May, 2016

Author Archive

JustWorld International – Coming to a Show near You this Summer!

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by Ariana Coniglio No Comments

 

With the close of the winter season in Wellington, Florida, riders are preparing to ship out and follow the show circuit. For part of the JustWorld International team, that means heading to partner shows all over North America and Europe.
Beginning with Garden State and La Baule in early May, JustWorld International will travel to shows across North America and Europe in an effort to raise awareness and funds for more than 6,500 children at JustWorld’s partner projects, supporting education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and cultural development programs. The JustWorld team is excited to be attending some new events this summer season and into the fall and hopes to catch up with supporters while they are there.

Mark your calendars now for the opportunity to support JustWorld at the following events:  

  • Thunderbird CSIO4* British Columbia Open
    • June 1-5, 2016
    • Langley, BC, Canada
  • Longines CSIO Schweiz St. Gallen
    • June 2-5, 2016
    • St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Falsterbo Horse Show presented by Longines
    • July 4-10, 2016
    • Skanör, Sweden
  •  BreyerFest
    • July 22-24, 2016
    • Lexington, KY
  • Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
    • July 25-31, 2016
    • Williamsburg, MI
  • Thunderbird CSI3*-W & WCHR Summer Fort Festival
    • August 21-28, 2016
    • Langley, BC Canada
  • The Hampton Classic
    • August 27-September 3, 2016
    • Bridgehampton, NY
  • The American Gold Cup
    • September 14 – 18, 2016
    • North Salem, NY

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.37.05 AMThe Thunderbird Show Park, Hampton Classic, and the American Gold Cup have all been longstanding, strong supporters of JustWorld, and the organization is thrilled to have each of their support again this year. JustWorld is excited to be making an appearance at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival for the second year in a row.

Each of the horse shows will feature fun and interactive fundraising elements. Some activities JustWorld has planned include silent auctions, Horseless Horse Shows, Cheers for Change events, and opportunities to get involved with the non-profit to help to create positive change for children in the developing countries.

Learn more about the difference JustWorld International is making around the world through partner projects in Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras at www.justworldinternational.org.

Meet Harlan!

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by Ariana Coniglio No Comments

Hello Everyone!

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.20.47 AMFor those of you I have not had the chance to meet yet, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Harlan Zeerip and I am the newest member of our team as the Development Coordinator for JustWorld. I have been with the team since January when I started as an intern helping throughout WEF. It was an amazing season and my first here in Wellington. Along with JustWorld, I also spent time  tutoring for Upper Echelon Academy, helping equestrian athletes succeed both in the classroom and in the ring.

I graduated in May of 2015 from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in economics.  While in school, I was a 4-year member of the NCAA varsity baseball team. I come from a family of equestrians; I have been around horses my entire life and my mother and sister both show and train back home in Connecticut.

I am looking forward to working with all of the amazing staff, volunteers and supporters of JustWorld to make this organization grow even more. Together, I strongly believe that we will make a difference and I cannot wait to get started!

Shared Passions and Experiences

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by Ariana Coniglio No Comments

Alex Zetterman Takes Opportunity to Visit Los Patojos 

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 9.09.28 AMFollowing an intense winter season in Wellington, Alexander Zetterman is back on home-soil at Springfield Farm in Sweden. Before his return to start the outdoor season in Europe however, he took time out of his crazy schedule to visit JustWorld International partner project, Los Patojos, in Guatemala.

Alex has been very involved with JustWorld as an Ambassador and it has been a wish to visit one of the projects from the very beginning. He finally got the opportunity to visit Los Patojos this past April and was completely taken away by what he experienced on his visit.  “Finally, I got to visit Los Patojos in Guatemala, one of JustWorld’s amazing projects. I want to thank Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes and his team and of course JustWorld International for giving these children and their community a chance to have a brighter future. Without this project, these kids would not go to school and we cannot imagine how their future would be like.”

The trip to Guatemala had a profound effect on Alex. Back home in Sweden, he has resolved to continue his efforts raising awareness for JustWorld International, starting in Falsterbo.

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Shared Passions and Experiences

By Cooper Bradshaw

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 8.40.28 AMI first went to Gatemala six years ago when I was ten years-old. I was painfully shy and spoke little Spanish but the experience was my fourth trip to Los Patojos. I’m not an equestrian. I’m a tennis player, and I went to Guatemala to share my passion with my friends at Los Patojos. My sister Madison is the equestrian in our family and also an Ambassador of JustWorld. She wanted to visit Los Patojos several years ago so my mom agreed and took my brother and me also. We returned each year until Madison left for college; since then, I have been trying to figure out a way that I could return to Guatemala to make my own contribution, because although we first went to Guatemala to see the project and to hopefully make a difference in the lives of the children there, Juan Pablo, Rafa, and the kids at Los Patojos all changed my life!

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 8.29.27 AMThe poverty and circumstances that my friends at Los Patojos have to endure in Guatemala made me want to improve their lives so much that I completely forgot about how shy and self-conscious I was. Those kids are just like me; the only difference is that they haven’t had the same opportunities I have had. We are so similar but our worlds are so different. And while their lives may be much harder, I noticed that in many ways they are better people for it. The children at Los Patojos all respect, nurture and support each other and are never mean to one another. There are so many children in that small space but there are very few scuffles. The kids have very little but are also so generous and are always eager to share any treats that they have. On my last visit they had a piñata to celebrate someone’s birthday. Each of the children eagerly offered some of their candy to me, even though it was a rare treat for them. They are also very appreciative. On a couple of my visits, we brought gifts for the children and when we handed them out the children politely formed a line and waited patiently. The children all thanked us with huge hugs, like the ones they greet us with each day. Children in the U.S. would surround me and shove their hands in front of each other to be first and would complain if they didn’t get the color they wanted. I feel very fortunate and inspired to have met everyone at Los Patojos but also sad that they don’t have the same advantages that I have. Juan Pablo, Rafa, and the other teachers there are working hard to give the children opportunities and I wanted to share some of my world with my friends there and let them know that the rest of the world cares too.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 8.37.51 AMI was inspired by Jessica Newman who found a way to use her passion for a much greater good. I asked my tennis coach, Jose Hilla, if he would go with me to Los Patojos so that we could teach the kids tennis. Jose is the founder of HRT Academía de Tenís, and is the most enthusiastic, exuberant, fun tennis coach I have ever met. I knew everyone at Los Patojos would love him and as he also speaks Spanish. He eagerly accepted and hopefully a tradition has now begun. This last trip was a part of a larger plan to raise both funds and awareness for Los Patojos and to also let us share our passion for tennis with our friends there by giving them exposure to activities that they might not ordinarily have. My mom, Jose, my sister Madison, and her boyfriend, Hud Mellencamp, visited Los Patojos in April and brought racquets, balls, and a net, and set up a “court” in the amazing courtyard of the new school. Hud is also a Golden Gloves junior boxing champion and brought boxing gloves and mitts and taught the children and teachers a few of his moves. Jose and I also practiced at a local tennis club and played tennis with the director of the Antigua Tennis Federation.  Jose got him to come to visit Los Patojos with two of his assistants to meet the children and run a tennis clinic with us. Hopefully they will continue the relationship; the children and teachers all seemed to love our sport and the director of the Federation is always looking for ways to get local children interested, and there is even a public court nearby.

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This past trip was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had because I was able to share something that I am passionate about and see others’ enthusiasm for something that I really enjoy. That includes introducing Jose to Los Patojos as well as teaching the children tennis. The fun we all had together broke down all language barriers and it brought me so much joy to bring them joy. Jose and I are hoping to return in the fall to follow up on the tennis program and expand our efforts to fundraising. Brenda Corletto has been working to help us with contacts in Guatemala City so that we can host tennis clinics with local tennis players as both a fundraiser and to raise awareness for Los Patojos. We have several junior players from the USA, including the Sonoma State University Women’s Tennis Team, that are interested in joining us to compete against Guatemalan junior players, and to play tennis with our friends at Los Patojos. We will coordinate with JustWorld so that if anyone else is interested in joining us, they too can enjoy the incredible experience that we have had. Shared experiences like these bring the world closer together and make it a much happier place for all.

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Want to come to Los Patojos? Our next trip is August 3rd-7th! Confirm your space on the next trip with Amber Warren at awarren@justworldinternational.org. 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers for Change Birthday Party FUNdraiser

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by Ariana Coniglio No Comments

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.26.53 PMAfter visiting JustWorld’s partner project Los Patojos in Guatemala, Elena Couttenye was blown away by the life-changing program she witnessed. “I felt this energy I had never experienced before at Los Patojos and knew that it wasn’t just a school, but a program that was actually changing the country and lives of the children.” Elena returned home with an inspired feeling, knowing that she wanted to do more to help.   

This past March, JustWorld held a ‘Cheers for Change’ event which Elena attended. The goal of Cheers for Change is to unite JustWorld’s supporters to help fund education and nutrition programs for children at JustWorld’s partner projects around the world. It is together, through JustWorld’s network, that JustWorld is able to empower more than 6,500 children in Cambodia, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala, giving them a hope for a brighter future. What is special about Cheers for Change is that a host can bring together their friends and family and tailor their celebration. Since the launch of JustWorld’s new grassroots fundraising initiative Cheers for Change, there have been six individual Cheers for Change events, including a dinner party, cocktail party, art exhibit, Paint N’ Sip night, and a garage sale. These events have come in different shapes and sizes, tapping into the core of what JustWorld believes – that together we can create amazing change.

DSC_0854After Elena’s trip to Los Patojos, it was clear to her that she could easily host her own.  With her birthday coming up, she decided to turn her celebration into a Cheers for Change event. The night was set up just like a party – with amazing food, drinks, and decorations. What was even more special about the night was that Elena turned the focus from her birthday to speaking passionately to friends and family about her experience at Los Patojos. She shared videos and photos from her visit, wanting to truly convey the emotions she felt, and asked guests to simply make a donation to JustWorld instead of bringing birthday gifts.

DSC_0899Elena’s Cheers for Change event serves as a tremendous example of how one person can make a difference. Exactly one year ago, she was preparing to have surgery for breast cancer. This year, she isn’t letting her trials of the past year stop her from giving back. Elena has not only raised awareness and inspired her guests to join in her mission, but she is also serving as a role model for her children, who are JustWorld Ambassadors as well. As guests of the party arrived, her daughters Victoria and Alexandra and son Daniel helped to explain what JustWorld is and opportunities to get involved. Alexandra even started to think of ways she can support JustWorld more, asking her mom if she could wear JustWorld gear while riding.

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Elena is an inspiration to us all and we can’t thank her enough for her support!

More information on Cheers for Change FUNdraising events: 

With a goal of 100  Cheers for Change events this year, you can be a part of this movement! With a JustWorld toolkit, you can personalize your own celebration. This toolkit will provide you with materials to share JustWorld’s mission with your guests. With easy print-out materials to fun party ideas, you can truly make this event your own. You can also find JustWorld branded party ideas at  https://www.zazzle.com/justworld.
Contact aconiglio@justworldinternational.org to help plan your own and explore these helpful links:

Be sure to promote your event on social media using #CheersforJustWorld, to spark the “change effect,” encouraging others to be a part of the movement!