Sisters in Service

How One Local Sorority is Helping a Peruvian Elementary School in Need

By Samantha Benton

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Omega Phi Alpha is a national service sorority that dedicates itself to providing service to those in need. The sorority has several types of services that they perform each semester, one of which is serving communities across the world. For the last two semesters, the Alpha Iota chapter of the sorority here at Notre Dame has been collecting children’s books and monetary donations to send to Educativa Parroquial Señor de la Justicia, an elementary school in Peru where Notre Dame students and the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) volunteer every summer.

Victoria Cox, a senior criminology major, spent several weeks last summer with the SSNDs as they volunteered at the elementary school. “My time as a volunteer there opened my eyes to how significant small acts of kindness can be,” explains Cox.

As the president of the Alpha Iota chapter, the ideas of service and its impact on a community are always on Cox’s mind. She saw how the students had to share a very limited amount of supplies amongst themselves, and she became determined to find a way to improve their resources. “The children often had limited access to writing utensils and other supplies that helped them make crafts and do fun enrichment activities,” she says. Experiencing this firsthand allowed Cox to better understand how fortunate and privileged she has been in her own pursuit of education.

After developing the idea to send donations and children’s books in both English and Spanish to the school, Cox and the rest of the Alpha Iota chapter began to reach out to their local communities for contributions. Cox says that each contribution made to the fundraiser will “expand upon the resources they currently have and enlighten the children’s experience.”

In the last several weeks, there has been a significant increase in the donations given to the fundraiser, which the Alpha Iota chapter is extremely excited about. When asked about how the fundraiser will impact the students at Educativa Parroquial Señor de la Justicia, Cox said that the children will be able to “build upon their ability to learn.”

This is only the beginning of the chapter’s efforts in serving the school. “I’m hoping that this drive is the start of more service projects aimed to improve education in other countries,” expresses Alexis Morgan, a sophomore biology major who prepares fliers for the sorority’s various service projects.

The members of Omega Phi Alpha have also been using Facebook and cross-campus advertising to raise awareness for their efforts. They currently have several means of collecting monetary contributions and children’s books to send to Educativa Parroquial Señor de la Justicia.

If you are interested in contributing to this important cause, you can visit their Facebook page titled “Omega Phi Alpha – Peru Fundraiser” or contact any of the Omega Phi Alpha sisters you see on campus.

Photo by courtesy of Victoria Cox

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