Ambassadors for Children Miami University Chapter

Katie

It took a lot of energy and a lot of love to see the hard lives that the Jamaican children lead every day, but every ounce of that love was returned to us in their hugs and their smiles. I honestly cannot wait to go back and watch Miami make an even greater difference for the people of Lionel Town.

Katie Lindauer
Spring 2011 Participant

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Student helping Children

Spring Break 2014 - Service Learning in Belize!

 

Help Children and See the World

What Is Ambassadors for Children?

 

Ambassadors for Children is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that provides meaningful travel experiences with global volunteer opportunities to help children in need around the world . Miami University AFC chapter: MU is the first chapter in the U.S.; it was begun as a student organization in 2006. The local chapter is sanctioned by the Indianapolis based not-for-profit to jointly offer humanitarian trips to aid children. Miami University students coordinate all activities of the local chapter for international projects and local projects. The chapter seeks to offer volunteer opportunities in Oxford and abroad to many Miami University students and to actively engage other university organizations, individuals and businesses in this work.

Click here to see the blog from the 2013 Trip


Click on a tab below for more information


  • Spring 2013 Columbia
  • Spring 2014 Belize
  • The AFC Experience
  • Information about AFC
  • Chapter Officers
  • Forms
  • Fundraising
  • Donations

Volunteer Trip to Colombia - Spring Break, March 9-16 2013

Ambassadors for Children – Miami University Chapter (AFC MU)

Faculty Leader:
Dr. Ana María Díaz Burgos, diazbua@muohio.edu

Spring break 2013 non-credit
service learning abroad opportunity

Click here to download application (.doc)

Click here to download flyer (.pdf)

Click here for cost esitmates (.pdf)

Click here for photo presentation (.pdf)

Application is due Nov. 7 or asap as long as space remains
Submit to Dr. Ana María Díaz Burgos, pages 1-5 and workshop fee $300

Trip Location:
Cartagena, Colombia      

Work in local pre-schools and hospitals.  The team will be based in the historic town, a large beach resort area, and will travel every day to the work sites.  Students will participate in various cultural activities to include cooking classes, dance lessons, excursion to the Totumo Mud Volcano, snorkeling, museum tours, and visits to historic sites.  Students will gain experience working in pre schools such as Sueños de Libertad, Villa Gloria, as well as in the Casa del Niño Children´s Hospital. You will learn more than you dreamed about everyday life in Colombia.  After a hard day’s work, we will visit restaurants in the Old Colonial Town, go to the beach, visit the old Spanish Castle, etc.

Service learning at its best

Colombia es Pasión – Colombia is Passion

 

AFC MISSION:
Ambassadors for Children (AFC ) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving children around the world through short-term humanitarian service trips and sustainable programs. AFC MU is a student organization that shares this mission on campus with both study abroad opportunities and local service projects.  MU AFC was the first chapter in the country.

AFC VISION:
Ambassadors for Children will make a significant impact on world peace and understanding through face-to-face cultural exchanges. AFC trips provide hands-on interaction with disadvantaged children, balanced by opportunities for sightseeing and immersion in the native culture of the community served.

 

 

Children’s Literacy and Health: Belize - Spring Break, March 22-29 2014

Ambassadors for Children – Miami University Chapter (AFC MU)

Faculty Leaders (EDT- MU Teacher Education):
Dr. Karen Montgomery montgok@MiamiOH.edu (513) 529-2141
and Dr. Martha Castañeda, castanme@MiamiOH.edu

 

Spring break 2013 non-credit
service learning abroad opportunity

 

Click here to download the itinerary (.pdf)

Click here to download cost estimates (.pdf)

Click here to download flyer (.pdf)

Click here to download application (.doc)

Application is due Oct. 30 or asap as long as space remains
Submit to Dr. Montgomery, pages 1-5 and workshop fee $500

Trip Location:
Caye Caulker, Belize 


Experience the beautiful island of Caye Caulker, Belize;  just 4 miles long but  ever so many work projects await those who want to help children and the island’s community for this week long workshop.  Service learning is the #1 priority.  Projects  that need our help are: Tutoring Standard VI students (ages 11-12) for national exams;  Reading Hours for children at the local library;  Building libraries at schools;  Small group teaching at an elementary school; Having a Wellness Day at the island’s clinic;  After school tutoring at Ocean Academy; and Conducting a week long ESL Night School.  While English is the national language, the Belizean dialect is strong. 

After work projects:  Plan to snorkel off the Barrier Reef and visit the mangroves in included sightseeing.  The team will be staying at the Tropical Paradise Hotel on a Caribbean beach.  On the final day, off to the mainland for an excursion to Mayan ruins at Alta Hun.  Water taxis take all visitors to the island.

You will learn more than you ever dreamed...

Central America has many challenges but this island is safe and snug – just 4 miles long.  Tourists throng there but local people face poverty and lack of resources.  The  donations we take meet needs they identify.

 

AFC MISSION:
Ambassadors for Children (AFC ) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving children around the world through short-term humanitarian service trips and sustainable programs. AFC MU is a student organization that shares this mission on campus with both study abroad opportunities and local service projects.  MU AFC was the first chapter in the country.

AFC VISION:
Ambassadors for Children will make a significant impact on world peace and understanding through face-to-face cultural exchanges. AFC trips provide hands-on interaction with disadvantaged children, balanced by opportunities for sightseeing and immersion in the native culture of the community served.

 

 

 

StudentsThe AFC Experience

Some words from past participants:

From Marissa Hirsh, El Salvador 2007

What was the most profound thing
you learned on this trip?

Every place that we went was filled with love. From the orphanages and villages, to the schools and hospital, theses children touched your heart in immeasurable ways. When you hear their stories about how they live and what they have endured, it is truly unbelievable how they continue to smile. I think we can all learn from them. I went on this trip with every intention of helping a child feel loved… I could not have guessed just how much they would do the same for me.

Describe a "peak" moment you will always remember.

I will always remember the first village that we went to. I was giving fluoride treatments to the children there. There were calm and grateful, and I knew at that moment I was a part of something great. And it had just begun.

Give a word of advice to a future AFC El Salvador participant.

Savor it because it once the week is over, you will want nothing but to go back. And also, bring a box of crackers and a lot of power bars!

 

From Brian Ludwin, El Salvador 2007

What was the most profound thing you learned on this trip?

Children, in spite of their impoverished context and experiences, have the undeniable, inexplicable, almost innante capacity to put a smile on their and your face. This ability stems from their immense curiousity, compassion, and freedom. I believe these characteristics of children have much to teach us as adults who often constrain our world with roles and expectations, and I believe a more "child-like" approach to life may help all become more loving, free, and ultimately, human.

Describe a "peak" moment you will always remember.

During our party in the GI ward of the children's hospital, I fondly remember putting a smile on one girl's distraught face. Her simple change of perspective showed me that the building of even simple relationships can make a world of difference.

Give a word of advice to a future AFC El Salvador participant.

Let the experience of working with the children innudate your mind and feelings throughout the week. Please don't take the potential of a GI tract infection lightly. Definitely bring some Xifaxan in case it comes knocking at your door.

 

 

From Nancy Hoffmann, Belize 2007:

Being a part of Ambassadors for Children and having the opportunity to work with children and teachers in San Pedro was eye-opening and life-changing for me. While I have traveled to many parts of the world and have taught in public schools in the United States for many years, I have never experienced a place like Belize. When we first arrived, one of our goals was to paint a school building that was in desperate need of repair and paint. While working, several children came by (it was a holiday for them and no school was in session) and wanted to help with something. We decided that we would work together to clean up the playground—a dusty, dirt lot that was littered with all kinds of trash and debris. We quickly got to work and before an hour passed we collected over 5 huge bags of litter. What is a lasting memory from this day is not the trash but the eagerness of the children to be a part of the work and their openness to us—outsiders who they didn't know at all.

At the same school the next day, I witnessed nearly 1200 students piling into the schoolhouse built for 600 students, all neatly dressed in their uniforms and eager to learn. The flood of children in the morning was San Pedro's “morning rush hour” where it was obvious that going to school was a privilege, not a burden. At another school I noted the same thing-- children walked, rode bikes, or got to school in whatever way they could (there are nearly no cars on San Pedro) with many having to travel for several miles each day, each way. This school was recently built for the extra children who could not be accommodated in the much-overcrowded schoolhouse in the heart of San Pedro. This school was built on donated land and sits upon stilts in a marshy, trash-filled swamp at the far end of town. I was so disturbed by the surrounding environment upon arrival; however, I was quickly taken in by the beautiful children attending school. Again, all were neatly dressed in uniforms and very focused on the activities in the classroom.

During a snack break while getting slices of oranges from their teacher, so many children would just wrap their arms around my legs and hug me. Others quickly gathered around a Miami student who was teaching spelling words on the porch. As I later thought about their reaction to us, I realized that they had no idea that we were bringing them books, school supplies, and hygiene kits. These things had been passed along to the headmaster of the school without the children knowing about it. It wasn't about material things at all—it was about human connections. We all have a need to connect with others and to share in the experience of life. These children, as young as they were, reminded me of this very important life lesson. We may have been able to take some supplies to Belize , but what I brought back has renewed my sense of “wide-awakeness” and helped me to grow as a human being.

 

How Do I Learn More?

Visit www.ambassadorsforchildren.org or call toll free at (888) 338-3468.

Ambassadors for Children · 3620 N. Washington Blvd. · Indianapolis , IN 46205

 

What Is AFC's Purpose?

AFC Arrival

Ambassadors for Children seeks to better the lives of children around the world who live, study, and play in impoverished communities, while offering volunteers a life-changing experience. AFC trips provide hands-on interaction with disadvantaged children around the world, balanced by sightseeing and experiencing the culture of the destination.

 

How Does the Miami Chapter of Ambassadors For Children Assist with Trips?

Miami University faculty of EHS volunteer their time advising the chapter and coordinate all university requirements. Faculty members who lead MU groups abroad enhance learning gained from the volunteer experience while also teaching students safe practices and cultural awareness.

The local chapter has findraising projects for computers and other needed items that are given to partner schools and agencies. The chapter involves many organizations in creating hundreds of kits for Ambassadors to take to give to children in poverty stricken communities.

 

Where Does AFC Go?

AFC Trip

AFC has operated volunteer missions to aid children in Belize, Malawi, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Vietnam, Serbia, Native American Reservations in the U.S.A and other communities in need. The Miami University Chapter schedules alternative spring break and summer trips; destinations include Guatamala with Dr. Kerry Hegarty and Jamaica with Dr. Paula Webster, as well as return trips to El Salvador with Dr. Karen Montgomery, and Malawi with Dr. Ray Terrell and Dr. Karen Montgomery.

 

What Does Ambassadors for Children Do?

AFC humanitarian trips deliver specifically requested items to the children in each destination. In addition to donations of medicines, medical equipment, food, clothing, hygiene items, school supplies and toys, Miami University 's AFC volunteers have provided children with medical care, eye exams and glasses and dental care. AFC has also directly funded orphanages, agencies for children, youth centers and home building projects as well as school supplies and expenses for children who would not otherwise receive an education.

 

How is Miami University AFC Funded?

Miami University AFC receives donations from trip participants, corporations, student groups, service clubs and individuals wishing to help. In addition, supplies and scholarships are provided for trips with monies obtained through direct cash donations and AFC fundraisers and sponsorships. Ambassadors for Children is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

 

 

 

 

Miami University Chapter Ambassadors for Children Officers 2013-14

Kimberly Purdy - President

Taylor Delph - Vice President

Savanna Kuertz - Treasurer

Caroline Miller - Secretary

Kayla Miller - Points Officer

Jessica Brewer - Donations Co-Chair

Nina Powell - Donations Co-Chair

Kerry McGovern - Publicity Co-Chair

Kristen Espe - Publicity Co-Chair

Nicole Blachowicz - Fundraising Chair

Quincey Chambers - Community Outreach Chair


Spring trip application form

Click here to download application (.doc)

 

 

Support your Humanitarian Work

Fundraising

Form Fundraising Letter.

 

 

 

How You can help

Donation Drive 2011, Click here to download information (.doc)

Check Donations

AFC Photo

Please make checks payable to Ambassadors for Children and give them to any Miami AFC chapter member.

 

Supplies and Kits

AFC regularly delivers the following supplies to children in need. You can help out by getting the following items together:

Personal Hygiene Kit (MU Chapter Goal is 1000 kits)

Gallon Ziploc bag with one of each item:
Bar of soap
Toothbrush
Full-size tube of toothpaste
New washcloth
Comb

AFC photo

Arts and Crafts Supplies

Children's Safety Scissors
Glue (Liquid & Sticks)
Construction Paper
Washable Markers
Stickers
Chenille Strips (Pipe Cleaners)
Colored Tissue Paper
Popsicle Sticks
Lunch Bags (Color or Plain)
Boxes of Crayons

School Supply Kits (MU Chapter Goal is 1000 kits)

Gallon Ziploc bag including:

AFC Photo

10 pencils and individual sharpener
10 pens
1 eraser
1 pack of washable markers or crayons
1 ruler (with English and Metric)
1 spiral notebook

Miscellaneous Items

Spanish Books
Over-the-counter Medicines
Sports Balls & Equipment
Baseball Hats

 

Scholarship funds are much needed!

Please contact Dr. Karen Montgomery at montgok@muohio.edu if you wan tot fundin part or full travel expenses for a deserving Miami student with financial need

 

Long-Term Outcomes

Beyond helping in the short term, Ambassadors for Children is committed to making lasting changes, from maleria nets to libraries. Learn about the building projects and other long-term efforts AFC members make at the AFC web site.

 

 

 


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