Orphans International Worldwide Sets Up Fund to Help Flood Victims

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Scholarships are now available for New Orleans professionals to assist children who have been orphaned by the 2004 tsunami, hurricanes and other floods.

Orphans International (OI) Worldwide founder Jim Luce announced today the establishment of a fund to cover transport, room, board and stipend to New Orleans flood victim professionals who wish to volunteer for the next year assisting flood orphans in both Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and Gonaives, Haiti.

"I wish we were large enough to help New Orleans directly," states Luce. "We can however afford to offer a one-year opportunity to allow New Orleans refugee professionals a chance to reach out to those orphaned by the tsunami and hurricane floods of last year," Luce adds. Scholarships will be available to New Orleans professionals in various fields who wish to work with children who also lost everything to nature.

"We believe that by providing scholarships to flood victim professionals who have lost their homes and jobs, we will give them the opportunity to gain a special experience -- and a year's reprieve in re-building their lives while they help re-build the lives of children who have been through a similar tragedy," Luce says.

Those New Orleans professionals who wish to volunteer for one year in either Banda Aceh, Indonesia, or Gonaives, Haiti, should send their 500-word essay on their desire to help, along with their resume, to info(AT)oiww.org. Corporate and individual donors who wish to support this effort may write the same address for additional information; all contributions are tax-deductible.

Orphans International America has received bi-partisan support from leaders such as former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, as well as many New York City-based public officials. Orphans International is a non-partisan, interfaith organization incorporated in New York in 2002. Last month in Indonesia, the Acehenese Ministry of Social Affairs recognized Orphans International's work with tsunami orphans along with UNICEF and Save the Children.

OI's mission is "Raising Global Citizens" and their children remain in their native countries to become educated to their fullest potential and then help move their countries forward; they do not place children for adoption in America. Projects are running in both Sumatera and Sulawesi in Indonesia, and opening this month in Haiti. Projects in formation include Romania, Togo, the Philippines, Peru, Ghana, and Guyana. Future plans include working with AIDS orphans in both China and India. Each OI campus is working towards full programming for the orphaned children and the village community with classes in English, computer science, and a strong emphasis on the arts.

More detailed information is available on OI's website, oiww.org. The organization's monthly e-newsletter is available on-line and is best known for being up-beat and informative. Tax-deductible contributions to the OI Scholarship Fund for New Orleans may be sent to "Orphans International," earmarked "New Orleans," at 540 Main Street, Suite 418, N.Y., N.Y. 10044. Again, OI does not assist with adoption.


Jim Luce, Founder

(212) 755-7285

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