Meredith Sisters United Supports African Orphanages

The Class of 2013 and Chaplain Stacy Pardue are working together to support orphanages in Kenya and Ghana. The effort, known as Sisters United, was inspired by the 2010 Summer Reading Book, “Half the Sky,” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Pardue was a speaker at a Meredith event meant to help students process what they learned reading “Half the Sky.” Afterward, Class of 2013 President Michelle Cox asked Pardue to help her class create a project in response to the authors’ call to improve the lives of women around the world.

“When I finished “Half the Sky,” I turned to my mother and said, ‘I don’t know how anyone could read this book and not be compelled to do something,’” Cox recalls. “Then and there I began to plan how I would respond to such a captivating book.”

This interest led Cox to approach Pardue, and Sisters United was the result. Working with a child advocacy non-profit in Atlanta, Sisters United sponsors girls at orphanages in Kenya and Ghana. Through pictures, letters and contributions, Sisters United supports these girls as they pursue their educational goals.

“As a future teacher, I believe in the power of education,” Cox said. “Sisters United acknowledges the responsibility for its sisters around the globe and commits itself to transforming their lives through education—one girl at a time.”

Cox said Sisters United supports the Class of 2013’s class constitution, which says the class’ purpose is to promote class unity, communication, service and fellowship.

“Sisters United is the way in which we live out our purpose,” Cox said. “I want each class member to recognize how extremely blessed they are to be educated at Meredith College. If we acknowledge our educational blessings, we will have a deep desire to provide our sisters abroad with educational opportunities.”

Pardue and Cox invite faculty, staff and students from other classes to join the Sisters United effort.

“My hope is that the entire Meredith community will join us in our commitment to educate and serve young women around the globe,” said Cox.

Fundraisers are being organized for Spring 2012 and there are long-term plans for a service trip to one of the orphanages. Pardue plans to take a group of student volunteers to Ghana in December 2012. She feels service trips help bring global issues to life for students.

“It is so important for young people to experience service firsthand,” Pardue said. “I really hope they become gripped with the calling to do service for the rest of their lives. A service trip shows you really can make a difference in the lives of people.”

For information on how to assist with Sisters United, contact the Office of the Chaplain at (919) 760-8346 or pardues@meredith.edu.

Date Submitted: 2011-10-28

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Melyssa Allen
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