FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOURNEY FOR CHANGE: EMPOWERING YOUTH THROUGH GLOBAL SERVICE
A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ANGELROCK PROJECT, THE SALVATION ARMY AND HOPE WORLDWIDE
One-of-a Kind Global Youth Service Program Brings At-Risk Youth From Brooklyn New York to Volunteer in Johannesburg, South Africa
Non-Profit, Governmental, and Corporate VIPS to Kick-Off the Program
(August 2, 2008) Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a unique and innovative partnership between The Angelrock Project; The Salvation Army Bushwick Community Center; The Salvation Army South Africa; HOPE worldwide; and HOPE worldwide South Africa that will bring thirty at-risk youth from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Johannesburg, South Africa on July 31, 2008 for two weeks of global service.
The children, ages 12 to 15, will participate in a rich volunteer, educational, and mentoring program. They will volunteer in Diepsloot and Soweto, helping orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC's) and grannies in their homes, schools, community centers, gardens, and at clinics.
The youth will be partnered with young adults from HOPE worldwide's prestigious HOPE Youth Corp who will mentor the children and accompany them on their service projects, as well as lead team building, leadership skills, volunteer follow-up sessions each evening.
Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service was born out of the crisis
inner-city youth across America are facing as they enter their teenage years. Many youth succumb to the pressures facing them, whether it is to drop out of school, get involved in gangs, or use drugs, and we need innovative ways to break this cycle. Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service presents a unique and extraordinary opportunity to thirty such youth from the community of Bushwick in Brooklyn, New York.
Bushwick is an underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn with a population of 100,000 people. It has consistently struggled to overcome obstacles, such as drug trafficking, a high incidence of child neglect, rising crime rates, and broken families. Over half of its population lives below the poverty line and receives some form of public assistance. Only a little over 60% of the students of its largest high school, Bushwick High, graduate in four years. Out of the 289 students that started high school as freshmen in 2002, 91 had out dropped by 2006.
Due to the crisis also facing OVC's on the continent of Africa, as well as in the country of South Africa, non-governmental organizations such as The Salvation Army and HOPE worldwide are meeting the needs of this population and their families by tackling such necessary issues as health, education, housing, and nutrition.
Through The Angelrock Project's (whose humanitarian division is run by philanthropic cause-related marketing executive Malaak Compton-Rock and her husband comedian Chris Rock) support of both The Salvation Army and HOPE worldwide, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a special project that will assist youth in the U.S. and South Africa by having them participate in a mutually fulfilling service and exchange program.
Said Malaak Compton-Rock, "Chris and I have a particular commitment to at-risk youth in Brooklyn, New York, where Chris was raised and in South Africa, where we were introduced to HOPE worldwide South Africa's field work in Diepsloot on an official UNICEF visit three years ago. Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is an extraordinary opportunity to positively impact the lives of these wonderful children. We are particularly thankful to the many companies and organizations that embraced this program and made it possible for us, The Salvation Army, and HOPE worldwide to develop this necessary and vital program."
There is a rich cultural and recreational component that is being coordinated by South African Tourism, headed up by CEO, Moeketsi Mosola. Facilitating a fulfilling and diverse program, South African Tourism has arranged for many experiences, starting with a bon voyage reception hosted by Sthu Zunga, President, South African Tourism North America. Other activities include a visit to the Apartheid Museum, Gold Reef City, a tour of Soweto, and a 1/2 day safari at Pilansberg National Park, among other activities. In addition, the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Eric Bost and Mrs. Bost, along with U.S. Consul-General Steve Coffman will host a reception for the participants in Johannesburg.
We are pleased to announce that award-winning network CNN is filming a documentary on Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service hosted by celebrated journalist Soledad O'Brien. Time for Kids magazine will also profile the program utilizing the children's personal stories and photos in their magazine and teacher's curriculum. Additionally, the youth will chat and blog daily sending video and pictures to various outlets on (PRODUCT) RED laptops donated by Dell.
Upon completion of the trip, the youth will immediately begin their roles as "Journey for Change Global Ambassadors" for one year. This portion of the program is the beginning of turning the youth into leaders within their own neighborhood, the United States and in the world at large. It is our goal that through this program that we will create global leaders engaged in civic, political, and social change and who will one day serve as mentors for this program or others in the very near future. In addition, we will encourage and assist them in continuing their relationship with their new OVC friends and develop a program in which the South African children can also take part in the Global Ambassadorship Program.
Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service is a program whose primary goal is to empower children to not only have a vision for their own lives, but to encourage others through their example of living a life of purpose and service.
A press conference on the program will be held on August 2, 2008 at HeronBridge Retreat at 9:30 A.M.
For information on the press conference, the participants, to RSVP, and to set-up interviews, please contact: Chantal Meugens, Quo Vadis Communications, at Chantal@quo-vadis.co.za or +27 (0) 11-487-0026.
For more information on Journey for Change, please contact CeCe Falls at email@example.com or 917-669-4039 or visit www.angelrockproject.com.
For information on the Salvation Army Bushwick Community Center, please contact Mary Clare Jensen at MaryClare.Jensen@use.salvationarmy.org or 212-337-7488.
For information on the Salvation Army Southern African Region, please contact Harry Fillies at Harry_Fillies@saf.salvationarmy.org or +27 (0) 11-718-6745
For information on HOPE worldwide, please contact Mandy Jordan at Mandy_Jordan@hopeww.org or (610) 254-880 ext. 4532
For information on HOPE worldwide South Africa, please contact Marisca Erasmus at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 (0) 11-984-4422
The Salvation Army Bushwick Community Center is a haven for youth of all ages, the elderly, the hungry, the homeless, and the developmentally disabled, residing in the neighborhood of Bushwick. The Center serves as a place for youth and others to escape the streets for a nourishing meal, after school tutoring, recreation, spiritual guidance, and mentoring. In 2006, the Center provided 1,586 items of clothing, 54,643 meals and snacks, 10,682 days of care to children, 5,694 hours of after school instruction, and 5,291 holiday gifts. The Center offers many programs to youth, including character building programs, community recreation programs, day camps, day care, and after-school programs. It is an integral part of the Bushwick community.
The Salvation Army Southern African Territory began offering services in 1886 and the first organized ministry among the African people began in 1888 in Natal and 1891 in Zululand. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, the services in Soweto and Johannesburg include programs for orphans, men, women and children through Children's Homes, Home-Based Community Care and Counseling Programs, as well as Social Centers.
The Angelrock Project is an online organization founded by Malaak Compton-Rock to promote her humanitarian endeavors, but more importantly to offer pertinent information on leading a life of service. The website serves as an e-village for visitors to find resources about volunteering, national and international non-profit organizations, e-commerce that supports sustainable living projects, information on how to donate time and money to worthwhile causes, details about corporations that give back to the communities in which they do business, and profiles on amazing philanthropic individuals. The Angelrock Project website is www.angelrockproject.com.
HOPE worldwide is an international NGO that offers sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy on every inhabited continent, serving more than one million people annually. Its HOPE Youth Corps is a summer volunteer program for high school and university students focusing on leadership training and community service throughout the world. It brings students from all different backgrounds together to volunteer with HOPE worldwide programs across the globe, serving the world's poor.
HOPE worldwide South Africa was founded in 1994 and began its community-based HIV/AIDS work in Soweto, South Africa that year. It developed community-based HIV/AIDS care, support, and prevention programs across Soweto and then expanded its community programs to Diepsloot, other informal settlements surrounding Johannesburg and other sites in South Africa. It has extensive experience with the care and support of orphans and vulnerable children, including granny-led and child-headed households in Soweto and Diepsloot, and "Best Practice" models of community mobilization to support these children.
Key Sponsors and Supporters
The U.S. Consulate South Africa
• Reception Hosted for the Participants
• A Documentary on Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service
• Daily Blogging by participants on CNN.com
CNN i report
• Live and taped CNN i reports
• Providing Brooklyn Participants with (PRODUCT) RED Converse Shoes
• Providing 30 (PRODUCT) RED Dell Laptops for Participants to Blog, Stay Connected to Their South African OVC Pen Pals, and to use as Journey for Change Global Ambassadors
• Providing 2 (PRODUCT) RED Dell Desktops for OVC Children in South Africa to Stay Connected to Their Brooklyn Pen Pals
• A profile on Malaak Compton-Rock and Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service
• Blogging and Journey for Change Diary
• Providing 1500 (PRODUCT RED) Hallmark Greeting Cards to be Used by the Brooklyn Participants and their South African OVC Pen Pals to Stay Connected Via Writing
• Reduced Housing and Meals for the Youth and Management Staff and Pro-Bono Services
HOPE worldwide South Africa
• Development and Coordination of the Volunteer Projects in Diepsloot and Soweto
It's Easy Passport Visa & DMV Services
• Providing Pro-Bono Expedited Passport Services for all Brooklyn Participants
LJR & Associates, Inc.
• Providing Pro Bono Round-Trip Meet and Greet Airport Concierge Services
Palazzo Montecasino Hotel
• Providing Reduced Rate Rooms for Key Staff
Quo Vadis Communications
• Providing Pro Bono Media Coordination for the Welcoming Press Conference
The (RED) Campaign
• Coordinating the Donation of (PRODUCT) RED Items from Key Partners, including Dell, Converse and Hallmark. The Funds Raised from the Sale of (PRODUCT) RED Items are Donated to the Global Fund to Help Eliminate AIDS in Africa
Salvation Army Greater New York
• Providing Housing and Meals for HOPE worldwide Mentors in New York City for Pre and Post Travel Orientations, as well as Program Funding
Salvation Army South Africa
• Coordinating Press Conference, Welcome Orientation, Church Services and Volunteer Work at the Salvation Army HIV/AIDS Facility for Children
• Providing Pro Bono Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service Apparel
South African Airways
• Providing Discounted Airfare and Group Reservation Services
South African Tourism
• Coordinating all Cultural and Recreational Activities
• Providing Gift Cards for Youth to Purchase Necessary Travel Items and Supplies for Trip Orientations and Evening Activities
Time for Kids Magazine
• Cover Story on Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service and Internet Blogging by the Participants