The Better World Beloved Community

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We have many outreach projects, both in the local area and all over the world. we are always striving to build our projects further, though our resources are very limited currently. If you would like to get involved in any of our projects just contact us! We're always happy  to expand our community.

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- H.E.L.O. Haiti Project - 
H.E.L.O Haiti Organization, 
Marist College, 
The Better World Beloved Community

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Mar Peter recently made a second trip to the HELO Haiti orphanages, along with fellow Beloved Community member, and grandson, Jorden Eck. 11 students from Prof. Mar's Praxis Minor also accompanied them, Providing wonderful love and support to the children. The group also had a chance to spend some time at two of Pastor Jean's other projects, a school for all grades K-12 which teaches over 700 kids living in impoverished conditions in Les cayes, They also were able to spend time at the home for rescued Restaviks (children are oftentimes sent to richer homes, with promises of an education for the child, however the majority of these children get no schooling or caring, they are instead forced to work for the family for no pay) The restavik home touched many in the group deeply, The Marist class decided to utilize the funds they raised to treat suspected pneumonia in a 2 year old boy named Kenni.

The HELO Founders, Elisabeth Kennedy & Pastor Jean, have made great progress since the 2010 trip. In addition to another home being completed, a new well is installed for houses two & three (though it's having problems right now), They are even utilizing solar panels in house one.

Find out more about the great things H.E.L.O is doing and read about each of the forty-seven precious kids at:

HeloHaiti.Org

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Beloved Community Project workers Mar Peter and Jorden Eck recently accompanied the H.E.L.O. team to Les Cayes, Haiti.

the H.E.L.O organization runs 3 orphanages, currently providing homes, education, love, and opportunity to 41 wonderful kids.

Since the earthquake, HELO has had to expand to over twice it's original size, taking in as many recently orphaned

children as the homes can hold. Unfortunately many children are still on waiting lists until the resources can be gathered

to support them.

Mar and Jorden, along with the rest of the 14 person team, spent their trip restoring the schoolhouse and freshly painting all of the buildings.

The team also coordinated multiple food distributions amongst the earthquake refugee community and rural areas in great need.

Most of all they spent time getting to know the wonderful children of the 3 orphanages as well as the many kids from the surrounding area.

The team, through Global Soccer Ministries, was able to distribute full soccer uniforms & Cletes to each & every orphan as well as to all of the kids from the area. A soccer field and goals were created and all of the kids had a great time learning soccer and having fun!

Mar and Jorden were given a wonderful tour of the school which Pastor Jean, the co-founder of the 3 orphanages, established to provide over 700 inner-city children with daily education in a safe environment. The school is truly amazing and an inspiration. It is a great ambition to one day be able to provide each of the students with a healthy meal daily as well, though unfortunatley thats not something our resources are capable of handling at this time.

More information on H.E.L.O can be found at: www.HELOHaiti.org 

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- The Kolkata Project - 
[A collaborative project through
 Marist College  (Mar, Diya, and Jamie), 
The Better World Beloved Community  (Josiah, Colin, and Jorden),

 

 
 

Calcutta Project 2007 Team Members
Calcutta Project Team 2007
Jorden, Colin, Diya, Jamie, Mar, Josiah

 

All Photos and Video taken by Jorden Eck, 16
 
         

   

 *   A Social-Entrepreneurial Project offers alternatives for women  to transition from begging and scavenging to building the skills and resources necessary to support themselves and their children.  Several women on the street met primarily with Jamie in a rented schoolroom to think together what they would like to do if given the chance.  A few went on to begin vocational training in preparation for starting their own businesses, one aiming to sell saris back in the village from where she came. 
 
*  The Sree-Durga Project aims at establishing community with those who live at the Sree-Druga dump (across from the Sree-Durga hotel where Mar, Josiah, Colin, and members of the International Philosohers for Peace stayed in 2005).  Setting up the Project during summer 2007, the team exchanges pictures and e-mails with the people through liaison Christopher Ratan Das.  The Project attempts to see the socio-economic realities of Calcutta through the eyes of those living at the dump.  The central thrust of this Project is to build community, help the children of Sree-Durga attend school, eat decent food, realize their abilities, and open their world to possibilties beyond their lives at the  dump.  Without intervention and education these children will likely grow up knowing no other means of living than the most menial work, begging, scavenging - and living lives of severe deprivation.

*   A Postcard Project produces postcards with authentic pictures of Calcutta street children and mothers.  The thrust of this project is to provide a witness to their individual lives, as well as generate financial resources through the sale of the postcards to support the various thrusts of the Calcutta Project.

*   A Documentary and a Liberation Theology text.  During summer 2007 the team spent time with mothers and children living on the streets of Calcutta and at the Sree-Durga dump, listening to and taping their stories.  The documentary is currently in production as is the Liberation Theology text. The thrust of this project is not only to expose the poverty and hardship of Calcutta's marginalized women and children, but also generate thoughtful discourse; and inspire action to ease suffering in the world, in particular among Calcutta's poor mothers and children. 

     

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The children at the Sree Durga dump

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Click Here to View Additional Pictures of Christopher Working With The Kids & Families Living in the Sree-Durga Dump

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A mother and child prepare to sleep on the pavement outside the Sree-Durga Hotel

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These young brothers were often found begging alone even after dark

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This is Christopher, the BWBC liason, with some of the Sree-Durga children that he has helped enroll in school and oversees on a weekly basis.

 

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The Beatrice Project:  A grandmother to grandmother (and those in solidarity) project to help Kenyan grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS, feed their small charges and provide for essential needs. 
                                                                                                                                               
The Beatrice Project is named after a grandmother in Nairobi who was featured in the CNN documentary, "Where Have All the Parents Gone?" empathetically investigated by Christiane Amanpour.  Beatrice's daughter and son-in-law died of AIDS leaving her to support their four young children.  With no income or resources, Beatrice scavenges the city dump hoping to collect enough plastic each day to feed the children an evening meal.  We want to let people know about Beatrice and other grandmothers like Beatrice, throughout Kenya.  
                                                                                                                                                    Marist student Emily Curreri was so inspired by Beatrice's story, she borrowed the taped documentary and showed it to three high school classes to raise their consciousness about the condition of AIDS and grandmothers caring for orphaned young children in Africa.  She then made chocolate AIDS ribbons on a stick as a fund-raiser.   Emily's enthusiasm inspired enough donations to allow us to send ten grandmothers in Western Kenya each a small sum with which to get materials they badly needed: one, a blanket for her grandson against the chilly night; another to patch up the roof of her hut against the rain (she had been huddling with her three grandchildren under one blanket when it rained).  The last of the ten grandmothers just happened to be named Beatrice - a coincidence of which she was very pleased!  
                                                                                                                                              
Our special thanks to Todd Lorentz, director of One Child's Village in Canada, and Pastor Charles Ouma Oduor, director of Mercy Children's Centre in Bumala, Kenya for selecting the grandmothers, and presenting them with the donations.  Mercy Children's Centre is an orphanage/ school established by One Child's Village after Todd observed the desperate need of children orphaned by AIDS, when he (and Mar) attended a Globalization for the Common Good Conference in Kenya, April 2005.  
                                                                                                                                           
Todd has prepared a DVD of the grandmothers telling their stories as Pastor Charles presented them the funds, 100% of which went directly into the hands of the grandmothers themselves.  The full version of this video can be viewed from his site, and an edited version is posted above so all can share in the happiness of the first Beatrice Project donation trek.

Further donations for the grandmothers can be sent to The Beatrice Project, c/o Dr. Mar Peter-Raoul, the Beloved Communtiy House, 45 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, New York 13905.

   
           

 
     

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Mar with children orphaned by AIDS
Mar with children, orphaned by AIDS, at Nyumbani, an orphanage near Nairobi.

Mar with children orphaned by AIDS at an orphanage just outside of Nairobi.

   
   

 
While in Nairobi, Better World Beloved Community members took the opportunity to visit the Nyumbani Orphanage for AIDS-afflicted children.  Students of Binghamton High School Biology teacher, Jory-Pierre Larnerd, a Better World Beloved Community member, had raised money to aid the orphans, which was delivered at the time of our visit. 

Marist College student, Sean Jones, took on the project of raising over a $1000 for a particular orphan who was losing his hearing and speech, donating $10 from each cell phone that his new business sold.  With added contributions, the needed special hearing aid was funded and provided.
 
 
Nairobi_Beatrice_Project/aidshero_fp.jpgThe Nyumbani Orphange was established in the early 1990's by Father Angelo D'Agostino, who passed away in November 2006.  It was one of the first orphanages for abandoned HIV-positive children opened in Kenya - "a country with more than 1 million children whose parents have died of AIDS.  Many of the children, often HIV-positive themselves, have been abandoned or left to roam through Kenya's big-city slums." [exerpt]
 
                    

   
           

 
     

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David Ford pictured with some of the young orphaned children he works with.

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The Better World Beloved Community contributes to the work of Behind the Walls Russian Orphan Outreach, a ministry in Kaluga, southwest of Moscow, begun by David Ford, a local man who now lives and works full time in Russia with children and families there.  The ministry helps abandoned and orphaned children and is developing post-orphanage transitional arrangements.  In Russia there is no provision for kids forced to leave an orphanage at the age of 16 because of severely limited space and resources.  Most end up in prostitution, homeless, in jail, or committing suicide.  David Ford is working to provide alternatives to this grim reality for Russian orphans.  To learn more, log on to www.russianorphanoutreach.org
Donations can be sent to Behind the Walls, PO Box 122, Kirkwood, NY 13795.

Colin & Caleb sit in front of the stuffed animals they collected that were then hand delivered by David Ford to the young orphans he works with in Russia.
Beloved Community Kids gathered stuffed animals to send to Russian orphans.

 
 

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Bobby Larnerd sharing about his experieances working in Russia with the participants of a recent Beloved Community Week.
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Bobby Larnerd, friend of the Better World Beloved Community, ministers in Russia for two-week periods as often as he is able.  He shares his experiences with the kids of Beloved Community Week each year, challenging them to go wherever they are called by the Lord to minister.  The kids love seeing his pictures, touching his artifacts, and hearing the stories of his adventures - Thank you Bobby! 

We appreciate Bobby sharing about his experiences in Russia with the participants of Beloved Community Week each year.

 
       

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Local Projects at the Beloved Community House in Binghamton, New York, are usually short-term and primarily during our summer Beloved Community Weeks (see site), with kids 6-14 years of age. These projects have included  documentary making, creating talent shows and personalized gifts for  residents of assisted living centers, CHOW collections for local pantry, the Serving Soldiers Project, and learning about "hands-on" sevice through the work of Samaritan's Purse. 

Many of our local projects continue regularly throughout the year, and others God just drops in our laps. During Hurricane Katrina we were able to offer the Beloved Community House as a respite for a grandmother and her three young grandchildren, left homeless.  They had lost their ninth ward home and all their belongings.  An elderly widow, herself homeless, also found respite at the beloved community house when she found herself alone and stranded just as Hurricane Charlie hit Virginia.

Some of our regular projects include weekly gatherings at the Beloved Community House for Chapel, discourse and sharing meals; assissting monthly with CHOW distribution; attending weekly peace vigils with other local peace seekers; mentoring local youth struggling in school; assisting The Salvation Army as bell-ringers during the holiday season. 

 
 

 

BELOVED COMMUNITY WEEK SPECIFIC PROJECTS:
 
 

*CHOW 

For the CHOW collections the kids draw original pictures related to local need for food, attach the pictures to bags, and leave the bags at houses in the neighborhood surrounding the Beloved Community House.  Notes are also attached to the bags asking for non-perishable items and letting people know that the kids will return the next day to collect the bags.  When collected, the bags are delivered to the CHOW warehouse where the kids have been shown the process from collection to distribution.

 
 

 

*Samaritan's Purse
 
Samaritan's Purse volunteers spent many months in our area helping local residents recover from the devestating floods that ravaged most of the Triple Cities.  Many folks lost everything and had to start from scratch rebuilding their lives.
 

During our last Beloved Community Week, Samaritan's Purse volunteers were kind and patient enough to provide each of the kids from Beloved Community Week an opportunity to experience what it is they do to serve and help others.  The kids were introduced to just how difficult and challenging it can be when you actually have to 'get your hands dirty' in order to help others - & just what it means to folks completely overwhelmed by their circumstances to have someone come and help them.

 
 

*Serving Soldiers Project 

During our last Beloved Community Week, participants made cards with drawings and notes for service people in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They canvassed the neighborhood leaving bags with the lists of desired items at neighbors' doors inviting contributions to the Project.  The next day they returned to collect the bags, and then, putting everything together, delivered the collected items along with the original cards to the Fairy Godmother Project - a Project of a local businesswoman who has spear-headed sending boxes of sought-after items to those serving on the front lines.  When delivering the goods to the Project, the kids were shown pictures and cards of thanks from service people who appreciated receiving the boxes.

Fall 2007, Jory and Karen Larnerd of the Beloved Community held a neighborhood  bonfire with everyone bringing items for the soldiers.  Bags and bags of collected items were delivered to the fairy godmother where Karen then helped pack the boxes for the post. 

 
 

* Intergenerational Outreach
Including talent shows and individually made gifts ...
                    
                        
                       
                                       
  
  
 
* Citizenship Praxis
Includes creating and displaying posters about issues that are
important to us, and participating in a peace march and 
local demonstration ...
                  
                               
 

 

  
  
        

* Documentary Making
Coming Soon: links to kids' documentaries
                 
                      
                        
  
  
      
                                                                      

 
     

 

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After spending a few months at The Beloved Community House following Hurricane Katrina, the family was able to safely return to Louisianna to begin rebuilding their lives there.
Fleeing Hurricane Katrina to the safety of The Beloved Community House!

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Heather with Mimi, safe from the storm!

   

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To inquire about any of our projects, please contact us at: BetterWorld@TheBelovedCommunity.org or Mar.Peter-Raoul@Marist. edu.   

Web Master: Heather Larnerd-Eck 
Web Site Creator: Colin-Pierre Turner Larnerd
The Beloved Community House 
P.O. Box 883
Binghamton, NY  13902
e-mail contact: But4Grace247@aol.com

* Homepage slide show background music: "Bounty of the Lord Reprise" by Claire Holley off her Sanctuary album;
* Calcutta Project 2007 video clip background music: "Imagine" by John Lennon
* All unidentified pictures/clipart used throughout website: Artists Unknown.  If you recognize your work on this site please notify us so we can give you credit and link to your page.  We are using all artwork unaware of any specific copyright infringements and ask the artist's permission to continue using their work to promote our mutual commitment to global peace and social justice for all. 
Thank you!