Words of Encouragement for Those Who Need it Most

Saturday, Sep 10, 2011 10:00am

You pack their lunches, ensure their backpacks are properly stocked, and before you send them off to school chances are you whisper a few words of encouragement, wisdom and support in their ear. Whether they’re a preschooler or a high-schooler, the start of a new school year can be daunting, and you know that that’s where you come in, to ready (and even steady) them as they embark on this new adventure.

It’s different for orphans, of course. And nobody knows this better than the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and its founder, Dr. Jane Aronson of Maplewood. The mission of WWO is to support orphaned children around the world with medical, psychological and educational resources so that they may become healthy, independent and productive members of their communities.

With its latest initiative, WWO’s Words of Wisdom (WoW), Dr. Aronson and her team are asking WWO Facebook friends as well as their followers on Twitter to share their own “words of wisdom” with orphaned children. The sentiments will be collected and presented to the children of the WWO Academy in Ethiopia, a free private school for orphans and vulnerable children from impoverished communities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Since its August 29th kick-off the campaign has seen responses almost every day. Recently Mark Beukema, Director of Programs at WWO posted this on WWO’s Facebook page, “Best wishes to each student beginning the new school year at WWO Academy. I’m sure you’re excited to see your school friends again and to meet your teachers for this year. Remember that each day you have an opportunity to learn something new and build your knowledge and skill. Take every opportunity to listen well to your teachers and to work hard at your exercises and you will succeed!”

Posters represent a diversity of countries, ages and walks of life and consequently the wisdom offered is as varied. From fellow students sharing their own scholastic experiences to these inspiring words from Hanna Haile, “Reach for the stars and you might land on the moon,” there are posts bound to resonate with every child.

The words of wisdom collected from these two social media outlets will be presented to the students of the WWO Academy in Ethiopia during their first week of school by Dr. Sophie Mengistu, WWO Ethiopia country director.

The campaign has been extended to September 16th so there’s still time to lend your voice to this important cause.

(Photos: WWO)

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And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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