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CASA HOGAR PROMOTES AWARENESS OF LINK BETWEEN POVERTY, CHILD LABOR AND POOR EDUCATION PROJECT - Oct 7, 2002

October 7, 2002 - Aquinas College students involved in Casa Hogar, a four-year-old student-lead organization on campus, will present an awareness project Monday, October 7 through Friday, October 11. The purpose of the project will be to help promote awareness of the link between poverty, child labor and poor education. The mission of the Casa Hogar organization is to promote awareness of the conditions and issues facing developing countries, specifically Peru.

This project has both mobile and non-mobile elements. The mobile element is that the Casa Hogar members will be wearing shirts that highlight facts and statistics about the link between poverty, child labor and poor education. The members will wear their shirts the entire week in order to emphasize the gravity of the situation. The non-mobile elements, "stick" children wearing shirts with statements, facts and statistics, will be located in front of the Academic Building and on the wooded path between the Academic Building and the main campus road. The "Stick" children represent the children of Peru who cannot afford to go to school because they must work in order to support their families' income.

The members of Casa Hogar also raise funds to help support the Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II (CHJPII) Orphanage in Laurin and Oxapampa, Peru. CHJPII is home to over 100 abandoned, abused and neglected children. Between 10 and 12 Casa Hogar students go to CHJPII every summer to work on various tasks. They have built a park on the orphanage campus, painted the orphanage and mentored the children who live there. The Casa Hogar organization also funded a Hepatitis B immunization project during 2001-02. Each child immunized plus 50 local villagers.

The Aquinas Casa Hogar project has been selected by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)/West Michigan to receive the 2002 Youth in Philanthropy Award to be presented on November 15. Junior Allison Lindemyer, president, received the Commitment to Service Award through the Michigan Campus Compact organization while senior Mandy Schneider and juniors Andrea Covert and Mary Clare Avery received the organization's Heart and Soul Award.