Bellarmine Prep COFIA Club Students Visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

July 13, 2015 “Everyone has a story,” says Gates Foundation educator Luis Ortega, Founder of Storytellers for Change. With the belief that people create change, Ortega inspires and empowers students to share their stories and become the catalyst for positive change in the world.

Bellarmine Prep COFIA Club students travelled to Seattle to attend the Ideas for Change workshop at the Bill and Melinda Gates Information Center in Seattle. The workshop challenges students to make a positive impact on their community. Students are exposed to team building sessions with peers that include analysis of messaging strategies and learning how to develop the action tools necessary to achieve a successful action plan. Students also make new friends with teens from area schools and international students, while learning about current global health and human rights issues.

“Hand Washing Day” is coming up in October, the Bellarmine students discover on their new “Action Calendar” provided to them by the Gates Foundation. Bellarmine COFIA Club students have determined that a hand washing & hygiene awareness campaign would be a great way to benefit students at St. Jude Primary School in Rubongi, Uganda. In the spring of 2015, COFIA’s Operation Wellness Campaign revealed a tie between the lack of basic hygiene supplies, and skin related illnesses. Without proper hygiene resources, Rubongi students endure serious dermatalogical conditions often displayed by people living in extreme poverty. Poor sanitation can also lead to sanitation-related illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia and cholera.

Ideas for Change are happening and the Bellarmine COFIA Club students are empowered and ready to make positive change in their local and global community.