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14 May 2015 14:48 Age: 2 yrs
Category: News Update

Teenagers support World ORT in Liberia – you can, too!

A group of visionary young San Franciscans has funded a World ORT vocational training programme for Ebola survivors in west Africa.


The group of 23 Bay Area Jewish high school students in the Jewish Teen Foundations, a programme of the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, allocated $10,000 for World ORT’s Liberia Literacy and Training for Employment Project (LTEP).

When the Ebola epidemic made implementation of the particular LTEP programme they had chosen impossible they declined an offer for their money back. Instead, they discussed with the Director of ORT IC’s Washington bureau, Celeste Angus, other ways to help Liberia’s hard-pressed people.

“The tragedy of Ebola revealed a key ingredient of effective philanthropy: relationships. Relationships between dedicated board members, between foundations and non-profits, and between non-profits and the communities they serve,” wrote the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s Director of Youth Philanthropy, Lom Friedman, in article published at the influential eJewishPhilanthropy website.

The young philanthropists chose Celeste’s option of investing in a programme that would specifically serve families who have adopted orphans of the epidemic: training them in soap and bread making and supporting them in setting up their own businesses. In this way, they would help the families generate a stable income and supply two commodities that address communicable disease and malnutrition.

World ORT Director General and CEO Shmuel Sisso praised the high schoolers for their commitment and compassion.

“Their first good choice was to support World ORT,” Mr Sisso said. “Their second was to stick with us. Their philanthropy, combined with our International Cooperation’s flexibility, local knowledge and skill, has laid the foundation for hope in a community desperately working to overcome the pain of loss and a fear of infection. We can all be proud and excited for the future that there are such bright and generous young people ready to take up the reins of communal leadership.”

World ORT is working to raise $2 million for its Liberia programmes, which are designed to generate sustainable livelihoods for impoverished youth in rural areas. ORT provides training through in-school vocational skills for livelihoods, out-of-school graduates and non-formal vocational training, and through its Centres for Skills Innovation. You can donate online here: http://www.ort.org/en/about-us/donate/online-donations/

Read the full eJP article here: http://goo.gl/NvGXCj