Children in Colombia are grateful for a roof over their heads, nutritious meals and people to help them with their homework.
These refugee children belong to a foundation in Colombia called “Seeds of Love.” A local non-profit in Utah, Eagle Condor Humanitarian, teamed up with Seeds of Love and started sending interns and volunteers to work with the children in Colombia since the summer of 2011. The foundation receives donated food from a local food bank every week, which helps give a meal to about 100 kids daily. It has also received money for a building to be built for children and volunteers to meet in.
The purpose of the foundation is to provide the children of Colombia nutritious meals and an environment they can learn in. To help out with the foundation’s purpose, Eagle Condor is hosting an event at the Guru’s Café this Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 8-10 p.m. There will be live music by the Aaron McMurray Trio and local, donated art for sale. All of the proceeds from the art sale and a percentage of the food sales from Guru’s Café will go towards Seeds of Love to help finish the kitchen in the building so food can be cooked on site. Last year, over $700 was raised to purchase a roof for the building in Colombia.
Some of the artists and musicians that are involved in this event are BYU students. Jena Schmidt, a BYU alumnus and a volunteer for Eagle Condor this past summer, is donating some of her art to the event.
“BYU students should come to the event because not only do you support your local artists, musicians and restaurants, but you are supporting children who have less than we do,” Schmidt said. “What’s not to love about great music, food, art and a good cause?”
Schmidt spent two months last summer in Colombia helping with the construction of the building, preparing lunch for the kids, helping them with homework and doing activities with them. Through her experience in Colombia, she learned that people could have so much potential if given the right circumstance and encouragement.
“We don’t get to choose the situation we’re put into, but we can choose our reaction,” Schmidt said. “These children didn’t get to choose their situations, but with help, they can choose to be the end to the cycle and come out on top.”
Aaron McMurray, a senior majoring in music and a volunteer for Eagle Condor, said that his experience in Colombia taught him so much and helped him define his own goals for his future. The most important lesson he learned was how crucial it was to help others in the way they need, not the way you choose or think is right.
“Just like with people close to you, it’s important to identify what they actually need, not just give what’s comfortable or easy to give up,” McMurray said. “One of the strengths of the relationship Eagle Condor has with Seeds of Love is that they allow the people who actually live there to make decisions and set goals. This is a great chance for us here in Provo to help support our friends in Colombia achieve their own goals and ambitions, at no great cost to ourselves, especially since it’s almost impossible for them to achieve this without help from a larger community.”
Mary Baum, a senior majoring in studio arts, also spent this last summer in Colombia with Eagle Condor. She said her experience in Colombia is something she would never forget.
“The most valuable thing I learned from Colombia was the importance of the individual and the impact that one person can make,” Baum said.