When you are in the corporate relocation business, as Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates has been for the past 50 years, your focus is to find turnkey housing for corporate executives and their families who are relocating or on extended assignment. The goal is always to find a home, whether it is temporary or long-term, where guests can feel welcomed and secure in a new environment.
Every day, Murphy’s is challenged with the idea that a relocation client, which often includes children of all ages, are feeling a sense of unrest with the concept of transition. We take for granted the feeling of having a secure roof over our heads, and our job is to help families feel that sense of security as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, half a world away, there are thousands of young girls in Sierra Leone who face more than a feeling of insecurity or transition. They face the dangers of violence and unrest in their country. As a result of this violence, they are in poverty and orphaned, either because their parents have been killed or they have been forced to leave their family to survive on their own. If they were lucky enough to have been in school, many have had to forego an education.
Finding A Safe Haven For Those Less Fortunate
One of our global Account Executives, Jamie Maslar, became aware of the plight of these girls through a non-profit organization called Save the Young Girls Foundation Orphanage. Its mission is “to be a safe-haven for girls to come to in time of need, to be able to get food and shelter. We teach our girls self-respect and confidence and cannot wait to see them grow up to be successful, powerful women!”
While the organization has been doing its best to help thousands of girls, there is never enough shelter, supplies, food and other assistance, to take care of all of the girls who are in need.
The main focus of the orphanage is:
- Support, education, and the wellbeing of young girls from the area
- Raise awareness about gender issues
- Enable young girls with skills and training
- Protect the rights of female children
- Improve knowledge on child trafficking and child labor
- Raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases
- Encourage empowerment of each female child
Jamie immediately understood the importance of finding a way for these girls to enjoy the same sense of peace, security and opportunity that he and his family enjoy every day. He reached out to the Foundation’s organizer and spent the next 6 months working towards the goal of raising the necessary funding to help their cause. This included finding the funds necessary to purchase land to build a new orphanage and facility that the girls could call home—a safe place to become educated and realize their true self-worth and empower them to reach their true potential.
We are very proud to say that Jamie more than reached his goal. He recommended a Go-Fund-Me campaign (which remains open and is still accepting donations). A LinkedIn profile and Facebook page were also created to help get the word out, and a chat line on LinkedIn allowed Global Mobility professionals to connect and talk about the fundraiser, which has since expanded awareness to clients, family and friends. Jamie networked with all of his professional contacts to engage them to further spread the word about this cause. The Murphy’s Corporate Housing Associates team was happy to jump on board and participate in Jamie’s efforts. The campaign began on July 7, 2021 and within a week he was able to raise $12,000. And the donations continue to come in.
If You Build It, They Will Come
One of the questions that many people raise who donate money to any cause is “where does the money go?” In the case of Save The Young Girls Foundation Orphanage, the money was put to work immediately to secure and pay for property to build a new orphanage. Literally, the donated dollars were handed to the local team in Sierra Leone, who identified and gained possession of the land.
The goal of the purchase is to build a facility to accommodate more than 30 girls that has all of the modern amenities needed. The facility will feature comfortable bedrooms, bathrooms, a full kitchen for preparing meals, a dining room, a spacious living room, a dedicated space for studying, and even a store. The project is expected to break ground in the next few months.
Progress That Will Impact A Global Community
The Save The Young Girls Foundation Orphanage does more than just provide housing for these girls. The organization provides essentials such as medical care, reproductive education, school supplies, clothing and food. But there are other less tangible benefits to the girls as well. It protects them from political, social and economic dangers. It teaches them how to advocate for themselves. It provides a community of happiness and joy that they would not otherwise know exists. The hope is that, as these girls grow into intelligent, educated women, they can create an environment for themselves and the society they live in that will overcome many of the societal norms that they always assumed would be their fate. Many of these young girls will be able to pursue higher education and professions they only dreamed could become a reality.
It Takes A Village, And We Are Happy To Be A Part Of It
Companies are often organized to participate in community activities that are close to home. Employees may help build a home for a family in need. They may donate time, money and resources to a local food bank. It isn’t often that a single person in a company can impact the lives of hundreds of young girls in another country and know that their efforts will be sustainable for many years to come. We take pride and joy in Jamie Masler’s efforts as one person who created a community of people who care about young people outside of their own neighborhood and took action to help make their lives better.
We are eagerly watching the progress of the Save The Young Girls Foundation Orphanage and look to the future to see how Jamie’s efforts, as well as all of the many patrons and volunteers who play a part in this initiative, come to fruition for the girls of Sierra Leone.