After celebrating 30 years of our mission at work last year, 2016 was concentrated on amplifying our efforts to foster global leaders. Since its beginning, Greenheart has worked to set the industry standard in cultural exchange with the essential belief that a dedication to service is the landscape in which all meaningful and effective leadership is rooted.
The comprehensive offerings of Greenheart’s outreach programs are made possible for generations of aspiring young global leaders through the gifts of our donors and sponsors. These programs afford participants the opportunity to explore, dream, and grow within the guidance of Camp Greenheart, Greenheart leadership conferences, the Greenheart Service Grant program, and Greenheart Service Projects.
In 2016, our focus on the Chicago community continued to grow as we expanded Camp Greenheart endeavors. Our Camp programs connect youth from diverse neighborhoods throughout Chicago and bridge opportunity gaps by providing campers with the tools to develop relational skills characteristic of global leaders. Through a collaborative partnership with Swissôtel Chicago, we integrated more healthy living and mindful practices into our 2016 curriculum. In 2017, we will be working to evolve our partnerships with Chicago schools and youth organizations as Camp Greenheart grows.
Within the Greenheart Service Grant program, we broadened the scope of our volunteer efforts on a global scale by awarding 16 grants in 12 countries. All around the world, an increasing number of our alumni are sharing our mission and vision of connecting people and planet by organizing and facilitating their very own Greenheart Service Projects. Each alumnus concludes these projects with both a deeper sense of purpose and a passion for fostering meaningful relationships within the communities they serve.
Sailas Okwairworth used his service grant to purchase the necessary materials to build a Computer Literacy Library in rural Uganda. With the aim of teaching 500+ people the computer skills to succeed in an increasingly technology-dependent world, Sailas expressed his thanks and commitment to Greenheart for “…enhancing and empowering the young generation through service projects, exposure, and connection with other people from around the globe.” Our hope for the future is to empower every Greenheart participant to create an impactful and sustainable volunteer project upon returning to their home country.
This year, to celebrate exemplary achievement in international stewardship, we introduced our first ever Global Leader Honoree Award at the 2016 Greenheart Gala, which was presented to esteemed activist and fundraiser Lynne Twist, co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance and author of The Soul of Money. Her powerful example of tireless social and environmental advocacy motivates us to recommit to our work and inspires us to create opportunities for people to connect and engage with each other despite apparent differences.
We are currently adapting the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer Symposium for our Greenheart community. This is a highly acclaimed educational resource that awakens us to creative opportunities for solving the world’s challenges. Additionally, we will be expanding our leadership opportunities and continuing to support service projects worldwide in the year to come. Above all, we are excited to continue our work in fostering the next generation of global leaders.
Director of Development, Outreach, Visibility and Engagement