Tag Archives: H.e.l.p. Malawi

Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

June23

#COMINGSOON Four Ursuline students spent their spring break volunteering with H.E.L.P. Malawi. Read about their experience in the upcoming Spring 2014 issue of VOICES Magazine.

H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: last day

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Final thoughts from the H.E.L.P. Malawi Ursuline College team: Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer, Rhianna McChesney, Taylor Bruno, Maggie Stark and Molly Sabolsky.

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer. As I sit in the Dulles Airport waiting for our final flight back to Cleveland, I can’t imagine a better trip with Maggie, Molly, Rhianna, Taylor and the entire H.E.L.P. Malawi team. It may have been my third trip, but each visit gets better and better with new and exciting experiences. I was able to visit the local secondary school this time where I saw the four students, Felia, Mary, Ramek and Stand, who we taught sewing to on our first trip in 2011. Such a special moment to reconnect with them! H.E.L.P. and Ursuline have such an important mission to educate and I am so proud to be a part of both organizations.

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H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: day two

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by Taylor Bruno, Psychology Student

It’s only 9:41 AM and today has already been so eventful! Earlier at breakfast a mischievous little monkey jumped right on our table to steal Jessica’s (from H.E.L.P. Malawi) eggs! Although it was hilarious, I ran out of the way instantly because I thought it was coming right at me afterward. Following that we got ready for our daily trip to Nanthomba from MVUU, where we watched the hippos and alligators from the boat dock. After getting to the other side of the Shire, we loaded into the trucks to take us to the school. On today’s ride, I saw baboons for the first time!

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H.E.L.P Malawi Sewing journey: day one

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by Molly Sabolsky, Nursing Student

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this first day at the school was. We entered the yard of the school and we were greeted by so many beautiful, smiling faces. It was overwhelming – so many of the children wanted to touch our hands.

I think the theme of this trip is “go with the flow.” After setting up the sewing room, we were told that we would not have power until the next day, so our sewing machines were not going to work. We switched up our game plan and decided to teach our hand sewing lesson instead.

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Ursuline College & H.E.L.P. Malawi: the journey begins

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer

By Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer, Director of Alumnae Relations and Development Specialist 

Today (March 9) we leave to begin our journey to Malawi. As I sit in the airport waiting for everyone to arrive for check-in, I think about my first time beginning this adventure. I had so many feelings & thoughts going through my head about the place I was headed to. I am sure Ursuline College students Maggie Stark, Molly Sabolsky, Taylor Bruno and Rhianna McChesney have a million thoughts racing through their heads. I know I was nervous, but extremely excited for everything I was about to encounter.

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Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer

Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer ’03 is the Director of Alumnae Relations and Development Specialist at Ursuline College.

What is your connection to the H.E.L.P. Malawi organization?
Back in 2009, I received a mailer from the H.E.L.P. organization and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for Ursuline College to become a part of.  It took a good year to produce a full plan, but the H.E.L.P./Ursuline Sewing Project was created.  The UC fashion department graciously donated sewing machines and tons of notions to the cause.  In 2010, myself, Dr. Connie Korosec and Anne-Marie Gurko headed over to Malawi to begin the sewing project.  The first trip was a jam packed 10 days full of ideas, set-up, creating lesson plans, teaching children and adults and even hosting an all-day mending day to fix the children’s clothing who were students at Nanthomba.  The trip was an extremely successful and the team at H.E.L.P. Malawi said it was their most successful volunteer trip to date.

Why is the partnership with Ursuline and HELP important to you?
When I first heard about the H.E.L.P. organization I was very intrigued by their work and how not only did the organization and Wolstein family help this community, but the Malawian community itself was so very invested in the projects.  Once I began working with the group, I soon loved the work I was doing as well as what Ursuline was doing for the organization.  It is an organization that is truly near and dear to my heart now.  It is hard not to forget the faces of the children you come into contact with while you are there.  On my second visit, I thought there would be no way they would remember me, but when I arrived at Nanthomba School the many children I taught were yelling my name and running up to greet me.  It was extremely overwhelming to know how much what we did meant to them.

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer

What was your first impression of Africa and what are you looking forward to on this trip?
My sister had traveled to Mozambique, which is located right next to Malawi, so I tried to get an idea from her on her travels, but I knew that no matter how much information I had ahead of time, I would be completely in awe of the sights, sounds, tastes, feelings I would have in Malawi.  I was raised in Chagrin Falls, so being in a place link Malawi, was extremely eye-opening.  I learned so much about myself on the trips.  I am really looking forward to the upcoming trip to see the sewing project continue and grow.  My real excitement is going to be watching the 4 students who are going on the journey.  None of them have been to Africa before and one of them has never been on a plane.  This is experience changed my life and I know it will do the same for them.  I can’t wait to watch their journey.

What are your thoughts on Molly, Rhianna, Maggie and Taylor?
To be completely honest with you, I could not have hand-picked a better group of students to travel to Malawi with me.  Each student is studying a different degree; nursing, education, art and psychology so the trip will be different for each one of them.  I am very encouraged by their eagerness to know as much as they can before we travel and be open to the experiences we will have on the trip.  After my fist trip to Malawi, now I just tell people who are going for the first time to be completely open, so you can take in all of the wonderful opportunities Malawi, the “warm-heart of Africa” has to share with you!

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer

Maggie Stark

Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Maggie Stark

Maggie Stark is a senior Studio Art major and work-study student with the Marketing Department.

What inspired you to go on the H.E.L.P. trip?
I was inspired to visit Malawi after building the huts in the Wasmer Gallery for the H.E.L.P. Exhibit last February. After hearing about the organization’s mission & seeing all the great work Ursuline did while in Africa, I was determined to have an opportunity in Malawi as well.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
While in Malawi, I really hope to take in the African culture, values, and way of living. I’d like to experience two weeks, living and working like the Malawians do every single day. I believe this will truly be an impactful experience.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I’m really excited to meet all the children we are sewing uniforms for! I’ve seen so many photos, but seeing them in person will surely steal my heart.

Thinking about Ursuline’s motto, Values, Voice & Vision, how will it represent you on the journey?
This trip will give me a vision into a third-world country, use my voice to speak about what I have experienced, & ultimately practice my value for helping others.

What’s your favorite African animal?
African Elephant!

What are 3 words that come to mind when you think about Africa?
Kids, Water, & Elephants

Maggie Stark

Maggie Stark

Taylor Bruno

Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Taylor Bruno

Taylor Bruno is a Psychology major set to graduate in 2016.

What inspired you to go on the H.E.L.P. trip?
Maggie (Stark) gave me information about the trip in the spring of last year and I’ve been so excited ever since!

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I hope to gain insight of what its like to live in another country and to appreciate everything I have at home. I also hope to learn from the children and capture the beauty of Malawi.

What are you most excited about?
To see the elephants, monkeys and hopefully a lion. To help the children so they can have a successful future, to gain a new perspective and to see the African sunrise and sunset!

Thinking about Ursuline’s motto, Values, Voice & Vision, how will it represent you on the journey?
I will present my values by working hard to help those in need and having a positive attitude throughout the entire journey. I will present my voice by sharing things with the children in the village and trying to teach them new things. I will gain a new vision of what it is like to live in a completely different area and culture.

What’s your favorite African animal?
All of them!

What are 3 words that come to mind when you think about Africa?
Elephants. Monkeys. Safari.

Taylor Bruno

Taylor Bruno

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Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Molly Sabolsky

Molly Sabolsky is a senior nursing major and volleyball player at Ursuline College. 

What inspired you to go on the H.E.L.P. trip?
It was kind of by chance that I got included on the planning for this trip, but my freshmen year I had heard about the trip and thought it was only for fashion majors. I was so jealous because it sounded like such an awesome opportunity!

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I hope to have an eye opening expereince that will make me more knowledgable of a different culture. I also hope to have fun and just make some great memories.

What are you most excited about?
I am most excited for meeting the kids in Malawi and teaching them a skill that will allow them help themselves, but also their community!
Thinking about Ursuline’s motto, Values, Voice & Vision, how will it represent you on the journey?
I feel that by going on this trip I will be able to take who I am as a person and the core values of Ursuline  that I embody as I interact with the people there and make a positive impact on their lives.
What’s your favorite African animal?
AN ELEPHANT! It has aways been on my bucket list to ride an elephant in Thailand…I obviously wont be in Thailand and I probably won’t get to ride one But, if I get to see one while I am there I will be so excited!
What are 3 words that come to mind when you think about Africa?
Service. Eye opening. Memorable.
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