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 Vidas… Sosteniendo y Superando a la Humanidad.
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!
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.