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Frankenmuth Credit Union Employee Traveling to Africa to Aid Orphanage
For Sierra Chiesa this is an opportunity of a lifetime, the 2012 Frankenmuth High School graduate probably never thought traveling outside of the country was a possibility when she was first hired on as a teller at the Frankenmuth Credit Union. Now after graduating high school over a year ago, the young loan officer is preparing for a 20 plus hour plane ride to Busia a small town located in western Kenya.
The Busia Compassionate Centre is an orphanage that offers secondary education for children who had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS which over one-third of the Centre’s children are also inflicted with the disease themselves. According to busiaorphanage.org, because secondary education is not subsidized in Kenya the World Council of Credit Unions started working with the Centre in 2007 through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help provide educational grants through the local credit unions in Kenya. In 2010 when the USDA concluded the program the World Council of Credit Unions continued to support the orphanage with the help of the global credit union movement to cover the costs of tuition, books, uniforms and other supplies.
The Frankenmuth Credit Union became a donor of the Centre just this year and wanted to contribute in a way that could give the credit union a real connection to the efforts in Africa. Out of nine FCU candidates, Sierra was randomly selected to partake in the building of a playground for the children of the orphanage.
“Efforts like this have really improved Africa’s access to education and quality of life so we’re all proud to have Sierra directly involved with this project.” Frankenmuth Credit Union CEO, Vickie Schmitzer said.
Through the barrage of vaccines that are required for the trip to Africa, the 19 year old paralegal student says she isn’t fearful of trying something new.
“I chose to volunteer for this project because helping people that really need it gives me joy and a purpose” Sierra said. Adding that “I believe things don’t really affect us until we see them with our own eyes.”
Sierra will leave for Africa on December 2 and arrive back in Michigan on December 11. If anyone would like to make donations to the Busia Compassionate Centre they can visit http://www.busiaophanage.org/.