July 13, 2020

Alumnus Shelters in Honduras to Save UMW-Born Nonprofit

Phoning it in isn’t an option for Shin Fujiyama ’07. At UMW, he threw himself into every assignment, task and responsibility – from serving hungry students in Seacobeck to organizing a thousand-person walkathon. Now, living in Honduras in the midst of a global pandemic, Fujiyama is focused on rescuing the nonprofit he started at Mary […]

Alumnus Shelters in Honduras to Save UMW-Born Nonprofit

2007 alumnus Shin Fujiyama inaugurates a school built by his nonprofit, Students Helping Honduras, which he started at UMW. SHH has built 55 schools in the impoverished country, which is currently on lockdown. While much of his staff have been evacuated, Fujiyama stayed behind in Honduras to care for 24 orphaned children. Photo courtesy of SHH.

2007 alumnus Shin Fujiyama inaugurates a school built by his nonprofit, Students Helping Honduras, which he started at UMW. SHH has built 55 schools in the impoverished country, which is currently on lockdown. While much of his staff have been evacuated, Fujiyama stayed behind in Honduras to care for 24 orphaned children. Photo courtesy of SHH.

Phoning it in isn’t an option for Shin Fujiyama ’07. At UMW, he threw himself into every assignment, task and responsibility – from serving hungry students in Seacobeck to organizing a thousand-person walkathon.

Now, living in Honduras in the midst of a global pandemic, Fujiyama is focused on rescuing the nonprofit he started at Mary Washington, Students Helping Honduras (SHH). While his American and European staff were evacuated due to the coronavirus threat, Fujiyama stayed behind to care for 24 orphaned kids at a children’s home he founded. To keep his dream alive of building schools across the impoverished country, he is relying on support from former professors and fellow alumni.

“My conviction to see this through has always been strong,” said Fujiyama, who started SHH 14 years ago with sister Cosmo, then a student at William & Mary. Since graduation from UMW, he’s lived in Honduras and oversees the nonprofit, which has over 50 chapters nationwide and has seen thousands of volunteers over the years.

Then came COVID-19.

“There’s a chance Honduras will face food shortages, civil unrest and massive outbreaks of the virus,” he said. “We need to confront those challenges together.” Read more.

Alumni Relations Hosts Volunteer Leadership Summit, Jan. 31-Feb. 2

The UMW Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to host their second biannual Volunteer Leadership Summit January 31 – February 2.  Nearly 90 alumni leaders from across the country are expected on campus to network, share ideas, and learn leadership strategies and best practices. Summit highlights include a presentation by Shin Fujiyama ’07, Founder and Executive Director, Students Helping Honduras, and a keynote address by Capt. Nizhonlii Robinson, of the United States Naval Academy, entitled “Leadership is a Relationship.” The summit will conclude with a “Spirited Social” at A. Smith Bowman Distillery. Representatives from the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Young Alumni Council, UMW Foundation Board of Directors, College of Business Executive Advisory Board, College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Board, College of Education Advisory Board, Regional Network Leaders, Affinity Group Leaders, Honors Program Advisory Board, Student Alumni Ambassadors, and others will be in attendance. A few spaces remain for faculty and staff to attend. Email Mark Thaden – mthad2zw@umw.edu if you would like to attend.

SHH to Hold ‘For the Kids 5K,’ March 30

Students Helping Honduras will sponsor a For the Kids 5K on Saturday, March 30, at 8 a.m. Faculty and staff are encouraged to come out for the race, which will take place on the Fredericksburg campus. Strollers, dogs, and kids are all welcome to participate. Children under 10 are free; otherwise, it is $20 for UMW students and faculty and $30 for non-UMW participants. Sign up before March 8 and receive a free T-shirt!

Students Helping Honduras is an international nonprofit organization that was founded by Shin Fujiyama ’07. SHH’s mission is to alleviate extreme gang violence and poverty through youth empowerment and education. With the proper access to education, children in Honduras can become the next teachers, doctors, and lawyers.  Join SHH, run in our 5K, or just donate to the cause to help provide the resources necessary for these children to change their lives. To register or find out more about the event, visit https://my.shhkids.org/event/umw-for-the-kids-5k/e222224.

Esfuerzo de Amor Holiday Sale

Esfuerzo de Amor is having a holiday sale!  We need to clear out our inventory so that we have a reason to buy more products when we return to Honduras this January.  Our gifts are perfectly priced for the holidays, with six priced under $10!

 

The following items are available in the UMW Bookstore or online at http://host1.sequoiars.com/ePOS?store=313&form=shared3%2findex.html:

Bobby Pins: $3

Headbands: $5

Earrings (Straight): $6

Earrings (Hoops): $7

Clutches (XS): $7

Clutches (S):  $9

Clutches (M): $11

Clutches (L): $15

Clutches (XL): $26

They make great stocking stuffers and are perfect for gift-exchanges with friends and co-workers, for your babysitter, for your mail carrier…the possibilities are endless!

Each Esfuerzo de Amor product is hand-crafted in the homes of our artisans out of discarded chip bags and soda labels.  When you buy an Esfuerzo de Amor product:

  • You generate needed income for our Honduran artisans and their families who live below $2 a day.
  • You support our microloan program in Honduras which is funded by the profits from every purchase.
  • You support a UMW student-run social enterprise.

Esfurezo de Amor products are gifts that give back. Happy Holidays!

LEARN MORE: http://esfuerzodeamor.org/

LIKE US on FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ESFUERZO-de-AMOR/238912846163408

Message from Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics