief efforts to Biafra. Word got back to my father from his Biafran Chief friend that there was a bounty on his head and that he had to leave the country that night. He told my father one of his family member’s worked at the airport and would help him get on the next flight out. Then the chief handed my father a package and told him it was his family’s most prized possession. He said, it has been in our family for generations and I want you to have it. Thank you for saving my life, Mr. Cornely, I will never forget you. He then gave my father the name of his cousin and told him to ask for him at the airport. My father did as he was told and arrived right before the airport’s closing time. He found the chief’s cousin who snuck my father in and hid him inside a broom closet. My father remained locked inside a tiny, standing room only broom closet for the duration of the night. The next morning the chief’s faithful cousin unlocked the closet and my father quickly went to queue up for the next outbound flight. When my father finally boarded the plane he gave out a long sigh of relief. A few minutes after take off the pilot came on the intercom and asked if there was a passenger on board by the name of Edward Cornely. My father slowly got out of his seat and walked to the pilot’s cabin. Pale and sweating my dad introduced himself to the Captain. The pilot looked back at my dad and said, we were just radioed to turn around and return back to the airport and to deliver you to the army. My father’s eyes grew wide and he remained silent. The pilot radioed back and said “Sorry tower but we do not have a passenger on board by that name, over and out”. My stunned father returned back to his seat, buckled his seat belt and then looked down at the package the Biafran Chief had given him. He put it on his lap and slowly untied the twine and unwrapped the package. He stood there for what seemed like an eternity staring back at the Benin Bronze, mesmerized by the beauty and austerity of the Queen Mother looking back at him.

The Queen Mum has been my inspiration since the day I laid eyes on her when my father finally returned home after having been away for 2 years. You can feel the protective love she has for her people. You can also sense her pain for all of the unnecessary deaths.

Here’s to all of the fallen civilians, volunteers and humanitarian aid workers. And may this be a homily to all of the torch bearers past and present who have dedicated their lives under the direst of circumstances for the betterment of humanity. And may every action we take moving forward be done bearing in mind that the Benin Queen Mother, Gaia and Mother Earth will be forever watching us.

Let us make her proud. Om shanti!

Embracing the Odyssey of Adoption

On November 11, 2012 I received an unusual comment on one of my blogs from Antonio Bonache. Antonio and Yolanda found me while they were fishing the internet for news and photos regarding their soon to be adopted son from Mali, Africa. This was not the first time a would be parent had contacted me regarding a child under the care of the Orphelinat Niaber. I was deeply touched by their relentless questions. They asked me what it was like to hold their son, Tidiane. They wanted to know what his needs were and if he had any special requirements. They wanted to know any and everything they could about their son. And yes, he was their son already although they had never met and Tidiane lived miles away at the Orphelinat Niaber. The doting father and mother were anxiously awaiting the day they would fly to Bamako, Mali and meet their son for the very first time. In preparation they readied his room, bought clothes, baby bottles and an arsenal of baby accoutrements for little Tidiane.

As the time drew nearer for their departure date, the war in Mali was escalating. To make matters worse, the government of Mali decided to follow Russia’s lead and put a ban on foreigners from being able to adopt Malian orphans. People were leaving Mali in a max exodus. Undeterred, the brave couple boarded their flight for Mali on January 2, 2013. On January 3 they finally received the long awaited custody of their beloved son, Tidiane. In Antonio’s own words his days in Mali were the most intense time of his life. The Bonache family did not return home to Spain until January 6.

Fast forward 2 months later. Baby Tidiane, Papi Antonio and Mami Yolanda are in seventh heaven. Tidiane is a bright, happy-go-lucky toddler who hungers for knowledge. A fairytale ending for a fairtale family who bravely embraced the odyssey of adoption that took them miles away from the comfort of their home in Spain.

May more childless couples step forward and open their arms, hearts and their homes to the world’s children in need.

Semana Mundial de Huérfanos – el Septimo Día

A la petición de mi gran amiga, Neida Sandoval, aquí esta la traducción del artículo del 5 de marzo del 2013. Que lo gozen!

Hoy día el septimo día de la Semana Mundial de Huérfanos, estoy honrando a Neida Sandoval. ¿Quién no conoce Neida Sandoval? Ella es una de los líderes mas conocidas en la comunidad de Miami y una de las personalidades más queridas en el mundo del periodismo hispana en los EE.UU, así como en América Latina. Ella tiene más de 30 años de experiencia como periodista y ha ganado numerosos premios por su inquebrantable dedicación y labor filantrópica incansable. Nació en el pintoresco pueblo de Las Minas de Oro, Honduras. Ella es conocida por su brillante inteligencia, determinación, carisma y transparencia, tanto en su carrera profesional, los esfuerzos humanitarios y como dedicada esposa y madre de sus adorables gemelos, Abito y Ali.

Nunca olvidaré el día en que conocí a Neida. Mi padre, Edward Cornely se enamoró de Honduras y en 1970 trasladó a nuestra familia a San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Mi inquieto Papi siempre anduvo en la busqueda de aventuras y era amigo de los padres de Neida. Los fines de semana mi Papi nos montaba a mi hermano, mi hermana y yo en su jeepeta estilo militar y nos llevaba a pasear por el campo Hondureño. Un fin de semana nos llevó a una expedición de lavado de oro en el pueblito de Las Minas de Oro. Nos detuvimos junto a la casa de Neida, mientras que ella (la chica solitaria) jugaba con sus hermanos mayores. Ella me miró y me saludó y yo la saludi desde la parte trasera del jeep. No sabíamos en ese entonces que íbamos a terminar siendo compañeras en el Colegio La Mision Evangelica. Y poco sabiamos que las dos compartiamos una pasión secreta que se quedaría con nosotros para siempre: El cuidado de los huérfanos. Sólo descubrimos nuestra mutua pasión por los niños abandonados un par de años atrás. Neida nunca supo que yo me paseaba por las calles de San Pedro Sula en busca de niños desamparados. Yo les llevaba comida y ropa. Algunos me los llevaba conmigo a la casa, para el gran disgusto de mi padre. Inclusive me lleve a algunos de ellos a nuestro orfanato local. Pero me entere de que se habían escapados cuando me los encontraba el dia siguiente rumbando nuevamente por la circumbalacion. Yo no era la unica adolescente haciendo estas obras de caridad en San Pedro Sula. Tambien Karl Henry Holtz y Jacqueline Diday eran mis colegas en el cuidado de los niños desamparados de San Pedro Sula.

Obras de caridad y en particular orfelinatos se han convertido en una de las mayores metas y pasiones de Neida. Cuando yo era la Presidenta de Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Region Sur de EE.UU.), Neida fue la anfitrióna de honor de ceremonias para nuestro “All the World to One Child” Fiesta Gala. Sus obras de caridad y filantrópicas son varias incluyendo a la Fundación Teletón para los niños con desabilidades, la Casa Renacer, Fundación Amor y Vida (refugios para las personas que viven con SIDA) y Saint Jude Research Hospital. A través de los años Neida ha contribuido activamente y ha participado junto a otros artistas para recaudir millones de dólares para combatir el hambre infantil. Justo el año pasado Neida fue nombrada como la Embajadora Oficial de las Aldeas SOS de Niños en Honduras. En su nuevo papel como Embajadora de SOS ella ha sido instrumental en recaudir dinero, así como tambien donaciones de electro domesticos para las Aldeas SOS de Honduras.

Neida, le doy gracias a Dios que tu y yo continuamos en esta gran aventura que se llama la vida, como amigas y almas gemelas. Que nuestros caminos sigan cruzando, Conectando Gente, Transformando VidasSosteniendo y Superando a la Humanidad.

World Orphan Week – Day 5

Cesar R. Nuñez is the philanthropist being honored today, the 5th day of World Orphan Week.

Interestingly enough today’s honoree is also from Honduras. Cesar was born in Tegucigalpa and moved to the United States with his mother in 1986. He is a Photojournalist, Producer, Director and Filmmaker extraordinaire. Over the years Cesar has covered thousands of stories all over Latin America and the Caribbean. During his trips his heart strings were forever being pulled every time he saw a child in need looking through the garbage for something to eat. A stark reminder of Cesar’s childhood days. No, Cesar is not an orphan. On the contrary Cesar was blessed to have been raised with his 7 siblings by a doting mother and loving father. No lack of love in his household, just the lack of food and basic essentials. Cesar marveled at dinner time and always wondered how his parents were able to put food on the table. They were beyond poor, they were destitute. Cesar used to comb the city dump and garbage cans in search of anything he could sell. He became known as the little bottle boy as he went door to door trying to sell bottles he found at the dump so he could help his parents provide food & school supplies for his brothers and sisters.

Riveting images of hungry children haunted Cesar throughout his travels and prompted him to come up with a plan. From 1992 up to 1998 Cesar had already helped 500 orphans receive proper care. Cesar scrimped and saved and in 1998 he provided the seed money to launch Angels Helping Angels along with the sweat equity that was provided by Cesar’s beloved brother. Angels Helping Answers is a volunteer based non profit. All of the money raised goes to help children in need. With the help of family and friends Angels Helping Angels has provided countless donations and emergency supplies for children in need and countries in crisis.

Over the past 25 years Cesar has volunteered countless hours of his time to the Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Honduras World Foundation, Brothers to the Rescue, Smile of a Child among other non profits. All the while he also managed to forge a successful TV career at Univision, CBS 4 and the City of Miami. He is a five times Academy Emmy Award Winner with 14 nominations in the television industry. Many of Cesar’s award winning documentaries are about life safety matters and the plight of orphaned and abandoned children. I was blessed to have watched one of his documentaries and learned that a hammer can save your life if your car ends up in a canal. Miami is full of canals and our roads are slippery when it rains. It rains a lot in Miami and one never knows. To this day, thanks to Cesar, I keep a hammer under my driver’s seat.

My hat is off to you Cesar for your many years of outstanding achievements and for your tireless dedication to helping save lives and helping children in need.

Stay tuned to for Cesar’s YouTube Debut which is coming soon. His life saving videos are a must see!

World Orphan Week – Day 2

Today, the second day of World Orphan Week I am honoring Neida Sandoval. Who does not know Neida Sandoval? She is one of Miami’s most beloved community leaders and personalities in Hispanic broadcasting in the US as well as in Latin America. She has over 30 years of experience in journalism and has won many awards and accolades for her unwavering dedication and tireless philanthropic work. She was born in the picturesque town of Las Minas de Oro, Honduras. She is known for her brilliant wit, determination, charisma and transparency, both in her professional career, humanitarian efforts and as a dedicated loving wife and mother of two vivacious twins, Abito and Ali.

I will never forget the first day I met Neida. My father, Edward Cornely fell in love with Honduras and eventually relocated our family to San Pedro Sula, Honduras in 1970. My adventure seeking father was friends with Neidas parents. On weekends he would load my brother, sister and I into his supped-up jeep and whisk us around the Honduran countryside. One weekend he took us on a gold panning expedition in Las Minas de Oro. We pulled up next to Neida’s house while she was the lone little girl playing with her entourage of big brothers. She looked at me and I waved back at her from the rear of the jeep. Little did we know back then that we would end up going to highschool together. And little did we know that we each shared a secret passion that would remain with us for life. Caring for orphans. We only discovered each other’s passion for abandoned children a couple of years ago. Neida never knew that I used to canvas the community of San Pedro Sula in search of street children. I would bring them food and clothes. Some, I would bring home with me; to the chagrin of my father! I even took some of these children to our local orphanage only to have them escape as I would soon find them back on the streets. I was not the only teen doing this in San Pedro Sula. Karl Henry Holtz and Jacqueline Diday were two of my co-conspirators and partners in caring for the homeless street children of San Pedro Sula.

Charity work and in particular orphan outreach has become one of Neida’s greatest passions in life. While I was the Chair of the Friends of the Orphans Southeastern Region, Neida was the honorary host of ceremonies for our All the World to One Child Gala Event. Her charity work is ongoing as she continues contributing to a host of several philanthropic causes, including the “Fundación Teletón” for disabled children, the “Casa Renacer”, “Fundación Amor y Vida” shelters for people living with HIV/AIDS and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Over the years she has actively contributed and participated alongside other artists and celebrities and has raised millions of dollars to combat childhood hunger and for the United Nation’s
World Food Program
. Just last year Neida was made the Ambassador for the SOS Villages of Children in Honduras. In her new role as SOS Ambassador she has been instrumental in securing money as well as in-kind donations for the SOS Villages of Honduras.

Neida, I thank my lucky stars as we continue on this miraculous journey called life as friends and kindred spirits. May our paths continue intertwining, Connecting People, Transforming Lives… Bridging Humanity.

World Orphan Week

Yes, today March 4, 2013 is the beginning of World Orphan Week. Are you an orphan? Do you know an orphan? For World Orphan Week let us all lend our collective voices & honor the orphans we know. Let us also honor the young leaders who are taking action & doing something about the plight of the world’s orphans. Here are some statistics that will better help you get your head around this important subject matter. In 2008 UNICEF conducted a survey & determined there were 143,000,000 orphans in the world. They also said that by 2015 there could be 500,000,000 orphans world-wide. In 2012 the world census said there were 315,421,266 people living in the US. Therefore, by 2015 there could potentially be twice the size of the population of the US in orphans across the globe. Simply mind boggling. What are you going to do about this? An important question that begs an answer. Share your thoughts with us & help us spread the word about the status of orphans.

Today on the first day of World Orphan Week I am honoring 17 year old Alejandro Ernst and 16 year old Neha Gupta. I was deeply touched when I learned how these two young individuals were going over and beyond and making a huge difference in the lives of orphaned children.

Alejandro’s work with orphans began when he was 14 years old. It all started when he embarked on a school summer volunteer trip that took him on a transatlantic voyage to an orphanage located in Bamako, Mali. With 13 donation-filled-to-the-hilt duffle bags in tow Alejandro managed to navigate multiple airports in multiple languages. Not an easy feat. Alejandro and some of his fellow students volunteered for the summer at the Orphelinat Niaber. During his time there Alejandro bonded with the Founder, Bibi Sangho & promised her he would continue to help her and the babies after he left. True to his word Alejandro has continued his efforts to help these vulnerable children. To date he has baked over 2500 empanadas to raise money for the orphanage.

Neha got involved with orphans at the age of 9. She received her calling because her family followed a long standing tradition of celebrating their respective family member’s birthdays by taking food and gifts to orphaned children from their family’s home town in India. Young Neha realized that these children had no one to love them or help them. No one to make sure they received an education. That day she decided she had to do something and she immediately went into action. At that moment she decided that she would be the person who would love these children and would make sure they would receive the education they deserved.

Neha has raised more than $1,000,000 thus far and has helped many communities in the US and abroad. The bulk of the funds were raised by making and selling wine charms at community events, through friends and family, and by going door to door in various neighborhoods. Her wine charms cost $5. Alejandro’s empanadas cost $2. Made by hand, made with love, by children for children.

May their stories serve to inspire us to care more, persevere more and do more. And may all of the unsung heroes who go over and beyond like Alejandro and Neha receive their rightful praise and due.

Kudos Alejandro. Kudos Neha. I am proud beyond words.

Bridging Humanity Visits Haitian NGO Rebuild Globally

We visited the Haitian based REBUILD Globally in April of 2012. David Lawrence introduced us to the founder, Julie Colombino at a Haitian benefit held at his home. Julie’s story is truly amazing. Julie is a young woman from Orlando, Florida. After the Haitian earthquake in January of 2010, Julie could not sit by idlely and watch the tragedies unfold on her TV screen. She decided to take action and sold everything she owned and jumped on the first flight to Haiti. She did not know how she would help only that she needed to do something to alleviate the pain and suffering of the Haitian people. Julie braved the homeless masses by inviting them to come and live in a warehouse that was provided to a group of foreign non profits who came to help out. Not knowing what to do with her newly adopted family of homeless Haitians she asked them to comb the streets for debris and trash they could retrofit into something useful. They brought back used tires. After a few trial runs they started making sandals out of tires. Julie eventually went on form Rebuild Globally and was able to secure a better location for her team in Tabare. Their hand made sandals are currently available through their website www.rebuildglobally.org. Julie’s organization is a model template for other NGOs to learn from. They harvest rain water and recently created a perma culture garden. They also have 3 egg producing chickens. Their next big project towards becoming more self sufficient is to build a tilapia pond.

While we visited Rebuild Globally we conducted classes on site and showed them how to make other useful items out of trash. We showed their team how to make beautiful collaged vases out of discarded bottles and how to fuse garbage bags found on the streets to make draw string bags for shipping their sandals. We even showed a young homeless boy named Carlos how to repair his hole ridden tent by sandwiching his tent in between garbage bags and then fusing them together with an iron.

We learned a lot from Julie and her team at Rebuild Globally and have shared their success stories and lessons with other NGOs under our purview.

We are looking forward to our next follow-up trip to Haiti where we will show team Rebuild Globally how to plant fast growing bamboo and produce eco efficient coal. They can also use their home grown bamboo to make fishing poles and other useful items. Operation Mending and Ending Deforestation is under way!

Great job team Rebuild Globally! We look forward to seeing you next year!!!

Bridging Humanity Visits African Orphanage

Orphelinat Niaber

The Orphelinat Niaber was founded in 1993 by Mali Sangho. The orphanage is located in a village outside of Bamako, Mali, West Africa. Madame Sangho started her foundation to care for infants and children who were being abandoned on the streets and in hospitals. She has helped many children grow up to live healthy, happy lives. Bibi, as she is affectionately known by many, also helps the villagers that surround her orphanage by creating jobs for them. The orphanage currently houses 13 infants and 6 toddlers and has a satelite site at a remote village that was built to care for a blind woman. Bibi found this young blind woman when she was only 11 years old and living on the streets of Bamako. Amako is now 19 years old and has a home for life at the Orphelinat Niaber.

In June 2012 Bridging Humanity spent time teaching their team how to harvest rain water, grow a perma culture garden and make useful items out of trash. We also introduced the founder of the orphanage to various global non profits with local offices located in Bamako, Mali.

Thank you Bibi and team Orphelinat Niaber for having such a big, caring heart! We love you and the kids!

Guatemalan Orphanage – Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos is a non profit founded in 1954 by an American Priest by the name of Father Wasson. He was the priest of a very small and very poor church located in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He went on to open an orphanage on an old sugar refinery located in Miacatlan, Mexico. He did not have money to care for the children. He only knew he could not leave them to die on the streets. He was able to care for these children with anonymous donations and with the help of his family and friends. Today through the continued generosity of his friends and family they now have 9 Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanages located in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

During the Haitian earthquake of January 2010, we worked feverishly to get emergency and medical supplies into Port au Prince by land via the Dominican Republic. This is an image of a container full of walkers, crutches, food and medicine that we shipped over the week of the earthquake. It was one of first containers to make it over.

On another occassion we spent time at their orphanage located outside of Antigua, Guatemala. While we were there we conducted network cable classes for the kids. We also taught the handicapped children how to make large scale origami sculptures in a group collaborative effort. These empowering classes taught the children how easy it is to make network cable as well as the importance of reinforcing team building.

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos is the model NGO in that they grow what they need to survive, have tilapia ponds, egg producing chickens, have vocational schools on site and send the children for a higher education. Thank you Father Wasson who is now watching over the kids in heaven and thank you Team Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos! We love you!