• The CalmPost

Ileana's School of Hope

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

The African proverb states, "It takes a village to raise a child." It's also a village that can harm one.

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a fundraising event for a beautiful child, Ileana, who was raised in a "trash dump" in Managua, Nicaragua. Ileana, whose smile lives on to touch the lives on many, unfortunately died of AIDS in 2011 after being prostituted by her family.

Brad Corrigan, member of the band Dispatch, met Ileana in 2006 while visiting Nicaragua to play music at an orphanage. It was Brad and his band who spearheaded this weekend's event, gathering a crowd of some of California's finest to raise funds to build a school in both Ileana's home village and memory:

Ileana's School of Hope

While "It takes a village," has been a personal mantra of mine for many years now, what stood out to me this weekend is that it really takes a community. With the word community coming from the Latin word communitas - meaning "the same" - I am reminded of an expression I was told over, and over, and over again by local villagers while visiting many other "trash dump" sites in Ghana, West Africa back in 2012:

"We all bleed the same blood."

Let's work together in keeping it pure.

Whether Nicaraguan, Ghanian, American... In today's world, connected so intimately by the power of the Internet as a global community, I invite us all to stop to take a moment to allow one girl's story to be the catalyst to start transforming tragedy into triumph. I ask, collectively:

How can we best protect our youth? How can we best preserve our Sacred Mother Earth?

To donate to Ileana's School of Hope, click here.

#ileanassmile #youthdevelopment #nicaragua #ghana #thislandisyourland #thislandismyland #ittakesavillage #community #globalcommunity #donate

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